United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN, United States District Court Chief Judge.
November 21, 2016, Plaintiff Ramon Clark filed suit alleging
Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claims against
Defendants. On April 10, 2017, Clark filed a motion for
temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction
(Doc. 36). Defendants filed responses on April 24, 2017
(Docs. 37, 38), and Clark replied on May 1, 2017 (Doc. 39).
Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams held an evidentiary
hearing on September 22, 2017, and later ordered supplemental
briefing by the parties. Following the supplemental briefing,
Judge Williams issued a report and recommendation (Doc. 118)
recommending that the undersigned deny Clark's motion.
Clark timely filed objections (Doc. 122) to which Defendants
responded (Doc. 123).
objections having been filed, the Court undertakes de
novo review of the portions to the Report to which
Plaintiff specifically objected. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b). The undersigned can
accept, reject, or modify Magistrate Judge Williams'
recommendations, receive further evidence, or recommit the
matter with instructions. Id. For
the reasons stated below, the Court ADOPTS
Magistrate Judge Williams' recommendations and
DENIES Clark's motion for a temporary
restraining order and for a preliminary injunction.
narrowed by the Court's threshold order (Doc. 5), Clark
alleges that he was denied proper medical care for mass on
his left testicle while incarcerated at both Pinckneyville
Correctional Center and Centralia Correctional Center. While
at Pinckneyville, Clark first complained about what he
described as a painful mass on his left testicle. He notified
medical staff to request a diagnosis. He met with a nurse who
confirmed that there was a lump and who recommended an
ultrasound. Wexford, however, did not approve the ultrasound.
A doctor, identified as John Doe, scheduled Clark for a
follow-up appointment. At the appointment, the John Doe
doctor identified the mass and noted that it might be
epididymitis, which is a swelling of the tube that connects
the testicle with the vas deferens, and that it was not
cancerous. The doctor determined that treatment was not
necessary and scheduled Clark for a follow-up appointment. On
May 4, 2016, before the appointment, Clark was transferred to
Centralia Correctional Center.
notified the medical staff at Centralia about the mass and
saw Dr. Shah on May 8, 2016. Shah denied a request by Clark
for pain medication and scheduled another follow-up
appointment. Clark filed an emergency grievance regarding
what he viewed as a lack of medical care. The grievance was
expedited, but the grievance officer concluded that
Clark's medical condition was being addressed by the
his grievance was denied, Clark notified the medical staff
that he was having radiating pain through his left leg due to
the mass. He met with Dr. Santos, who confirmed that the mass
was present and also identified it as epididymitis. As a
result, he prescribed no treatment, recommending that Clark
masturbate to alleviate the pain and tenderness. On August
17, 2016, Clark again complained about pain and was seen by
Dr. Garcia, who suspected that Clark had an infection. Dr.
Garcia prescribed an antibiotic and scheduled a follow-up
ultrasound if the antibiotic did not work.
to Clark, the antibiotic was ineffective, so he went to see
Dr. Santos again about his pain. Dr. Santos allegedly told
Clark that he did not know why Dr. Garcia had prescribed an
antibiotic or ordered an ultrasound. On September 20, 2016,
Clark saw Dr. Santos again and learned that Wexford denied
the request for an ultrasound. Santos refused Clark's
request for pain medication that day and again on October 6,
2016, prompting Clark to file suit alleging deliberate
indifference to his medical needs.
filing suit, Clark has continued to be seen by Dr. Santos and
Dr. Garcia. In January 2017, Dr. Santos gave Clark 200 mg of
ibuprofen for his pain. On January 25, 2017, Dr. Garcia
prescribed additional ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer. He also
scheduled an ultrasound. Clark received an ultrasound on
February 9, 2017. He learned that he did not have cancer but
did have a benign cyst from Dr. Santos on February 17, 2017.
After his diagnosis, however, Clark maintains that the
medical staff refuses to adequately treat his pain.
Defendants counter that Clark has a small epididymal cyst
measuring approximately 6mm. They are monitoring his
condition for changes, but the cysts are typically painless
and require no medical treatment, except in rare cases when
they increase in size or decrease blood flow to the penis. As
no complications have been identified through monitoring,
Defendants posit that removal is unnecessary at this time.
review of the motion for temporary restraining order and
preliminary injunction is de novo, the Court
conducts an “independent review of the evidence and
arguments without giving any presumptive weight to the
magistrate judge's conclusion, ” and “is
free, and encouraged, to consider all of the available
information about the case when making this independent
decision.” Mendez v. Republic Bank, 725 F.3d
651, 661 (7th Cir. 2013).
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)(emphasis in original). Accord Winter v.
Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008)
(“A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy
never awarded as of right”)(citation omitted). To
secure a preliminary injunction, the movant must show (1)
that he is likely to succeed on the merits, (2) that he is
likely to suffer irreparable harm without the injunction, (3)
that the harm he would suffer is greater than the harm a
preliminary injunction would inflict on defendants, and (4)
that the injunction is in the public interest. Judge v.
Quinn, 612 F.3d 537, 546 (7th Cir. 2010)(citing
Winter, 555 U.S. at 20). The “considerations
are interdependent: the greater the likelihood of success on
the merits, the less net harm the injunction must prevent in
order for preliminary relief to be warranted.”
Judge, 612 F.3d at 546. (citation omitted)
context of prisoner litigation, there are further
restrictions on courts' remedial power. The scope of the
court's authority to enter an injunction in the
corrections context 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). See also Westefer, 682 F.3d at 683
(“[T]he PLRA enforces a point repeatedly made
by the Supreme Court in cases challenging prison conditions:
prison officials have broad administrative and discretionary
authority over the institutions they manage.”)(internal
quotation marks and citation omitted).
Seventh Circuit has described injunctions like the one sought
here, where an injunction would require an affirmative act by
the defendant, as a mandatory preliminary injunction.
Graham v. Med. Mut. of Ohio, 130 F.3d 293, 295 (7th
Cir. 1997). Mandatory injunctions are “cautiously
viewed and sparingly issued, ” since they require the
court to command a defendant to take a particular action.
Id. (citing Jordan v. ...