House v. Jones
ORDER denying 46 Motion for Preliminary Injunction by Judge William J. Martinez on 03/28/2017. (cthom, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge William J. Martínez
Civil Action No. 16-cv-2418-WJM-NYW
TARA LEONE, in her individual capacity,
RYDER MAY, in his individual capacity,
HUDSON T. WHITE, in his individual capacity, and
UNKNOWN JOHN/JANE DOE(s),
ORDER DENYING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
In this action, Plaintiff sues certain employees and/or contractors of the Colorado
Department of Corrections (“CDOC”), alleging “systemic denial of medical treatment for
[“Plaintiff’s”] serious medical need,” in violation of the Eighth Amendment. (ECF No. 6
at 3; see generally id. at 4–6.) Now before the Court is Plaintiff’s “Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction For DOC to Send the Medical Records the
Court Requested Directly to the Court” (ECF No. 46 (Plaintiff’s “Motion”)), and the
Defendants’ Response thereto (ECF No. 50).
The Court previously denied that portion of Plaintiff’s Motion requesting a
Temporary Restraining Order, and directed briefing regarding the portion of the Motion
requesting a preliminary injunction. (See ECF No. 47.) Having received that briefing,
and being fully advised of the parties’ arguments and representations regarding the
relevant facts, the Court now addresses Plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction.
To prevail on a motion for preliminary injunctive relief, Plaintiff has the burden of
establishing that four equitable factors weigh in his favor: (1) he is substantially likely to
succeed on the merits; (2) he will suffer irreparable injury if the injunction is denied;
(3) his threatened injury outweighs the injury the opposing parties will suffer under the
injunction; and (4) the injunction would not be adverse to the public interest. See
Westar Energy, Inc. v. Lake, 552 F.3d 1215, 1224 (10th Cir. 2009); Gen. Motors Corp.
v. Urban Gorilla, LLC, 500 F.3d 1222, 1226 (10th Cir. 2007). “[A] prelim inary injunction
is an extraordinary remedy,” and therefore “the right to relief must be clear and
unequivocal.” Greater Yellowstone Coal. v. Flowers, 321 F.3d 1250, 1256 (10th Cir.
Plaintiff’s Motion represents that he is seeking access to certain of his medical
records relevant to this litigation, but has not received copies of them. (See generally
ECF No. 46.) Defendants’ Response, including the supporting affidavits, indicates that
Plaintiff has not sought any documents through requests for production or other
discovery mechanisms authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and also
reflects that Plaintiff had not followed the procedures established for CDOC inmates to
request and receive copies of their medical records before filing his Motion. (See
generally ECF No. 50.) In addition, Defendants offer to treat Plaintiff’s Motion as a
Request for Production of Documents pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34,
and, in response, to send Plaintiff “copies of all his medical records in the CDOC’s
possession.” (See id. at 4.)
Given these representations, the Court finds that Plaintiff is not entitled to a
preliminary injunction. He has not met his burden of showing that he will suffer
irreparable harm absent such relief, as there is no allegation that he is suffering any
immediate and irreparable injury because of his lack of access to medical records.
Moreover, Plaintiff has adequate remedies available to him, both through
CDOC’s administrative processes for requesting medical records, and because the
Court will take Defendants up on their offer to construe the Motion as a Rule 34
Request for Production, as ordered below. Given these available remedies, Plaintiff is
not entitled to injunctive relief. See, e.g., Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Env't v.
Jewell, 839 F.3d 1276, 1287–88 (10th Cir. 2016) (Lucero, J., concurring in part and
dissenting in part) (noting the “basic doctrine of equity jurisprudence that courts of
equity should not act when the moving party has an adequate remedy at law and will
not suffer irreparable injury if denied equitable relief” (citation omitted; alterations
Accordingly, the Court hereby ORDERS as follows:
Plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction is DENIED; and,
The Court hereby CONSTRUES Plaintiff’s Motion as a Request for Production of
Documents (“RFP”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34, for
production of all of Plaintiff’s medical records that are in CDOC’s possession,
and deems the construed RFP as having been served as of the date of this
Defendants are ORDERED to respond to Plaintiff’s construed RFP within 30
days of the date of this Order, pursuant to Rule 34(b) and consistent with the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Dated this 28th day of March, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
William J. Martínez
United States District Judge
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