United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Martinsburg
MICHAEL K. LANHAM, Plaintiff,
JEFF S. SANDY, Cabinet Secretary, BETSY JIVIDEN, Commissioner of Corrections, DEBBIE HISSOM, Director of Inmate Health Services, MICHAEL MARTIN, Acting Superintendent Warden, SHERRY DAVIS, Associate of Warden Operations, KEVIN C. HOLLORAN, Wexford Health Director, NORMAN MCKANN, DR. DAVID PROCTOR, Primary Care Giver, KIMBERLY PATTON, Health Services Administrator, DR. MYILES, Primary Care Giver, Defendants.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
M. GROH CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is the Report and Recommendation (AR&R@)
of United States Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble. Pursuant
to this Court's Local Rules, this action was referred to
Magistrate Judge Trumble for submission of a proposed
R&R. Magistrate Judge Trumble issued his R&R [ECF No.
11] on March 13, 2019. In his R&R, Magistrate Judge
Trumble recommends that the Plaintiff's Motion for an
Injunction [ECF No. 6] be denied.
Standard of Review
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this Court must conduct a
de novo review of the magistrate judge's
findings where objection is made. However, the Court is not
required to review, under a de novo or any other
standard, the factual or legal conclusions of the magistrate
judge to which no objection is made. Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). Failure to file timely objections
constitutes a waiver of de novo review and of a
plaintiff's right to appeal this Court's Order.
28.U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Snyder v. Ridenour, 889
F.2d 1363, 1366 (4th Cir. 1989); United States v.
Schronce, 727 F.2d 91, 94 (4th Cir. 1984).
to Magistrate Judge Trumble's R&R were due within
fourteen plus three days of service. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Service was accepted by the
pro se Plaintiff on March 18, 2019. ECF No. 13. The
Plaintiff filed his objections on April 2, 2019. ECF No. 15.
Accordingly, the Court will review the portions of the
R&R to which the Plaintiff objects de novo.
March 8, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF No. 1. On the same
day, he filed motion for injunctive relief alleging that his
life is in “imminent danger” because the
Defendants have denied “medical care and
treatment” for the Plaintiff's “Chron's
disease and an infection in his lower left lobe of his left
lung.” ECF No. 6 at 1. The Plaintiff requests that the
Court order the Defendants to provide specific medical
treatment for his ailments. Id. at 4-5.
demonstrate a right to injunctive relief, a plaintiff must
establish “that he is likely to succeed on the merits,
that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence
of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in
his favor, and that an injunction is in the public
interest.” Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council,
Inc. 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); see also
Int'l Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, 883
F.3d 233, 255-56 (4th Cir. 2018), as amended (Feb.
28, 2018). While a plaintiff “need not establish a
certainty of success” the plaintiff “must make a
clear showing that he is likely to succeed at trial.”
Int'l Refugee Assistance Project, 883 F.3d at
256 (citing WV Ass'n of Club Owners & Fraternal
Servs., Inc. v. Musgrave, 553 F.3d 292, 298 (4th Cir.
2009)). This standard becomes even more stringent when a
plaintiff seeks an injunction that mandates action, as
contrasted with one that merely preserves the status quo.
See East Tennessee Natural Gas Co v. Sage, 361 F.3d
case, the Plaintiff cannot meet the four-part Winter
test. First, the Plaintiff has not established that he is
likely to succeed on the merits. To succeed on a § 1983
claim, the Plaintiff must establish that he was
“deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or
laws of the United States, and that the alleged deprivation
was committed under color of state law.” Am. Mfrs.
Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 49-50 (1999). In
this case, the Plaintiff has not established that the state
prison officials have been deliberately indifferent to his
medical needs, thereby depriving him of a constitutional
right. “Disagreements between an inmate and a physician
over the inmate's proper medical care do not state a
§ 1983 claim unless exceptional circumstances are
alleged.” Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 849
(4th Cir. 1985) (quoting Gittlemacker v. Prasse, 428
F.2d 1, 6 (3rd Cir. 1970)). Although the Plaintiff has
established that he suffers from various chronic health
conditions, none of the medical records indicate that the
Plaintiff needs the level of care that he seeks. Prison
officials have explicitly addressed the Plaintiff's
concerns regarding his medical care [see ECF No. 7]
and the Plaintiff has not demonstrated that he needs care
beyond that which has been provided. While the Plaintiff
argues in his objections that “had he been properly
treated” certain “damage” would not have
occurred, there is nothing in his medical records that
indicate his symptoms have worsened due to a failure to
treat. Accordingly, the Plaintiff has not established that he
is likely to succeed on the merits.
the Plaintiff has not demonstrated that he is likely to
suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief.
While the Plaintiff claims that his life is in imminent
danger because his medical conditions have been left
untreated, he simultaneously provides documentation of
treatment he has received in the past year. Moreover, prison
officials have explicitly addressed the Plaintiff's
concerns and have stated that the Plaintiff's “life
is not in danger, ” and that he is not
“terminally ill.” See ECF No. 7 at 91,
94. Accordingly, the Plaintiff has not shown a likelihood of
the Plaintiff has failed to show that the balance of equities
tip in his favor. Correctional facilities must be permitted
to exercise control over their facilities and the inmates
therein, including medical treatment for those inmates. The
Plaintiff has not submitted any medical records or other
documents that support his claims that he needs medical care
beyond that which he has already received. Accordingly, the
balance of equities do not tip in the Plaintiff's favor.
the Plaintiff has not even addressed that an injunction would
be in the public interest. Accordingly, the Plaintiff has not
demonstrated that the ...