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Kloss v. SCI Albion

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

August 14, 2017

Daniel A. Kloss, Plaintiff,
SCI Albion/PA D.O.C., Defendants.




         Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of the Honorable Susan Paradise Baxter, United States Magistrate Judge, recommending that the Court deny Plaintiff's most recent motions (ECF Nos. 207, 210 and 227). (ECF No. 232). Plaintiff timely filed objections to the R&R. (ECF Nos. 235, 236, 237). Having reviewed the Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff's objections thereto, the record of the case, and the relevant law, the Court HEREBY ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation and DENIES Plaintiff's three motions.


         Plaintiff, Daniel A. Kloss, an inmate incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution in Albion, Pennsylvania, filed a pro se complaint on November 23, 2015, alleging sexual harassment, denial of medical treatment, violation of his First Amendment “Right for Religion, ” and violations of the “Federal Disability Act.” (ECF No. 1 (Compl. at ¶ 4)). In addition, he requests that he be “placed back in the same cell and unit as [inmate] Jamie Butler.” (ECF No. 1 (Compl. at ¶ 6)). In Plaintiff's Proposed Amended Complaint, Plaintiff reiterates several issues, and raises new ones. Among other things, Plaintiff alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), unsafe prison conditions on housing units, procrastination and refusal of medical care, harassment, unwanted and unwarranted pain, and deliberate medical indifference. (ECF No. 86).

         Including the motions currently before the court, Plaintiff has filed approximately twenty-five motions that have been titled or construed as motions for preliminary injunctions. (ECF Nos. 10, 42, 49, 50, 51, 53, 55, 58, 67, 79, 108, 109, 126, 130, 135, 136, 146, 158, 162, 165. 174, 179, 207, 210 and 227). The Court will discuss the motions addressed in the June 29, 2017 R&R. (ECF No. 232).

         On June 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed a document titled “emergency injunction with phone hearing for wheelchair to be put back, ” requesting an order requiring the new Medical Doctor at SCI-Albion, Dr. Halligan, to return Plaintiff's wheelchair. (ECF No. 207). Defendants filed a response stating Dr. Halligan removed Plaintiff's wheelchair because it was found that Plaintiff's strength was good and that he was able to ambulate with a cane. (ECF No. 214). Defendants argue Dr. Halligan's professional opinion concluded Plaintiff's wheelchair was not medically necessary. Notably, Dr. Halligan is not a named Defendant. In Plaintiff's objections, he claims he purchased the wheelchair himself and that he cannot use only a cane when walking long distances. (ECF No. 235). Plaintiff's objections seek to have the wheelchair returned, in which he asks the court to “confirm the wheelchair is mine and it belongs to me.”

         Also on June 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed a “motion for change of venue out of Erie District.” (ECF No. 210). Plaintiff requests that his case be moved to another district and reassigned to a new judge. Specifically, Plaintiff is looking for a court that may provide him with more favorable treatment and suggests his case be reassigned to Judge Rambo in the Middle District of Pennsylvania because she is “hard on jails.” Defendants filed a response, maintaining that venue is proper. (ECF No. 213). Defendants further point to Plaintiff's obvious attempt to “judge shop, ” which Defendants believe is based on the fact the Court has denied many of Plaintiff's motions. In Plaintiff's objections, he largely restates his narrative of reasons why he believes there should be a change in venue. (ECF No. 236). Plaintiff's objections further assert frivolous accusations claiming that “any court would recuse him or herself if they had inside information.” Plaintiff maintains a wish to change venues and in addition asks the Court to transfer Lt. Cleveland to another prison to avoid issues.

         Finally, on June 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed a “motion for phone hearing for return of private owned wheelchair & basic air in the infirmary to be working in rooms for my health and safety.” (ECF No. 227). In his motion, Plaintiff requests his wheelchair be returned because he has fallen. Additionally, Plaintiff objects to his week in the infirmary and complains of the lack of air conditioning. Plaintiff again raises American's with Disabilities Act, further alleging that SCI-Albion's healthcare administrators are “committing deliberate indifference under the Eighth Amendment” by causing harm to Plaintiff when his wheelchair was removed. In his objections, Plaintiff continues to grieve about the air conditioning and his time in the infirmary. (ECF No. 237).

         Thereafter, on June, 292017, Magistrate Judge Baxter issued the R&R, recommending that the Court deny Plaintiff's three motions because Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden of showing either immediate irreparable injury or a likelihood of success on the merits. (ECF No. 232). The R&R suggests that Plaintiff's disagreements with Defendants' medical judgment and care are not actionable and concludes the Court will not override the professional judgment of medical practitioners charged with the Plaintiff's care. Magistrate Judge Baxter further states Plaintiff's “motion for change of venue” is “merely a thinly-veiled request for recusal, ” without any legal justification. Plaintiff filed timely objections to the R&R. (ECF No. 235, 236, 237). In addition to Plaintiff's objections noted above, Plaintiff continues to be redundant in his narrative of grievances regarding his medical care and confinement.


         A. Standard of Review

         The issuance of a preliminary injunction is a matter of discretion for the Court that must be reviewed in light of the equitable standards governing the issuance of injunctions. Intel Corp. v. ULSI Sys. Tech., Inc., 995 F.2d 1566, 1586 (Fed. Cir. 1993). In determining whether a movant has a right to preliminary injunctive relief, four factors must be shown: (1) a likelihood of success on the merits; (2) whether the movant will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is denied; (3) whether granting relief will cause greater harm to the nonmoving party; and (4) whether the public interest favors such relief. Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. v. Botticello, 613 F.3d 102, 109 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Miller v. Mitchell, 598 F.3d 139, 147 (3d Cir. 2010)). If the record does not support a finding of both irreparable injury and a likelihood of success on the merits, then preliminary injunctive relief cannot be granted. Marxe v. Jackson, 833 F.2d 1121, 1123 (3d Cir. 1987).

         The Third Circuit “has placed particular weight on the probability of irreparable harm and the likelihood of success on the merits.” Ortho Biotech Prods., L.P. v. Amgen Inc., No. 05-4850, 2006 WL 3392939, at *5 (D.J.N. Nov. 21, 2006) (quoting Appollo Tech. Corp. v. Centrosphere Indus. Corp., 805 F.Supp. 1157, 1205 (D.N.J. 1992)). In fact, irreparable injury is most significant and must be present for a court to ...

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