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Arnold v. Keris

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

November 26, 2018

KEANDRE ARNOLD, Plaintiff,
v.
ELLEN KERIS Doctor, et al. SEXTON Lt., DAVIS Major, ERIC LOWE, KRISTINA STEVENS MHP, JACQUELINE BLACK MHP, CRAIG CANNIFF MHP, KRISTEN DAUSS Dr., UTM HUBBLER, Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING MOTIONS RELATED TO THE PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II JUDGE

         Presently pending before the Court are a number of plaintiff Keandre Arnold's motions for preliminary injunction and for a hearing for the pending motions. Dkts. 17, 44, 47, 48, 56, and 57. For reference, the claims that are proceeding in this action are that:

(1) Dr. Keris, Ms. Stevens, Ms. Black, Mr. Canniff, Dr. Daws, Lt. Sexton, Major Davis, Mr. Lowe, and Mr. Hubbler violated Mr. Arnold's due process rights by taking his personal property, restraining him in a bed on June 9, 2018, and issuing sanctions including the denial of a mattress for 90 days with no process for appeal;
(2) Dr. Keris, Ms. Stevens, Ms. Black, Mr. Canniff, Dr. Daws, Lt. Sexton, Major Davis, Mr. Lowe, and Mr. Hubbler violated Mr. Arnold's right to equal protection because they allegedly denied him the same privileges, specifically religious literature, access to his medical records, and adequate recreation, that white and non-Muslim inmates received; and
(3) Dr. Keris, Ms. Stevens, Ms. Black, Mr. Canniff, Dr. Daws, Lt. Sexton, Major Davis, Mr. Lowe, and Mr. Hubbler placed Mr. Arnold, a seriously mentally ill offender, in a segregation-like setting in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Dkt. 12.

         I. Procedural Background of the Preliminary Injunction Motions

         Mr. Arnold's September 4, 2018, motion for preliminary injunction/temporary restraining order requests that the Court issue an order requiring: (1) the transfer of Mr. Arnold from New Castle Correctional Facility to Indiana State Prison; (2) the return of his personal property; (3) weekly therapy sessions with Dr. Keris; (4) the transfer of Mr. Arnold to another housing range; (5) the provision of recreation time; and (6) access to the law library and J-Pay/mailing system. Dkt. 17. Mr. Arnold specifically requests that he remain under the sole care of Dr. Keris. Dkt. 17-1 at 2.

         In response, the medical defendants (Craig Canniff, Jacqueline Black, Kristina Stevens, Ellen Keris, and Kristen Dauss) explain that Mr. Arnold has a “long history of mental and behavioral instability which over time has unfortunately manifested into a number of behavioral outbursts, disciplinary infractions and suicide attempts.” Dkt. 39 at 3. As a result, Mr. Arnold was transferred and admitted to the New Castle Psychiatric Unit. Id. at 4. Since a serious suicide attempt in November 2016, Mr. Arnold “has been closely monitored and all considerations for available property, housing assignments and phase levels must be discussed through [his] treatment team.” Id.

         The medical defendants explain that a transfer to a new facility, for broader access to his personal property, or a transfer to a different cell house is not indicated currently and may only be made as a result of careful consideration and discussion from his psychiatric team. Id. at 4. They also explain that Mr. Arnold has consistent access to group therapy twice a week as well as individualized therapy every other week and mental health medication through a licensed psychiatrist, but that Mr. Arnold “does not have a strong track record for participation and engagement with group and individual therapy, as [he] is known to skip group sessions or not engage in discussions when present.” Id. at 4-5. As to recreation time, the medical defendants note that he is offered daily recreation. Id. at 5-6. The medical defendants explain that the security staff provide Mr. Arnold with access to the law library and J-Pay system in accordance with security directives. Id. at 6. Dr. Keris submitted an affidavit that “[a]fter [Mr. Arnold] has exhibited the ability to avoid self-injurious and belligerent behavior, as well as stable mood and behavior, the treatment team will consider potential transfers and other accommodations that can be offered at New Castle.” Id. at 6. Dr. Keris explained that Mr. Arnold is currently at phase level 3C, which means he is allowed to be uncuffed and have the highest level of access to property that the treatment team can offer at New Castle. Dkt. 39-1 at 2. She further explains that his phase level is reviewed weekly by his treatment team, and that his phase has been increased twice over the previous three months, permitting him additional privileges and access to additional property. Id. at 3.

         The GEO defendants (Lt. Sexton, Major Davis, Mr. Huber, and Mr. Eric Lowe) assert in their response that Mr. Arnold's access to personal property has increased due to his progression through a certain behavior phase in the mental health unit, that the GEO defendants have no ability to provide medical or mental health care to Mr. Arnold, and that Mr. Arnold has been permitted the use of J-Pay, the law library, and mailing services, subject to scheduling and staff issues. Dkt. 43.

         On October 19, 2018, Mr. Arnold filed a second motion for preliminary injunction requesting that Dr. Keris be prohibited from exercising her license as a doctor, and that he be re-evaluated by different mental health staff. Dkt. 44.

         On October 24, 2018, Mr. Arnold filed a “motion to intervene/emergency hearing for pending injunction/TRO/Show cause, ” asserting that he is required to be in restraints and that medical/mental health treatment is being forced upon him. Dkt. 47. He also asserts that the defendants have falsified documents, although he does not identify any documents that are allegedly falsified, and that another inmate has attacked him. Id. On the same day, Mr. Arnold filed a “motion to set hearing on preliminary injunction & to[] show cause/motion for discovery.” Dkt. 48. Mr. Arnold again states that the defendants' response to his motion for preliminary injunction is false and provides false testimony. He requests a hearing on the motion. He also asserts that the defendants have failed to produce documents they have deemed to be privileged.

         On November 8, 2018, Mr. Arnold filed a “motion ordering defendants to show cause for TRO/injunction, ” requesting that the Court order the defendants to produce “conduct reports” or other proof documenting his mental health issues. Dkt. 56. On November 16, 2018, Mr. Arnold file a “motion order defendants to show cause and produce, ” ...


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