Campbell v. Thomas et al (INMATE 1)
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Wallace Capel, Jr on 6/24/2011. (br, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
DAVID MARTIN CAMPBELL,
WILLIE THOMAS, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:10-CV-694-WC
This case is before the court on a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint filed by David Martin
Campbell [“Campbell”], a state inmate currently confined at the Draper Correctional
Facility, in which he challenges the frequency of when he is provided batteries for his
hearing aids. Campbell seeks preliminary injunctive relief under Rule 65, Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, requiring the defendants to provide him batteries upon request without
delay, Plaintiff's Complaint - Court Doc. No. 1 at 9, and compelling the defendants to
maintain a “supplie (sic) of hearing aid batteries at the Draper pill call window” for
availability to plaintiff at any time. Motion for Preliminary Injunction - Court Doc. No. 28
The defendants filed written reports addressing the claims presented in the complaint
and a response in opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction. These responses
contain relevant evidentiary materials, including affidavits and medical records. The
medical records and other evidentiary materials submitted by the defendants establish
Campbell has a standing order from health care personnel “to report to HCU every 10 days
for hearing aid batteries.” Medical Defendants' Exhibit 1 to the September 8, 2010 Special
Report - Court Doc. No. 7-2 at 8. They further maintain these “[b]atteries ... should at a
minimum last for two week increments.” Medical Defendants' Exhibit 1 to the Response
in Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Injunction - Court Doc. No. 30-1 at 2.
The decision to grant or deny a preliminary injunction “is within the sound
discretion of the district court....” Palmer v. Braun, 287 F.3d 1325, 1329 (11th Cir. 2002).
This court may grant a preliminary injunction only if Campbell demonstrates each of the
following prerequisites: (1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a
substantial threat irreparable injury will occur absent issuance of the injunction; (3) the
threatened injury outweighs the potential damage the requested injunction may cause the
non-moving parties; and (4) the injunction would not be adverse to the public interest.
Palmer, 287 F.3d at 1329; McDonald's Corp. v. Robertson, 147 F.3d 1301, 1306 Cate v.
Oldham, 707 F.2d 1176 (11th Cir. 1983); Shatel Corp. v. Mao Ta Lumber and Yacht Corp.,
697 F.2d 1352 (11th Cir. 1983). “In this Circuit, ‘[a] preliminary injunction is an
extraordinary and drastic remedy not to be granted unless the movant clearly established
the “burden of persuasion”’ as to the four requisites.” McDonald’s, 147 F.3d at 1306; All
Care Nursing Service, Inc. v. Bethesda Memorial Hospital, Inc., 887 F.2d 1535, 1537 (11th
Cir. 1989) (a preliminary injunction is issued only when “drastic relief” is necessary);
Texas v. Seatrain Int’l, S.A., 518 F.2d 175, 179 (5th Cir. 1975) (grant of preliminary
injunction “is the exception rather than the rule,” and movant must clearly carry the burden
of persuasion). The moving party’s failure to demonstrate a “substantial likelihood of
success on the merits” may defeat the party’s claim, regardless of the party’s ability to
establish any of the other elements. Church v. City of Huntsville, 30 F.3d 1332, 1342 (11th
Cir. 1994); see also Siegel v. Lepore, 234 F.3d 1163, 1176 (11th Cir. 2000) (noting that “the
absence of a substantial likelihood of irreparable injury would, standing alone, make
preliminary injunctive relief improper”). “‘The chief function of a preliminary injunction
is to preserve the status quo until the merits of the controversy can be fully and fairly
adjudicated.’ Northeastern Fl. Chapter of Ass'n of Gen. Contractors of Am. v. City of
Jacksonville, Fl., 896 F.2d 1283, 1284 (11th Cir.1990).” Suntrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin
Co., 268 F.3d 1257, 1265 (11th Cir. 2001).
In response to the motions for preliminary injunction, the defendants maintain
Campbell is on a schedule to receive batteries for his hearing aids every ten days and the
batteries provided are projected by the manufacturer to last at least the period of time
prescribed for Campbell.
Turning to the first prerequisite for issuance of preliminary injunctive relief, the
court finds that Campbell has failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on
the merits of his claims. Campbell also fails to demonstrate a substantial threat that he will
suffer the requisite irreparable injury absent issuance of a preliminary injunction. The third
factor, balancing potential harm to the parties, weighs more heavily in favor of the
defendants at this time because issuance of the requested injunction would interfere with
the treatment decisions of medical personnel. Finally, the public interest element of the
equation is a neutral factor at this juncture. Thus, Campbell has failed to meet his burden
of demonstrating the existence of each prerequisite necessary to warrant issuance of a
preliminary injunction and his motions are therefore due to be denied.
A separate order will accompany this memorandum opinion.
Done this 24th day of June, 2011.
/s/ Wallace Capel, Jr.
WALLACE CAPEL, JR.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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