United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Orr, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a motion asking for
preliminary injunctive relief. Orr is proceeding on claims
for monetary damages and permanent injunctive relief arising
out of an injury to his left elbow in 2017. He has been
granted leave to proceed against Warden Sevier in his
official capacity for injunctive relief to receive medical
treatment for chronic pain in his left elbow as required by
the Eighth Amendment. In his motion, he asks the court to
order the defendant to:
(1) “arrange for Plaintiff to be examined by an
off-site neurologist or medical doctor” (ECF 10 at 1);
(2) “cease the Westville Control Facility, Operation
Directive, forcing injured inmates to be
restrained/handcuffed from behind” id.; and
(3) “provide adequate medical care and treatment for
Plaintiff's chronic elbow pain and numbness, including
adequate physical therapy, adequate pain management with
recommended medication and continual monitoring.”
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). An injunction
ordering the defendant to take an affirmative act rather than
merely refrain from specific conduct is “cautiously
viewed and sparingly issued.” Graham v. Med. Mut.
of Ohio, 130 F.3d 293, 295 (7th Cir. 1997) (quotation
marks and citation omitted). To obtain a preliminary
injunction, the moving party must show (1) he will suffer
irreparable harm before the final resolution of his claims;
(2) available remedies at law are inadequate; and (3) he has
a likelihood of success on the merits. See BBL, Inc. v.
City of Angola, 809 F.3d 317, 323-24 (7th Cir.
2015). The court then “weighs the competing harms to
the parties if an injunction is granted or denied and also
considers the public interest.” Korte v.
Sebelius, 735 F.3d 654, 665 (7th Cir. 2013).
[t]he PLRA circumscribes the scope of the court's
authority to enter an injunction in the corrections context.
Where prison conditions are found to violate federal rights,
remedial injunctive relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no
further than necessary to correct the violation of the
Federal right, and use the least intrusive means necessary to
correct the violation of the Federal right. This section of
the 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.
Westefer v. Neal, 682 F.3d 679 (7th Cir. 2012)
(quotation marks, brackets, and citations omitted).
asks for three specific injunctive remedies. However, the
first two are unavailable. Orr asks to be taken to an
off-site physician to be examined. However, the PLRA requires
a narrowly drawn remedy. Under the Eighth Amendment, inmates
are entitled to adequate medical care. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). Inmates are not,
however, “entitled to demand specific care” or
“the best care possible.” Forbes v.
Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir. 1997). The
constitution does not prescribe where nor by whom medical
care must be provided. Here, he has not demonstrated that
going to an off-site physician is necessary. Therefore he has
no chance of success on the merits of obtaining an injunction
requiring off-site treatment.
also asks that injured inmates not be handcuffed from behind.
However, as explained in the screening order, Orr does not
allege that he currently has such an injury. He is not
proceeding on a claim for permanent injunctive relief related
to this request. Therefore he has no chance of success on the
merits of obtaining an injunction requiring other injured
inmates be handcuffed other than behind their backs.
leaves his request for an injunction to obtain adequate
medical care and treatment for his chronic left elbow pain
and numbness. Orr is proceeding on a claim for permanent
injunctive relief to obtain this same remedy. He has a
likelihood of success on the merits of this claim. It is also
clear available remedies at law would be inadequate. However,
it is unclear whether he is being denied adequate medical
care as required by the Eighth Amendment. It is also unclear
whether he will suffer irreparable harm before the final
resolution of his claims if he does not obtain preliminary
injunctive relief. These two questions need to be addressed
further by both Orr and Warden Sevier.
these reasons, the court:
DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service to
deliver a copy of this order and the motion for a preliminary
injunction (ECF 10) to Warden Sevier at the Indiana
Department of Correction;
ORDERS Warden Sevier to file and serve by July
18, 2019, a response to the motion for a
preliminary injunction with a sworn statement (and supporting
medical documentation as necessary) explaining how Michael
Orr is ...