United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
DONALD J. STANLEY, Plaintiff,
WEXFORD MEDICAL SERVICES, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
P. SIMON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
J. Stanley, an inmate at the Westville Correctional Facility,
filed a complaint alleging that he has been denied access to
his Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, used
to treat sleep apnea, since October 13, 2019. I granted him
leave to proceed on a single claim against the Warden of the
Westville Correctional Center in his official capacity for
injunctive relief to provide Stanley with adequate treatment
for his sleep apnea, as required by the Eighth Amendment. He
now alleges that he has been retaliated against, and he has
filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction because of
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). 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). 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). It is true that every inmate is entitled to receive
constitutionally adequate medical care. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976). However, before an
inmate can obtain injunctive relief, he must make a clear
showing that the medical care he is receiving violates the
Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
See Westefer v. Neal, 682 F.3d 679, 683 (7th Cir.
2012); Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972
complaint alleges that, when he was transferred to the
Westville Control Unit on October 13, 2019, he was no longer
permitted to use his CPAP machine. Without the CPAP machine,
he worries that he will stop breathing in his sleep. In the
motion now before me, Stanley seeks an injunction because he
alleges that he is being retaliated against. He seeks an
order that: (1) he be provided with his legal mail in a
timely manner; (2) he have access to law library resources;
(3) prohibits his transfer to another facility; (3) prohibits
prison staff from disrupting him while using his CPAP
machine; (4) permits him to have the supplies necessary to
utilize his CPAP machine; and (5) directs prison staff to
provide him with a prison job.
the relief Stanley seeks falls outside the scope of the claim
he was granted leave to proceed on - a claim for adequate
treatment for his sleep apnea. The only allegations in the
motion for preliminary injunction related to his sleep apnea
treatment are that on July 20, 2019, an officer turned off
his CPAP while he was using it and attempted to take the
distilled water that he needs for his machine. I cannot find
that Stanley will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
an injunction based on this single isolated incident from
nearly five months ago. Furthermore, it appears that Stanley
is once again using his CPAP machine. If so, then he is
likely receiving all the medical care that the Eighth
Amendment requires for his sleep apnea, and I cannot find
that he has a sufficient likelihood of success to warrant a
Stanley alleges that, due to his need for CPAP treatment, he
may be transferred to a different facility. “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). Prison
officials must afford inmates their constitutional rights,
but where to house an inmate is just the type of decision
that is squarely within the discretion of prison officials.
If a transfer allows the IDOC to better meet Stanley's
medical needs, the Constitution does not prohibit that
Donald J. Stanley's motion for a preliminary ...