Richard Boone, II v. Daniel Heyns, et al
OPINION filed : The district court's grant of a preliminary injunction is REVERSED. Jeffrey S. Sutton and Raymond M. Kethledge (AUTHORING), Circuit Judges; and Lee H. Rosenthal, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, sitting by designation.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 14a0871n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
DANIEL H. HEYNS; JEFFREY STIEVE; JOYCE )
HUNTER; KARINA J. BEALS; BRENDA S. )
UPSTON; STEPHEN WEISS,
Nov 20, 2014
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
RICHARD WAYNE BOONE, II,
ON APPEAL FROM THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE EASTERN
DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Before: SUTTON and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges; ROSENTHAL, District Judge.*
KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judge.
In this case the district court granted a preliminary
injunction without any analysis of the merits of the underlying claim. For that reason, under
binding precedent, we reverse.
Richard Boone is a state prisoner in Michigan. He began serving his current sentence in
March 2011, complaining from the outset of pain in his knees and back. Since then, prison
officials have provided Boone with medical care almost continuously: he sees a prison physician
once a week, a nurse twice a day, and the Department of Corrections’ Chief Medical Officer
personally reviewed Boone’s treatment plan. The prison’s medical staff also provided him with
a bottom bunk, a sleep apnea machine, an early meal time, a soft foot brace, and prescriptions for
Mobic, Mylanta, Protonix, and Tylenol.
The Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal, Judge for the Southern District of Texas, sitting by
Boone v. Heyns
For six months in 2013, prison officials also allowed Boone to sleep on an air mattress
and use a knee brace. In September, however, medical staff examined Boone and concluded that
the air mattress and knee brace were not “medically necessary” for his care. Consequently,
prison officials took the mattress and brace away from him.
By then this lawsuit was already pending. Earlier, in 2012, Boone had filed suit against
the defendants here—all of whom of are prison officials—claiming that his medical care in
prison amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Three
months later Boone filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, seeking, among other things, to
enjoin the defendants from taking away his air mattress. Then—after the defendants in fact took
away his mattress in September 2013—Boone wrote a letter to the district court, requesting a
ruling on his motion for an injunction.
In response, the court convened an on-the-record conference with counsel.
participated via teleconference, claiming that he needed the air mattress and brace because
otherwise his pain would make him suicidal. The State opposed the motion, citing an opinion
from the Department’s Chief Medical Officer, who concluded, based upon Boone’s medical
history, that his air mattress would not alleviate his pain and that his knee brace was only making
his condition worse. The district court granted a preliminary injunction, ordering the defendants
to return the mattress and brace. We review that decision for an abuse of discretion. Hoevenaar
v. Lazaroff, 422 F.3d 366, 368 (6th Cir. 2005).
In granting the injunction, the district court failed to apply or even mention the fourfactor test that governs the propriety of injunctive relief. See generally Michigan State AFL-CIO
v. Miller, 103 F.3d 1240, 1249 (6th Cir. 1997). Thus, as in a Supreme Court case, “one searches
the [record] below in vain for any mention of a likelihood of success as to the merits” of Boone’s
Boone v. Heyns
claim. Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 690 (2008). That omission standing alone “require[d]
reversal and remand” in Munaf, where the court held that “it was an abuse of discretion for the
District Court to grant a preliminary injunction . . . without even considering the merits of the
underlying” claim. Id. at 690-91. We reverse for the same reason here.
In Miller, we held that “a preliminary injunction issued where there is simply no
likelihood of success on the merits must be reversed.” 103 F.3d at 1249. Thus, to the extent that
Boone continues to seek injunctive relief on remand, the district court must consider whether the
extensive medical attention that Boone has received in prison amounts to deliberate indifference
towards his medical needs. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 107 (1976) (holding that a
“medical judgment” not to order additional treatment “does not represent cruel and unusual
The district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction is reversed.
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