United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. Leichty Judge.
Jones, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a motion for
preliminary injunction, which this court construed as a
complaint. Mr. Jones was granted leave to proceed against the
Warden of the Westville Correctional Facility in his official
capacity for injunctive relief to provide Mr. Jones with
constitutionally adequate medical care for pain related to
his July 22, 2019 fall, as required by the Eighth Amendment.
The Warden has now responded to the motion for preliminary
“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). 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). Furthermore, under the Prison Litigation Reform Act,
injunctive relief must be “narrowly drawn, extend no
further than necessary to remedy the constitutional
violation, and must use the least intrusive means to correct
the violation of the federal right.” Westefer v.
Neal, 682 F.3d 679, 681 (7th Cir. 2012).
The 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, 682 F.3d at 683 (quotation marks,
brackets, and citations omitted).
Jones was injured when he fell on July 22, 2019. ECF 11-2 at
1-4. He was seen by a nurse the same day and provided with
medication (a Toradol injection), crutches, and a two-day
activity restriction. Id. at 2-3. He was seen by a
nurse the next day too, and x-rays of his ankle and hip were
ordered. Id. at 5-9. Those x-rays were taken just
two days after the injury, and revealed no significant
abnormalities, fractures, or dislocations. Id. at
10. On July 26, 2019 and July 27, 2019, Mr. Jones submitted
healthcare requests indicating that he would prefer a
wheelchair because he was having difficulty using the
crutches. ECF 11-3 at 1-2. A nurse saw Mr. Jones on July 29,
2019, and ordered a walker, which was provided on August 1,
2019. ECF 11-2 at 13, 15. He was seen by medical staff four
times in August and three times in September. Id. at
17-31. On August 5, 2019, Dr. Liau indicated that Mr. Jones
was able to ambulate with the walker, although at a slower
pace. Mr. Jones continued to request a wheelchair, but the
medical staff determined that the walker was appropriate.
Id. at 22, 25, 27, 31. One note indicates concern
that the wheelchair would “decrease mobility which is
not what is needed.” Id. at 25. Another note
indicates that Mr. Jones was advised to continue using the
walker because a “wheelchair would promote decreased
mobility, which is not desired.” Id. at 27.
medication, Mr. Jones was provided with Acetaminophen and
Naproxen from August 5, 2019 through September 3, 2019.
Id. at 23. He asked for refills on several
occasions, but refills were not provided. Instead, he was
told that he could purchase medication over the counter. ECF
11-1 at 3; ECF 11-2 at 30; ECF 11-3 at 8. Mr. Jones has not
indicated that he is unable to afford over-the- counter
medication, but if he is unable to afford it, there are
procedures in place to allow him to obtain the medication
free of charge. ECF 11-4; ECF 11-5.
Mr. Jones would prefer a wheelchair to the walker that he has
been provided; but, while Mr. Jones is entitled to
constitutionally adequate medical care, Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976), he is “not
entitled to demand specific care” and “not
entitled to the best care possible.” Forbes v.
Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir. 1997). Similarly, Mr.
Jones would prefer that the defendants provide pain
medication free of charge, but the Constitution does not
require free medical care. Poole v. Isaacs, 703 F.3d
1024, 1027 (7th Cir. 2012). The facts before the court at
this early juncture do not suggest that Mr. Jones will suffer