United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
J. McKINNEY, JUDGE
Richard Allen Smith shall have through August 22, 2017, in
which to either pay the $400.00 filing fee for this action or
demonstrate that he lacks the financial ability to do so. If
he seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis, his
request must be accompanied by a copy of the transactions
associated with his institution trust account for the 6-month
period preceding the filing of this action on July 7, 2017.
is one and only one means by which to commence a civil action
in federal court. That means is through the filing of a
complaint. In re Allied Signal Corp., 915 F.2d 190,
192 (6th Cir. 1990) (“an action is commenced with the
filing of a complaint rather than a motion”); 1 James
Wm. Moore et al., MOORE'S FEDERAL PRACTICE § 3.02
(3d ed.2000) (“an action is not commenced by . . .
filing a motion with the court . . . .”). Smith's
motion for injunctive relief is not a complaint and therefore
is not sufficient to commence a civil action for relief.
to Rule 3 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a civil
action is commenced upon the filing of a complaint with the
court. If Smith wishes to file a lawsuit, he must file a
complaint, and in doing so he shall be guided by the
following: (a) the complaint shall comply with the
requirement of Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure that pleadings contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief. . . .”; (b) the complaint shall comply with
the requirement of Rule 10 that the allegations in a
complaint be made in numbered paragraphs, each of which
should recite, as far as practicable, only a single set of
circumstances; (c) the complaint must identify what legal
injury he claims to have suffered and what persons are
responsible for each such legal injury; and (d) the complaint
shall contain a clear statement of the relief which is
sought. If Smith wishes to obtain relief from this Court
then, he must file a complaint and he will have through
August 22, 2017, to do so. To assist him, the Clerk shall
include a form complaint with Smith's copy of this Entry.
If a complaint is submitted as directed in the preceding
paragraph, Smith should place the above cause number on it
and the Court will direct its further processing as
Court further notes that even if the motion for injunctive
relief were properly filed, it would be denied because it
does not demonstrate Smith's entitlement to that relief.
A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary equitable remedy
that is available only when the movant shows clear need.
See Goodman v. Ill. Dep't of Fin. & Prof'l
Regulation, 430 F.3d 432, 437 (7th Cir. 2005). A party
seeking a preliminary injunction must show (1) that his case
has “some likelihood of success on the merits, ”
and (2) that he has “no adequate remedy at law and will
suffer irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is
denied.” Ezell v. City of Chi., 651 F.3d 684,
694 (7th Cir.2011). If the moving party meets these threshold
requirements, the district court “weighs the factors
against one another, assessing whether the balance of harms
favors the moving party or whether the harm to the nonmoving
party or the public is sufficiently weighty that the
injunction should be denied.” Id.
Smith has failed to show that he has a reasonable likelihood
of success on his request for a transfer. He alleges that on
April 6, 2016, when he was in the Special Housing Unit of the
United States Petitionary in Terre Haute, his cellmate died
and he has been accused of his cellmate's murder. Smith
was transferred out of the USP Terre Haute, but has since
been returned to that facility. He states, with little
elaboration, that he has been subjected to retaliation from
correctional officers, some of whom were involved in his
“predicament.” He concludes that his liberty, and
possibly his life, are in jeopardy.
allegations are insufficient to allow the Court to conclude
that Smith has stated a viable claim, much less shown his
entitlement to injunctive relief. First, to the extent Smith
can be understood to seek any relief based on his potential
prosecution for the death of his cellmate, this Court has no
authority or inclination to interfere with an ongoing
investigation and prosecution. Next, as explained in Part II
of this Entry, a viable complaint must, among other things,
identify what legal injury the plaintiff claims to have
suffered and what persons are responsible for each such legal
injury. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 757
(7th Cir. 2011) (“there must be individual
participation and involvement by the defendant.”).
While he alleges that certain people are retaliating against
him, he has identified no individual who is responsible for
the alleged retaliation. Finally, any request for a transfer
must be considered in light of the requirement that prison
officials "must be accorded wide-ranging deference in
the . . . execution of policies and practices that in their
judgment are needed to preserve internal order and discipline
and to maintain institutional security." Pardo v.
Hosier, 946 F.2d 1278, 1280-81 (7th Cir. 1991).
the motion for injunctive relief is not a complaint and is
insufficient to show Smith's entitlement to injunctive
relief. Smith shall have through August 22, 2017, to file a
complaint and if he files a complaint, he must also pay the
$400.00 filing fee or demonstrate his inability to do so.
motion regarding letter, dkt. , is granted to the extent
that the Clerk shall include a copy of the docket with
Smith's copy of this Entry. ...