United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ROBERT J. PEDREIRA, Plaintiff,
ASST. WARDEN FMC DEVENS, et al., Defendant.
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge.
reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss this action
August 28, 2017, Robert J. Pedreira, who is confined at FMC
Devens, filed a Motion for Emergency Injunction against three
of the prison's administrators. He requested that the
Court prevent the defendants from placing him in
“refusal status” based on his alleged inability
to make a payment required under the Inmate Financial
Responsibility Plan (“IFRP”). The IFRP requires
inmates who have outstanding debts or obligations to make
payments on these obligations while incarcerated.
Technically, the program is voluntary, but if an inmate does
not make a required quarterly payment, he may be placed in
“refusal” status and lose certain privileges.
See 28 C.F.R. §§ 545.10, 545.11(d).
alleges that he does not have enough money to make the $25
IFRP payment due on September 9, 2017. He further
asserts that when calculating the amount of his IFRP payment,
the administrators wrongfully and knowingly took into account
a one-time cash gift that he had received when he arrived at
FMC Devens. He represents that his only source of income is
from prison employment. He further asserts the only way he
can make his IFRP payment is to forgo communication with his
family and his modest commissary purchases for toiletries.
alleges that he has contacted prison staff to try to resolve
this issue, but has not been granted any relief. He asks that
the Court order that he not be placed in IFRP refusal status
pending his exhaustion of administrative remedies. Pedreira
did not file a complaint, pay the filing fee, or seek leave
to proceed in forma pauperis.
Court will deny the motion for an injunction for both
procedural and substantive reasons.
procedural side, Pedreira has not properly commenced a civil
action. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“[a] civil action is commenced by filing a complaint
with the court.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 3. A court cannot grant
any sort of preliminary injunctive relief unless a plaintiff
can show that he is likely to succeed on the merits of the
claims set forth in his complaint. See Peoples Fed. Sav.
Bank. v. People's United Bank, 672 F.3d 1, 9 (1st
Cir. 2012). Thus, a motion for an emergency injunction cannot
be adjudicated without reference to an underlying complaint.
construing the motion for an emergency injunction as a
complaint does not cure the impediments to granting Pedreira
relief. Where a litigant makes a request for a temporary
restraining order without notice to the adverse party, he
must, among other things, certify in writing “any
efforts made to give notice [to the adverse party] and
reasons why it should not be required.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
65(b)(1)(B). Here, Pedreira has not made any such
substantive side, the Court cannot adjudicate this matter
because Pedreira has not exhausted his administrative
remedies. Congress has mandated that “[n]o action . . .
be brought with respect to prison conditions under . . .
Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any . . . correctional
facility until such administrative remedies as are available
are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); see
Indelicato v. Suarez, 207 F.Supp.2d 216, 219-20
(S.D.N.Y. 2002) (dismissing action in which prisoner
challenged IFRP refusal status because prisoner had not
completed the four-step administrative remedy process of the
Bureau of Prisons).
Pedreira has not made factual allegations from which the
Court can reasonably infer that placing him in IFRP refusal
status is unlawful, even if defendants erred in considering a
one-time gift in determining his IFRP obligations. The
“refuse” conditions imposed in 28 C.F.R. §
545.11(d) for failing to participate in the IFRP do not
implicate a liberty or property interest. See, e.g.,
Driggers v. Cruz, 740 F.3d 333, 338 (5th Cir. 2014);
United States v. Lemoine, 546 F.3d 1042, 1050 (9th
the motion for an emergency injunction is DENIED without
prejudice and this ...