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Igbinovia v. Dzurenda

United States District Court, D. Nevada

August 30, 2019

ENOMA IGBINOVIA, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES DZURENDA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction (ECF Nos. 3, 4) and Motion to Dispense Without the Requirement of Security (ECF No. 5). For the reasons stated below, the Court denies both motions.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed the complaint and application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on April 8, 2019. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff filed the instant motions on July 29, 2019. ECF Nos. 3, 4, 5.

         II. FACTS ALLEGED

         The Court briefly summarizes the facts alleged in Plaintiff's Complaint and Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order / Preliminary Injunction.

         Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections and has been incarcerated since October 27, 1997. Defendants have refused to properly deduct statutory good time credits and work/education credits from Plaintiff's sentence in accordance with Nevada law. Some similarly situated NDOC inmates have received the appropriate deductions while Plaintiff has not. This misapplication of Nevada law by Defendants has unlawfully extended Plaintiff's prison sentences. Plaintiff has exhausted the administrative grievance process. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have violated his substantive and procedural due process rights, his eighth amendment rights, his equal protection rights, and his first amendment rights, and his right to be free of ex post facto punishment. He seeks monetary damages and declaratory and injunctive relief.

         Plaintiff filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus addressing the same issue in the Clark County District Court, case number A-18-773846-W. In an order dated January 3, 2019, the Clark County District Court found that on June 25, 2018, the Offender Management Division had reviewed Plaintiff's credit history and adjusted the application of credit to his minimum sentence, consistent with Nevada law. As a result, Plaintiff's eligibility for a parole hearing was accelerated from February 1, 2021 to July 27, 2019.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         The analysis for a temporary restraining order is “substantially identical” to that of a preliminary injunction. Stuhlbarg Intern. Sales Co, Inc. v. John D. Brush & Co., Inc., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001). A preliminary injunction is “an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). To obtain a preliminary injunction, a plaintiff must establish four elements: “(1) a likelihood of success on the merits, (2) that the plaintiff will likely suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, (3) that the balance of equities tips in its favor, and (4) that the public interest favors an injunction.” Wells Fargo & Co. v. ABD Ins. & Fin. Servs., Inc., 758 F.3d 1069, 1071 (9th Cir. 2014), as amended (Mar. 11, 2014) (citing Winter, 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008)). A preliminary injunction may also issue under the “serious questions” test. Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1134 (9th Cir. 2011) (affirming the continued viability of this doctrine post-Winter). According to this test, a plaintiff can obtain a preliminary injunction by demonstrating “that serious questions going to the merits were raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff's favor, ” in addition to the other Winter elements. Id. at 1134-35 (citation omitted).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         The Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to raise serious questions as to the merits of his claims and has failed to show irreparable harm. The Court also finds that Plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief are likely not cognizable. The Court therefore denies preliminary injunctive relief.

         Plaintiff attaches to his motion the January 2, 2019 decision of the Clark County District Court. ECF No. 3 at 26-28. Because this order is a matter of public record, the Court takes judicial notice of the decision. Fed.R.Evid. 201.

         The Clark County District Court denied as moot Plaintiff's petition for writ of habeas corpus based on its finding that the Nevada Department of Corrections had already reviewed Plaintiff's credit history and appropriately applied credits under Nevada law. Though Plaintiff alleges that Defendants continue to refuse to apply Plaintiff's earned statutory good time credits, the state court has made factual findings that contradict this allegation. Therefore, the ...


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