United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
OMAR S. FOLK, Plaintiff,
BUREAU OF PRISONS, et al., Defendants.
D Mariani United States District Judge
Folk, currently a federal inmate, filed this civil rights
complaint in November 2018-which he subsequently
amended-alleging that numerous individuals violated his
constitutional rights by providing inadequate medical
treatment, and by retaliating against him for filing
grievances related to that inadequate medical
treatment. (Docs. 1, 7). Currently pending before the
Court are several of Folk's motions, including motions
for injunctive relief and to compel certain actions. (Docs.
24, 26, 33, 34, 45, 46).
has filed two motions for injunctive relief, along with
supporting memoranda. (Docs. 33, 39, 46, 47). In his first
motion for injunctive relief, Folk asserts that, during a pat
down, CO Gentzyel grabbed Folk's swollen leg, causing
discomfort. (Doc. 33 at 2). In the memorandum in support of a
preliminary injunction, Folk asserts that he has lost
approximately thirty pounds as a result of kidney issues and
a bacterial infection, and therefore must be examined by an
outside doctor. In his most recent motion, Folk asserts that
Gentzyel conducted a strip search because Folk appeared
suspicious, and Lieutenant Cain opened Folk's legal mail.
(Doc. 46). In his supporting brief, Folk reiterates that
Gentzyel grabbed Folk's swollen leg and that, when he
complained of this, another officer stated that Folk would
need to take off his knee brace in the future if he did not
want Gentzyel to conduct a pat down search. (Doc. 47 at 1-2).
Folk also complains of unspecified harassment regarding his
legal mail and asserts that he must see an outside specialist
because it is unclear if allergies caused his bacterial
infection. (Id. at 3, 5-6).
preliminary injunction is an "extraordinary remedy"
that will not be granted "unless the movant, by a clear
showing, carries the burden of persuasion." Holland
v. Rosen, 895 F.3d 272, 285 (3d Cir.) (internal
quotation marks omitted), cert, denied, 139 S.Ct.
440 (2018). To determine whether Folk has met his burden, the
Court must review
four factors: (1) a reasonable likelihood of success on the
merits; (2) irreparable harm to the applicant; (3) whether
the denial of a preliminary injunction would injure the
moving party more than the issuance of an injunction would
harm the non-moving party; and (4) whether the grant of
relief would serve the public interest.
Id. at 286-87.
first two factors are prerequisites for a movant to
prevail." Id. at 287. "To establish
irreparable harm, a stay movant must demonstrate an injury
that is neither remote nor speculative, but actual and
imminent." In re Revel AC, Inc., 802 F.3d 558,
571 (3d Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).
"Furthermore, a prisoner's request for injunctive
relief must be viewed with great caution because of the
intractable problems of prison administration."
Milhouse v. Fasciana, 721 F.App'x 109, 111 (3d
Cir. 2018) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Court concludes that Folk's requests for injunctive
relief fail because he has not demonstrated imminent,
irreparable harm. As to Folk's first motion, Folk notes a
single incident in which Gentzyel-during a pat down-squeezed
Folk's swollen leg, causing "discomfort, "
(Doc. 33 at 1; see Doc. 47 at 1). There is no
indication that Gentzyel continues to squeeze Folk's leg,
or that the discomfort Folk experienced resulted in
the limit nature of this event, there is also no indication
that Folk's injury "could not be remedied [through
monetary damages] following a final determination on the
merits of his claims in the District Court." Rivera
v. Pennsylvania Dep't of Corr., 346 F.App'x 749,
750 (3d Cir. 2009). Similarly, Folk alleges that Gentzyel
conducted a single strip search in August 2019 (Doc. 46 at 2)
and, because Folk has not alleged that such searches are
ongoing, he fails to "demonstrate irreparable harm,
rather than an injury that may be remedied through an award
Folk's allegations regarding Defendants' failure to
refer Folk to outside medical professionals, Folk asserts
that he has kidney issues that have been "ongoing for
years, " that he began suffering from a bacterial
infection in August 2018, and that he has lost thirty pounds
within the past year. (Doc. 39 at 2). However, Folk's
complaints make clear that he has received ongoing treatment
for his kidney issues and for the bacterial
infection-treatment that includes multiple forms of
antibiotics. (See Doc. 7 at 4-5; Doc. 30 at 5-12). Moreover,
Folk cannot concretely connect his infection with any alleged
dietary issues or allergies, and he acknowledges that he
"do[es] not know if this allergic reaction is stemming
from [his] food." (Doc. 47 at 6).
speculative nature of a possible connection between
Folk's infection and potential allergic reactions
undercuts any notion that Folk will suffer irreparable harm
unless he is seen by an outside medical professional.
Moreover, given the duration of Folk's medical issues and
the continuous treatment and monitoring those issues, the
Court cannot conclude that he has made a "clear
showing" that that he is in danger of irreparable harm,
particularly since he provides no evidence connecting his
weight loss to his allergies, infection, or kidney issues.
Holland, 895 F.3d at 285. See Milhouse, 721
F.App'x at 111 (affirming conclusion that plaintiff
failed to demonstrate irreparable harm because he received
"medications and frequent encounters with medical
personnel"); Rush v. Corr. Med. Sen/s., Inc.,
287 F.App'x 142, 144 (3d Cir. 2008) ("The record ...
demonstrates that [plaintiffs] liver cirrhosis is being
continuously monitored and treated with no indication that
the condition places him in danger of immediate irreparable
harm"); Lasane v. Campos, No. CV-17-6316, 2019
WL 959703, at *6 (D.N.J. Feb. 27, ...