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Crow v. Severs

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

August 21, 2013

Keith Crow, Plaintiff,
v.
Kris Severs, Glen Lisowav, Bill Braun, Lieutenant McQuillan, David Reishus, Kent Grandlienard, Terry Carlson, Tom Roy, Sheila Monio and Dr. Craane, Defendants.

Keith Crow, pro se.

Jackson Evans, Assistant Attorney General, for State Defendants.

Andrea Hoversten for Dr. Craane.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

FRANKLIN L. NOEL, Magistrate Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge on Crow's motions for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction (ECF No. 22, 49 and 88). This matter was referred to the undersigned for a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 636 and Local Rule 72.1. For the reasons set forth below, this Court recommends that Crow's motions be DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

Keith Crow is a prisoner of the State of Minnesota who is currently incarcerated at the High Desert State Prison in California. In 2005 Crow was found guilty of aiding and abetting first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. ECF No. 47. After two years in custody with the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) (November 2005 - September 2007), Crow was transferred to the Connecticut Department of Corrections. Crow was returned to the Minnesota DOC in December 2010. In May 2012 he was transferred to High Desert.[1]

A. Facts underlying Crow's present lawsuit against the Minnesota DOC

On February 2, 2012, while Crow was incarcerated at Oak Park Heights in Minnesota, Defendant Severs "inadvertently" allowed another prisoner the same rec room that Crow occupied. According to Severs' incident report, he immediately realized his mistake and observed the other prisoner approach Crow and start throwing punches. ECF No. 18-2 at 8. Crow alleges that he was forced to defend himself in what he characterizes as a "gladiator-style flight" in a "locked cage." ECF No. 18 at 3. Crow claims that he suffered a black eye, several loose teeth and a permanent injury to his back. Id. [2] Crow later sued the Defendants on five counts: (1) cruel and unusual punishment; (2) expost facto clause violations (including retaliation); (3) due process violations; (4) equal protection violations and (5) medical negligence. ECF No. 18 at 1-17.

B. Crow's February 8, 2013 motion for temporary restraining order

Crow alleges that he was sent to High Desert-a "notoriously dangerous prison"-in retaliation for complaining about the February 2012 incident. Crow's February 8 motion for a TRO alleges that his life is in danger because he is under protective custody, is an out-of-state inmate and has a prior arrest record for sexual misconduct. ECF No. 22 at 1.[3] Id. He indicates that he repeatedly tried to inform prison officials in California that "his life [is] threatened." Id. On January 29, 2013, after multiple incidents of violence in the prison, Crow purposely got into a fight with his cellmate so that he would be moved to an individual cell. ECF 49 at 1. Crow noted that two cell murders occurred since January.[4] He further argues that the Defendants responsible for his transfer "knew or should have known... potential harm to Plaintiff if house[d] in notoriously violent prison system as a registered sex-offender." Id. at 2. Crow seeks injunctive relief that orders he be (1) transferred back to Minnesota DOC or into the custody of the United States Marshals, (2) held in a single cell until he is transferred and (3) granted access to legal materials. Id.

C. Crow's April 8, 2013 motion for temporary retraining order

On April 8, 2013 Crow filed a second motion for injunctive relief. In his motion and supporting declaration, he alleges that Minnesota DOC officials contacted the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff to "increase harassment so Plaintiff will voluntarily dismiss valid [meritorious] lawsuit or face death." ECF No. 49 at 2. Crow notes several verbal communications from staff at High Desert that he interprets as clear threats, including "I can't wait to give you another celly" and, after again refus[ing] a cellmate, "I'm going to tell committee and request to release you back to General Population." Id. He also contends that his legal materials have been ...


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