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Amaker v. Kelley

December 20, 2006

ANTHONY D. AMAKER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
T. KELLEY, J. LANDRY, P. T. JUSTINE, O. MAYO, T. G. EGAN, D. A. SENKOWSKI, M. ALLARD, R. GIRDICH, G. S. GOORD, J. WOOD, DR. I. ELLEN, J. MITCHELL, H. WORLEY, DR. L. N. WRIGHT, S. NYE, M. MCKINNON, R. RIVERS, L. CORYER, A. PAVONE, L. CAYEA, D. ARMITAGE, J. CAREY, P. W. ANNETTS, R. RIVERA, E. AIKEN, S. GIDEON, R. LINCOLN, D. LINSLEY, C. O. GORDON, J. REYELL, D. CHAMPAGNE, J. KELSH, W. CARTER, F. BUSHEY, CHO PHILLIP, CHO DROM, A. J. ANNUCCI, L. J. LECLAIR, D. LACLAIR, T. L. RICKS, A. BOUCAUD, H. PERRY, B. BANILER, R. LAMORA, E. LIBERTY, G. RONSOM. R. MAYNARD, C. DAGGETT, D. SELSKY, K. M. LAPP, R. SEARS, J. BABEE, SGT. CHAMPAGNE, DOCTOR K. LEE, R. VAUGHAN, AND M. NISOFF, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scullin, Senior Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Currently before the Court are Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, see Dkt. No. 202, Defendants' Suggestion of Death with respect to Defendant Mayo, see Dkt. No. 195, and Plaintiff's cross-motion for substitution of a party Defendant, see Dkt. No. 203.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff commenced this action on June 1, 2001. The Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed with this action in forma pauperis on September 17, 2001. See Dkt. No. 10. The Court subsequently granted Plaintiff leave to amend his complaint on December 13, 2001. See Dkt. No. 22. Defendants filed their answer to Plaintiff's amended complaint on April 12, 2002. See Dkt. No. 71. On May 13, 2002, this Court once again granted Plaintiff leave to amend his complaint. See Dkt. No. 75. Defendants filed an answer to Plaintiff's second amended complaint on August 26, 2002. See Dkt. No. 122.

Plaintiff's second amended complaint sets forth causes of action against Defendants at Clinton Correctional Facility and Upstate Correctional Facility for incidents that allegedly occurred between June 1998 and January 2002.*fn1 Plaintiff's claims include deliberate indifference to his medical needs, inhumane conditions of confinement, denial of access to law library facilities, retaliation for exercising his right to grieve and seek other forms of redress, racial discrimination, illegal search and seizure, violation of his privacy rights, and the requirement that inmates to pay for food and spices required for the Ramadan meal. See Dkt. No. 78.*fn2

III. DISCUSSION

A. Motion for a Preliminary Injunction

Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction addresses events that occurred in 2006 while he was incarcerated at Attica Correctional Facility, which is located in the Western District of New York. See Dkt. No. 202. Plaintiff alleges that various individuals at that Facility violated his rights to practice his religion and disciplined him for failing to follow directives that would have resulted in a violation of his religion. More specifically, Plaintiff, who claims to be a follower of the Nation of Islam, asserts that prison officials directed him to cut his hair (dreadlocks) or file a change of religious designation to Rastafarian. See id. He also contends that they gave him thirty days to comply with this directive and that, when he refused to comply, they disciplined him in accordance with Department of Corrections' policy and placed him in the Special Housing Unit ("SHU"). Plaintiff further alleges that, as a result of being placed in SHU, he has been prohibited from attending Nation of Islam services. See id. Finally, Plaintiff contends that Officer Rademacher confiscated Plaintiff's legal materials and has not returned them, thereby impeding his access to the courts. See id.

In opposition to this motion, Defendants have submitted the Department of Corrections' policies and directives that address Religious Programs and Practices and Inmate Grooming Standards, an Affidavit from Mark Leonard, who oversees all religious programs, and an Affidavit from Officer Rademacher. See Dkt. No. 212. Moreover, Defendants assert that the allegations and claims set forth in Plaintiff's motion have no relation to the claims set forth in Plaintiff's second amended complaint. See id. Finally, Defendants note that Officers Martinez, Corcoran and Rademacher, who allegedly were involved in the events alleged in the motion, are not Defendants in this action. See id.

The standard a court must use in considering whether to grant a request for injunctive relief is well-established in this Circuit. As the Second Circuit noted in Covino v. Patrissi, 967 F.2d 73 (2d Cir. 1992), the movant "must show (1) irreparable harm and (2) either (a) likelihood of success on the merits or (b) sufficiently serious questions going to the merits and a balance of hardships tipping decidedly toward the party seeking injunctive relief." Id. at 77 (emphasis added) (affirming district court's denial of inmate's request for preliminary injunction); see also Roucchio v. LeFevre, 850 F. Supp. 143, 144 (N.D.N.Y. 1994) (citation omitted).

Moreover, it is well-settled that, except in limited circumstances not relevant here, a court may not order injunctive relief as to non-parties to an action or where the relief requested is unrelated to, and not in furtherance of, the merits of the underlying claims in the complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d) (stating that "[e]very order granting an injunction . . . is binding only upon the parties to the action . . ."); United States v. Regan, 858 F.2d 115, 120 (2d Cir. 1988). Plaintiff is well aware of this rule of law. See Amaker v. Goord, No. 9:03-CV-1003 at Dkt. No. 139 (denying a motion for injunctive relief where the parties and claims involved in the motion were not the same as those set forth in the underlying action).

As in his prior case, the individuals whom Plaintiff identifies in his motion for a preliminary injunction as the perpetrators of the alleged wrongful conduct are not Defendants in this action. Furthermore, it is clear that the allegations giving rise to this motion are wholly unrelated to the events and claims set forth in Plaintiff's second amended ...


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