United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Jackson, pro se.
Gerald Wilhelm, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for
PATRICK J. SCHILTZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a Bivens action brought by inmate James Jackson against
several employees of the Federal Correctional Institution
(“FCI”) in Sandstone, Minnesota. Jackson alleges
that $175 worth of personal property was wrongfully taken
from his cubicle during a “shakedown” in August
2014. Jackson further alleges that, after he instituted
administrative proceedings to recover his property, prison
officials told him that they would return his property, but
only if he would waive his right to pursue any administrative
or tort claims against them. According to Jackson, prison
officials warned him that, if he did not sign a waiver, he
would be sanctioned in connection with pornography that was
found in his cubicle. Jackson contends that defendants'
actions deprived him of due process and interfered with his
right of access to the courts.
matter is before the Court on Jackson's motion for a
temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. ECF
No. 49. Jackson seeks to enjoin the Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) from transferring him to another prison
during the pendency of his Bivens action. Jackson
claims that transferring him to another prison will
irreparably harm him by “remov[ing] his BIVENS action
from this Court's territorial jurisdiction, ”
“imped[ing] the speed with which [his case] can
proceed, ” risking the loss of his legal documents
during the transfer, and forcing him to find another inmate
to help him litigate this case after the transfer.
Id. at 4-5.
must consider four factors in deciding whether to grant a
temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction: (1)
the movant's likelihood of success on the merits; (2) the
threat of irreparable harm to the movant if the injunction is
not granted; (3) the balance between that harm and the injury
that granting the injunction will inflict on the other
parties; and (4) the public interest. See Dataphase Sys.,
Inc. v. CL Sys., Inc., 640 F.2d 109, 114 (8th Cir. 1981)
(en banc). Temporary restraining orders and preliminary
injunctions are extraordinary remedies, and the party seeking
such relief bears the burden of establishing his entitlement
to the relief under the Dataphase factors. See
Watkins Inc. v. Lewis, 346 F.3d 841, 844 (8th Cir.
2003). Jackson has failed to meet his burden in this case.
the Court cannot find that Jackson is likely to succeed in
recovering on his Bivens claim. On November 10,
2016, Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung filed a Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) in which he
recommended that this lawsuit be dismissed. ECF No. 48.
Jackson's objection to the R&R was filed on January
9, 2017. ECF No. 54. The Court has not been able to carefully
analyze Jackson's 24 pages of objections to the 20-page
R&R, but the fact that Judge Leung has recommended that
this action be dismissed does not bode well for Jackson.
and most importantly, Jackson has failed to identify any
irreparable harm that he will suffer if he is transferred.
Jackson's transfer to another prison will not have any
material impact on this Bivens action. The transfer
will not, as Jackson claims, remove the case from this
Court's jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331
(giving federal courts subject matter jurisdiction over civil
actions “arising under” the laws or Constitution
of the United States); Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S.
457, 462 (1940) (recognizing that courts may exercise
personal jurisdiction over defendants that are domiciled in
the state). Nor will Jackson's transfer render the
District of Minnesota an improper venue for the case. See
Barber v. Simpson, 94 F.3d 648 (8th Cir. 1996)
(unpublished table decision) (stating that a Bivens
action may be brought in any judicial district where “a
substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to
the claim occurred” (quoting 28 U.S.C. §
1391(b)(2)). Finally, Jackson's assertions that, if he is
transferred, the BOP might lose his papers and he might have
to find a new jailhouse lawyer to assist him fall far short
of establishing the type of irreparable harm that would
justify injunctive relief. See Sampson v. Murray,
415 U.S. 61, 90 (1974).
granting the injunction will cause harm to defendants by
interfering with their ability to administer their facility.
As Jackson acknowledges, the Eighth Circuit has warned that
“in the prison context, a request for injunctive relief
must always be viewed with great caution because
‘judicial restraint is especially called for in dealing
with the complex and intractable problems of prison
administration.'” Goff v. Harper, 60 F.3d
518, 520 (8th Cir. 1995) (quoting Rogers v. Scurr,
676 F.2d 1211, 1214 (8th Cir. 1982)). This case exemplifies
why “judicial restraint” is needed in this
context. According to the “Request for Transfer”
submitted by Jackson's warden, FCI-Sandstone is seeking
to have Jackson transferred to a facility that has a Sex
Offender Management Program (“SOMP”) because
Jackson was convicted of distributing child pornography,
because “Jackson continues to engage in behavior that
demonstrates continued interest in sexually deviant material,
” and because Jackson “appears unable or
unwilling to participate in age appropriate fantasy.”
ECF No. 56 at 2. For these reasons, “[p]sychological
services” at FCI-Sandstone “concluded Jackson
continues to engage in risk relevant behavior and recommends
a transfer to a[n] SOMP.” Id. Granting the
injunctive relief sought by Jackson would thus interfere with
the informed judgment of prison officials “as to what
would . . . best serve institutional security or the safety
and welfare of the inmate.” Meachum v. Fano,
427 U.S. 215, 225 (1976).
the Court cannot identify any way in which the public
interest would be served by enjoining defendants from
these reasons, Jackson's motion for a temporary
restraining order or preliminary injunction is denied.
on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings
herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT plaintiff James
Jackson's motion for preliminary injunction and ...