United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
1, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunction
(Doc. 48). Defendants filed a response (Doc. 52) in
opposition to the motion. Plaintiff filed a reply brief (Doc.
54). The Court held a hearing on the motion on August 27,
2019. For the following reasons, the Court now denies the
Plaintiff initially requested a preliminary injunction as
part of his Complaint (Doc. 1). On March 6, 2019, an Order
was entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A setting forth
Plaintiff's claims for violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Rehabilitation Act
(“RA”), and deliberate difference to his
conditions of confinement. (Doc. 4). Plaintiff alleged that
the cell he was housed in at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”) failed to accommodate his disability.
His cell at Menard was not ADA accessible as it lacked
assistive railings and his mattress, although designed to
prevent bedsores, did not fit the bed frame provided
(Id. at pp. 2-3). Plaintiff also alleged that he was
not able to shower at Menard because the shower chair was not
designed to assist handicap individuals in the shower. The
Court held a hearing on Plaintiff's original motion and
accepted additional briefing. Before the Court issued a
ruling, however, Plaintiff was transferred to Lawrence
Correctional Center, and his request for injunctive relief
was mooted out by the transfer (Doc. 42).
later transferred back to Menard (Doc. 44). Subsequently, he
filed the pending motion for preliminary injunction arguing
that his bed and shower were still not handicap accessible
(Doc. 48). Plaintiff acknowledged that he had assistive
railing in his cell (Doc. 48, p. 3). Plaintiff requested a
new bedframe for his mattress, one that lacked an upper bunk
as the upper bunk made it difficult for him to transfer from
his bed to his wheelchair (Id. at p. 7). He also
requested a lowered and removeable shower head and button so
that it is easier to turn on the water in the shower
(Id. at p. 8). In the alternative, Plaintiff
requested to be released from custody as he only has nine
months left on his prison sentence (Id.).
response to Plaintiff's motion, Defendants indicated that
they were in the process of providing Plaintiff with an
accessible bed frame and shower (Doc. 52, p. 2). A work order
was placed for engineers to install an assistive pole in the
shower to access the water button and to adjust
Plaintiff's bed frame so that it fits his mattress
(Id. at p. 2, 52-1, p. 1-2). At the time the
response was filed, the work to the shower was delayed due to
the need to address flooding at Menard (Doc. 52-1, p. 2).
Until the shower area was modified, Defendants indicated that
an ADA attendant was assigned to Plaintiff to help in the
shower (Id.). Plaintiff, in a reply brief, refuted
Defendants' contentions, arguing that the Defendants were
lying to the Court about their efforts to make
Plaintiff's cell and shower accessible (Doc. 54). He
argued that the pole being placed in the shower was only
prescribed to make transfers to the shower chair safer and
not for reaching the water button (See Docs. 54, p.
3; 31-2). According to Plaintiff, he was actually prescribed
a lowered shower head and button by Dr. Butalid rather than a
vertical grab pole (Id. at p. 5). Plaintiff cannot
climb the pole to press the water button. As to
Plaintiff's ADA attendant, Plaintiff alleged that he was
fired and, at the time he filed his reply, was currently in
segregation (Id. at pp. 6 and 9). The attendant also
lacked training and refused to stand in the shower and press
the button for Plaintiff.
mentioned above, the Court held a hearing on Plaintiff's
motion on August 27, 2019. At the hearing, Plaintiff
acknowledged that Defendants were modifying his bed and, in
fact, workers arrived at his cell prior to the hearing to
modify the bunk in his cell. He also acknowledged that he had
been assigned a new ADA attendant, but the attendant was not
allowed in the shower with him. The Court also heard
testimony from Assistant Warden and ADA Coordinator Anthony
Wills. At the close of the hearing, the Court ordered
Defendants to submit pictures of Plaintiff's cell and
shower, a video of the shower stall with the water running,
and updated medical records. The Court has received those
additional exhibits and reviewed them.
preliminary injunction is an “extraordinary and drastic
remedy” for which there must be a “clear
showing” that a plaintiff is entitled to relief.
Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997)
(quoting 11A Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R Miller, & Mary
Kay Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure §2948 (5th ed.
1995)). 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). A plaintiff
has the burden of demonstrating:
1. a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits;
2. no adequate remedy at law; and
3. irreparable harm absent the injunction.
Planned Parenthood v. Commissioner of Indiana State Dept.
Health, 699 F.3d 962, 972 (7th Cir. 2012).
the first hurdle, the Court must determine whether
“plaintiff has any likelihood of success-in other
words, a greater than negligible chance of winning.”
AM General Corp. v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 311 F.3d
796, 804 (7th Cir. 2002). Once a plaintiff has met his
burden, the Court must weigh “the balance of harm to
the parties if the injunction is granted or denied and also
evaluate the effect of an injunction on the public
interest.” Id.; Korte v. Sebelius,
735 F.3d 654, 665 (7th Cir. 2013). “This equitable
balancing proceeds on a sliding-scale analysis; the greater
the likelihood of success of the merits, the less heavily the
balance of harms must tip in the moving party's
favor.” Korte, 735 F.3d at 665. In addition,
the Prison Litigation Reform Act provides that a preliminary
injunction must be “narrowly drawn, extend no further
than necessary to correct the harm . . ., ” and
“be the least intrusive means necessary to ...