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Orr v. Elyea

February 25, 2009

JEFFREY ORR, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WILLARD O. ELYEA, MICHAEL PRUISIS, AND WEXFORD CORP., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY Chief U.S. District Judge

OPINION

On January 1, 2009, Plaintiffs filed both their Motion for Injunctive Relief and Motion to Certify Class (#16), (#18). On January 16, 2009, Defendant Willard O. Elyea filed both his Motion to Strike Motion for Injunctive Relief (#24) and his Motion to Strike Motion to Certify Class (#25). On that same day Defendant Wexford Corporation filed Responses (#27), (#28) in support of both of Defendant Elyea's Motions to Strike. On February 2, 2009, Plaintiffs filed their Responses (#34), (#35) in opposition to both of Defendants' Motions to Strike. On January 14, 2009, Defendant Elyea filed his Motion for Summary Judgment (#20). On January 20, 2009, Defendant Wexford filed a Motion for Order to Join in Co-Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (#29), which this court granted via text order on February 19, 2009. On February 9, 2009, Plaintiffs filed their Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion for Extension of Time for Additional Reply (#40) and on February 13, 2009, filed a Motion to Supplement Response to Motion for Summary Judgment (#41). For the following reasons, Defendants' Motions to Strike (#24), (#25) are both GRANTED, and Plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief (#16) and Motion to Certify Class (#18) are hereby stricken with leave given to re-file. Further, Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time for Additional Reply (#40) and Motion to Supplement Response to Motion for Summary Judgment (#40) are both GRANTED.

ANALYSIS

Plaintiffs are all inmates or former inmates of the Illinois Department of Corrections who claim their civil rights were violated in contravention of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 when Defendants were deliberately indifferent to their serious medical condition. Plaintiffs claim Defendants did not provide Plaintiffs needed medical treatment for Hepatitis C. A Complaint (#1) was filed on September 29, 2008. Defendants Wexford and Elyea filed their Answers (#12), (#13) on December 18 and December 19, 2009, respectively.

A. Plaintiffs' Motion for Injunctive Relief and Defendants' Motion to Strike

On January 1, 2009, Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Injunctive Relief (#16), in which they ask the court to order Defendants to strictly comply with the protocol established for treatment of Hepatitis C by the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Plaintiffs want the court to order strict compliance with the proposed NDDIC treatment protocols so as to prevent Defendants from liberally interpreting them. Plaintiffs also ask that the court, among other things, order Defendant Pruisis to implement a policy within the Department of Corrections (DOC) to file a lawsuit against Wexford and other medical providers who benefitted by failure to treat inmates. The suit should seek disgorgement of the medical providers unjust enrichment and the court should order whatever funds that are collected from the suit be placed in a fund and made available to those inmates who were denied treatment based upon claims to be filed after the suit is completed. Finally, Plaintiffs ask that the court appoint an independent physician who specializes in Hepatitis C to act as a "prisoner's advocate." Plaintiffs also filed a Memorandum in Support of the Motion for Injunctive Relief (#17) that essentially summarized its argument for injunctive relief and referred to an earlier jury trial in the Central District of Illinois, Roe, et al. v. Sims, 2006-CV-3034, where a jury found in favor of Hepatitis C-infected inmate plaintiffs. In neither the Motion (#16) nor the Memorandum (#17) was any citation made to statutory authority or supporting case law.

Defendant Elyea filed his Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' Motion for Injunctive Relief (#24) on January 16, 2009. His motion was joined that same day by Defendant Wexford's Response to Plaintiffs' Motion for Injunctive Relief (#27). In Elyea's Motion (#24), Defendant argues that Plaintiffs' Motion for Injunctive Relief must be stricken because it fails to comply with local court rules requiring every motion raising a question of law be accompanied by a memorandum of law including a brief statement of the specific points of law and supporting authorities upon which the moving party relies and identifying the rule under which the motion is filed.

The Court's Ruling

With regard to preliminary injunctive relief in civil actions regarding prison conditions, federal law states:

"In any civil action with respect to prison conditions, to the extent otherwise authorized by law, the court may enter a temporary restraining order or an order for preliminary injunctive relief. Preliminary injunctive relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to correct the harm the court finds requires preliminary relief, and be the least intrusive means necessary to correct that harm."

18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2). "'To prevail on a motion for a preliminary injunction, the moving party must demonstrate (1) a likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a lack of adequate remedy at law; and (3) an irreparable harm will result if the injunction is not granted.'" Lambert v. Buss, 498 F.3d 446, 451 (7th Cir. 2007), quoting Foodcomm Intern. v. Barry, 328 F.3d 300, 303 (7th Cir. 2003). If the party seeking the injunction meets all three requirements, the district court must then balance the relative harms that could be caused to either party. Lambert, 498 F.3d at 451. Forms of equitable, interlocutory relief such as preliminary injunctions are an exercise of a very far-reaching power which are not to be indulged in except in a case clearly demanding it. Girl Scouts of Manitou Council, Inc. v. Girl Scouts of U.S. of America, Inc., 549 F.3d 1079, 1085 (7th Cir. 2008).

Further, according to the Rules for the United States District Court, Central District of Illinois:

"Every motion raising a question of law shall be accompanied by a memorandum of law including a brief statement of the specific points or propositions of law and supporting authorities upon which the moving party relies, and identifying the rule under which the motion is filed." C.D. Ill. R. 7.1(B)(1).

Here, Plaintiffs have not provided a Memorandum of Law that includes any citation to supporting legal authority in their request for injunctive relief. Rather, their Memorandum (#17) simply summarizes reasons for the injunction without citing to any supporting legal authority. Further, Plaintiffs have not addressed how their request satisfies the three requirements for a preliminary injunction as listed by the Seventh Circuit in cases such as Lambert. Therefore, Defendants' Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' Motion for Injunctive Relief (#24) is hereby GRANTED. Plaintiffs' Motion for Injunctive Relief (#16) is stricken. Plaintiff may ...


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