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Gills v. Funk

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 15, 2015

JARYAN GILLS, Plaintiff,
v.
ARTHUR FUNK, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson entered on May 20, 2015 (Doc. 107). Magistrate Judge Wilkerson recommends that the undersigned deny Plaintiff Jaryan Gills's Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 90). Plaintiff filed a timely objection on May 29, 2015 (Doc. 109). For the reasons set forth below, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's Report and Recommendation is adopted in its entirety.

Background

Plaintiff Jaryan Gills, an inmate currently housed at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville"), brought this action alleging deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that prison officials and medical personnel at Stateville, Menard Correctional Center, and Lawrence Correctional Center have failed to adequately treat his inguinal hernia and four bullet fragments lodged in his body since his incarceration began in 2011.

On March 26, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion (Doc. 90) seeking a preliminary injunction compelling Defendants to send him to an outside specialist for surgery to repair his inguinal hernia and remove the bullet fragments from his body. Plaintiff asserts that he is in chronic pain and that his medical conditions severely restrict his daily activities.

On May 6, 2015, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson held an evidentiary hearing on Plaintiff's Motion. At the hearing, Plaintiff testified regarding the limitations on his daily activities caused by his medical conditions. Defendants elicited testimony from Dr. Obaisi, the Medical Director at Stateville, who testified that surgical repair for a hernia is an elective procedure and is only necessary if there are attendant complications - none of which are present with respect to Plaintiff's hernia. Regarding the bullet fragments, Dr. Obaisi testified that they are stable and superficial.

Conclusions of the Report and Recommendation

Based on the evidence before the Court, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson found that Plaintiff failed to establish the elements required to obtain a preliminary injunction. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson was mindful of the discomfort associated with Plaintiff's inguinal hernia and lodged bullet fragments. However, the extensive medical records detailing the care Plaintiff has received since 2011, as well as the testimony elicited at the hearing, indicated that Plaintiff's likelihood of success did not warrant injunctive relief. Moreover, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson held that the evidence did not support a finding that Defendants have acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious needs given that Plaintiff has received regular treatment for his medical conditions.

Discussion

The undersigned must undertake a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation because a timely objection was filed. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b); Harper v. City of Chicago Heights, 824 F.Supp. 786, 788 (N.D. Ill. 1993); see also Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). De novo review requires the district judge to "give fresh consideration to those issues to which specific objections have been made" and make a decision "based on an independent review of the evidence and arguments without giving any presumptive weight to the magistrate judge's conclusion." Harper, 824 F.Supp. at 788 (citing 12 Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 3076.8, at p. 55 (1st ed. 1973) (1992 Pocket Part)); Mendez v. Republic Bank, 725 F.3d 651, 661 (7th Cir. 2013). The Court "may accept, reject or modify the magistrate judge's recommended decision." Harper, 824 F.Supp. at 788. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), however, where neither timely nor specific objections to the Report and Recommendation are made, this Court need not conduct a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985).

A. Legal Standard for Obtaining a Preliminary Injunction

A preliminary injunction is "an extraordinary and drastic remedy, one that should not be granted unless the movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of persuasion." Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997). The purpose of such an injunction is to minimize the hardship to the parties pending the ultimate resolution of the lawsuit." Faheem-El v. Klincar, 841 F.2d 712, 717 (7th Cir. 1988). In order to obtain a preliminary injunction, Plaintiff has the burden of establishing that: (1) he is likely to succeed on the merits of his claim; (2) he has no adequate remedy at law; and (3) he is likely to suffer irreparable harm without the injunction. Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc. v. Comm'r of Indiana State Dep't Health, 699 F.3d 962, 972 (7th Cir. 2012), citing Am. Civil Liberties Union of Ill. v. Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583, 589-90 (7th Cir. 2012).

In the context of prisoner litigation, the scope of the Court's authority to enter an injunction is circumscribed by the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"). Westefer v. Neal, 682 F.3d 679, 683 (7th Cir. 2012). Under the PLRA, preliminary injunction 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); s ee also Westefer, 682 F.3d at 683 (noting the PLRA "enforces a point repeatedly made by the Supreme Court in cases challenging prison ...


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