Clegg v. Bradford (INMATE 1)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: it is ORDERED that the 35 motion for preliminary injunction be DENIED. Signed by Honorable Judge Terry F. Moorer on 2/13/2017. (wcl, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
JEFFREY SCOTT CLEGG, #276457,
CASE NO. 2:16-CV-232-TFM
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on an amended complaint
filed on April 12, 2016 by Jeffrey Scott Clegg (“Clegg”), a state inmate currently
incarcerated at the Bullock Correctional Facility. In the amended complaint, Clegg alleges
that Dr. Bradford violated his constitutional rights when he failed to provided him with the
On January 19, 2017, the plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunction in which
he seeks issuance of a preliminary injunction requiring Dr. Bradford to provide him a
prescription for “fairly dark transitional lenses.” Doc. No. 35 at 2. Dr. Bradford filed a
response, supported by his affidavit and relevant medical records, in which he asserts that
Clegg is not entitled to the requested preliminary injunctive relief.
Upon review of the motion for preliminary injunction and the response thereto filed
by the defendant, the court concludes that this motion is due to be denied.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
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 Clegg 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 injunctive relief 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 (1998);
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).
Clegg seeks preliminary injunctive relief in the form of a prescription for tinted
lenses in his eyeglasses. In his response to the motion for preliminary injunction, Dr.
Bradford maintains that Clegg’s condition does not warrant a prescription for tinted lenses.
Specifically, Dr. Bradford addresses Clegg’s claim as follows:
Institutional Eye Care currently holds a contract with Corizon, LLC
to provide on-site vision services to inmates incarcerated within Alabama
state correctional facilities.
In my position as an independent contractor with Institutional Eye
Care, I provide optometry services to inmates, including performing eye
exams and writing prescriptions for corrective lenses. I perform eye
examinations at Bullock County Correctional Facility on a monthly basis.
It is my understanding that inmates typically receive an eye
examination and eyeglasses every two years. Exceptions are made for
diabetic and chronic care patients, who are placed on my schedule more
frequently by Corizon.
I do not schedule inmates for examinations. It is my understanding
that inmates, such as Mr. Clegg, must request optometry services before
being placed on my schedule by Corizon.
I do not personally maintain or keep records for inmates. Inmate
records are maintained by Corizon at the correctional facility.
I have reviewed Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and the
relevant medical records in order to respond to Plaintiff’s motion.
Plaintiff’s request for transitional lenses, with bifocals, based on his
perceived sensitivity to light as a result of punctate keratitis is not supported
by the medical records in my possession.
On August 10, 2016, I ordered eye glasses for the Plaintiff using the
eye glass prescription from Dr. Wendy Huang at Eye Center South in
Dothan, Alabama. The prescription did not call for transitional or tinted
I have also entered orders for lid scrubs and artificial tears as indicated
by Dr. Huang.
Dr. Huang noted that Plaintiff suffers from (1) blepharitis, which is a
chronic condition that can cause symptoms of dry eye, chalazion, and general
eyelid irritation and for which lid scrubs and warm compresses were
recommended and ordered; (2) punctate keratitis or chronic dry eye
syndrome, for which artificial tears were recommended and ordered; (3)
bilateral myopia, for which new glasses were ordered[.]
Based on my review of the medical records, Plaintiff appears to have
a mild case of punctate keratitis.
The treatment for mild cases such as this is the use of artificial tears
to lubricate the ocular surface.
In order for an inmate to receive tinted glasses, the inmate must
present a medical necessity. In my opinion, tinted glasses are not medically
necessary for Plaintiff, based on the documentation in the medical records.
Doc. No. 41-1 at 3-4 (page numbering assigned in the docketing process) (internal
paragraph numbers omitted).
Turning to the first prerequisite for issuance of preliminary injunctive relief, the
court finds that Clegg has failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the
merits of his claim with respect to the perceived need for tinted lenses. Clegg likewise fails
to establish a substantial threat that he will suffer the requisite irreparable injury absent
issuance of the requested preliminary injunction. The third factor, balancing potential harm
to the parties, weighs more heavily in favor of the defendant as issuance of the injunction
would adversely impact the ability of medical personnel to determine the proper course of
treatment for inmates. Finally, the public interest element of the equation is, at best, a
neutral factor at this time. Thus, Clegg has failed to meet his burden of demonstrating the
existence of each prerequisite necessary to warrant issuance of preliminary injunctive
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that the motion for preliminary injunction filed by the plaintiff on
January 19, 2017 (Doc. No. 35) be DENIED.
DONE this 13th day of February, 2017.
/s/Terry F. Moorer
TERRY F. MOORER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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