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Garrett v. Wexford Health

United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

July 3, 2014

KAREEM GARRETT, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH, et al., Defendants.

MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Cynthia Reed Eddy, United States Magistrate Judge

I. RECOMMENDATION

It is respectfully submitted that the Motion For Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction filed by Plaintiff (ECF No. 21) be denied.

II. REPORT

A. Procedural History

This matter comes before the Court for consideration of a motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by Plaintiff, Kareem Garrett, a pro se prisoner, currently housed at the State Correctional Institution (“SCI”) at Houtzdale. In this motion, Plaintiff alleges that he has been denied care for his serious medical needs.

According to Plaintiff, he is “suffering from hip and spine injuries and accompanying infirmities . . . ” and Defendants are not providing him with appropriate medical assistance or physical therapy.

The relief sought in this motion closely parallels the claims made by Plaintiff in his complaint, and demands this injunctive relief at the very outset of this litigation, before the Complaint or Amended Complaint have even been served upon the Defendants.

B. Standard of Review

Inmate pro se pleadings, like those filed here, which seek extraordinary, or emergency relief, in the form of preliminary injunctions are governed by Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and are judged against exacting legal standards. As the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has explained:

Four factors govern a district court’s decision whether to issue a preliminary injunction: (1) whether the movant has shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits; (2) whether the movant will be irreparably injured by denial of the relief, (3) whether granting preliminary relief will result in even greater harm to the nonmoving party; and (4) whether granting the preliminary relief will be in the public interest.

Gerardi v. Pelullo, 16 F.3d 1363 (3d Cir. 1994) (quoting SI Handling Systems, Inc. v. Heisley, 753 F.2d 1244, 1254 (3d Cir. 1985)).

A preliminary injunction is not granted as a matter of right. Kerschner v. Mazurkewicz, 670 F.2d 440, 443 (3d Cir. 1982). It is an extraordinary remedy. Given the extraordinary nature of this form of relief, a motion for preliminary injunction places precise burdens on the moving party. As a threshold matter, “it is a movant’s burden to show that the ‘preliminary injunction must be the only way of protecting the plaintiff from harm.’” Emile v. SCI-Pittsburgh, No. 94-974, 2006 WL 2773261 at *6 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 24, 2006) (quoting Campbell Soup Co. v. ConAgra, Inc., 977 F.2d 86, 91 (3d Cir. 1992)). Thus, when considering such requests, courts are cautioned that:

[A] 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 deleted). Furthermore, the Court must recognize that ‘an [i]njunction is an equitable remedy which should not be lightly indulged in, but used sparingly and only in a clear and plain case.’ Plain Dealer Publishing Co. v. Cleveland Typographical Union #53, 520 F.2d 1220, 1230 (6th Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 428 U.S. 909 (1977). As a corollary to the principle that preliminary injunctions should issue only in a clear and plain case, the Court of Appeals for the Third ...

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