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Rodrigues v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

April 4, 2016

Anthony L. Rodrigues, Plaintiff,
Charles L. Ryan, et al., Defendants.


David G. Campbell United States District Judge

Plaintiff Anthony L. Rodrigues, who is currently confined in the Red Rock Correctional Center (RRCC) in Eloy, Arizona, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) (Doc. 15). Pending before the Court are (1) “Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Emergency Temporary Restraining Order” (Doc. 21), (2) “Defendants Ryan and Diaz’s Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint” (Doc. 29), and (3) “Defendants’ [Ryan, Diaz, Marquardt, and Rider’s] Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint” (Doc. 66).

The Court will deny Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction for lack of jurisdiction, deny as moot Defendants Ryan and Diaz’s Motion to Dismiss, and grant in part and deny in part Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.

I. Background

This action arises from alleged constitutional and ADA violations that occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC)-Kingman. (Doc. 15.) In his two-count Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff names as Defendants Charles L. Ryan, Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC); R. Scott Marquardt, President and CEO of Management Training Corporation; Tara R. Diaz, ADC Contract Beds Bureau Director; and Pamela Rider, Warden at ASPC-Kingman’s Hualapai Unit. (Id. at 2.) Plaintiff seeks monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief, and punitive damages. (Id. at 11.) On screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), the Court determined that Plaintiff stated Eighth Amendment and ADA claims in Count Two and directed Defendants to answer these claims. (Doc. 16.) The Court dismissed the claims in Count One and the remaining claims in Count Two. (Id.)

Plaintiff’s claims in Count Two are based on the following allegations. Plaintiff has a documented cardiac condition for which he is receiving treatment. On November 26, 2013, Plaintiff was sanctioned for two unexcused absences from a life skills class. As a result, Plaintiff lost his preferred housing and was reassigned to a two-man bunk in the rear of the dorm, near where inmates smoked, despite ADC policies prohibiting indoor smoking. After his housing reassignment, Plaintiff was hospitalized at least twice due to the effects of second-hand smoke. Plaintiff sought a “reasonable accommodation” from Defendants. In particular, he made requests from at least January 2, 2014 to be reassigned to a new bunk away from the smoking, but he was not moved to a new bunk - apparently away from the smoking - until June 2014. (Doc. 15.)

II. Plaintiff’s Motion for Injunctive Relief

In his Motion for Injunctive Relief, Plaintiff alleges that following a July 2015 riot at ASPC-Kingman, he was transferred to RRCC, and, as a result, he lost access to legal reference materials and his trial preparation journal and case notes. (Doc. 22 at 3.) He further alleges that he has been subjected to the same ADA violations he encountered at ASPC-Kingman, including lack of access to smoke free housing and outdoor recreation, and, as a transferee, he is not given equal access to RRCC’s legal library as are non-transferred inmates. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that all of his efforts to resolve these issues with RRCC officials have failed to provide any relief, and this lack of response contributed to his hospitalization on August 11, 2015. (Id.)

Plaintiff requests that the Court “enjoin the Defendant(s), Defendants’ Agent, [and] Contract Representatives or Appointees to immediately provide the Plaintiff access to non-punitive smoke free housing and outdoor recreation and opportunities enjoyed by similarly situated individuals at Plaintiff’s current place of incarceration.” (Doc. 21 at 1-2.) He additionally requests that Defendants and their agents be restrained from (1) transferring Plaintiff from his current place of incarceration without first seeking permission from the Court, (2) taking any retaliatory actions against Plaintiff or those who provide him material support in this action, and (3) interfering with Plaintiff’s access to the Court, right to discovery, and access to legal reference materials necessary to advance his claims. (Id. at 2.)

A. Legal Standard

“A preliminary injunction is ‘an extraordinary and drastic remedy, one that should not be granted unless the movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of persuasion.’” Lopez v. Brewer, 680 F.3d 1068, 1072 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997) (per curiam); see also Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008) (citation omitted) (“[a] preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right”). A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must show that (1) he is likely to succeed on the merits, (2) he is likely to suffer irreparable harm without an injunction, (3) the balance of equities tips in his favor, and (4) an injunction is in the public interest. Winter, 555 U.S. at 20. “But if a plaintiff can only show that there are ‘serious questions going to the merits’-a lesser showing than likelihood of success on the merits-then a preliminary injunction may still issue if the ‘balance of hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff’s favor, ’ and the other two Winter factors are satisfied.” Shell Offshore, Inc. v. Greenpeace, Inc., 709 F.3d 1281, 1291 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1135 (9th Cir. 2011)). Under this serious questions variant of the Winter test, “[t]he elements . . . must be balanced, so that a stronger showing of one element may offset a weaker showing of another.” Lopez, 680 F.3d at 1072.

Regardless of which standard applies, the movant “has the burden of proof on each element of the test.” See Envtl. Council of Sacramento v. Slater, 184 F.Supp.2d 1016, 1027 (E.D. Cal. 2000). Further, there is a heightened burden where a plaintiff seeks a mandatory preliminary injunction, which should not be granted “unless the facts and law clearly favor the plaintiff.” Comm. of Cent. Am. Refugees v. INS, 795 F.2d 1434, 1441 (9th Cir. 1986) (citation omitted).

The Prison Litigation Reform Act imposes additional requirements on prisoner litigants who seek preliminary injunctive relief against prison officials and requires that any injunctive relief be narrowly drawn and the least intrusive means necessary to correct the harm. 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2); see Gilmore v. People of the State of Cal., 220 F.3d 987, 999 (9th Cir. 2000).

A court may issue an injunction against a non-party only where the non-party acts in active concert or participation with an enjoined party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(d)(2) (a preliminary injunction only binds those who receive actual notice of it by personal service or are parties, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and persons in active concert); see Zepeda v. INS, 753 F.2d 719, 727 (9th Cir. 1984) (“A federal court may issue an injunction if it has personal jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter jurisdiction over the claim; it may not attempt ...

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