GLADU v. CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDED DECISION re 370 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by NICHOLAS A GLADU. Objections to R&R due by 6/14/2017. By MAGISTRATE JUDGE JOHN C. NIVISON. (CWP)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MAINE
NICHOLAS A. GLADU,
CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, et al., )
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON
MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
In this action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff Nicholas Gladu, an inmate
at the Maine Correctional Center, alleges that Defendants acted with deliberate indifference
toward Plaintiff’s serious medical condition.
The matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order
and preliminary injunction. (ECF No. 370.) Through his motion, Plaintiff asks the Court
to order Defendants to provide appropriate care and treatment for a certain medical
condition, which care and treatment should include a referral to a specialist.
Following a review of the parties’ written arguments and the record, I recommend
the Court deny the motion.
To obtain injunctive relief, 1 Plaintiff must show (1) a substantial likelihood of
success on the merits, (2) a significant potential for irreparable harm if the injunction is
withheld, (3) a favorable balance of hardships,2 and (4) a fit (or lack of friction) between
the injunction and the public interest. 3 Nieves–Marquez v. Puerto Rico, 353 F.3d 108, 120
(1st Cir. 2003); Hoffman v. Sec’y of State of Me., 574 F. Supp. 2d 179, 186 (D. Me. 2008).
“The sine qua non of this four-part inquiry is likelihood of success on the merits; if the
moving party cannot demonstrate that he is likely to succeed in his quest, the remaining
factors become matters of idle curiosity.” New Comm Wireless Servs., Inc. v. SprintCom,
Inc., 287 F.3d 1, 9 (1st Cir. 2002).
Plaintiff requests both a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a preliminary
injunction. Generally, the distinction between the two forms of injunctive relief is that the
former can be awarded without notice to the other party and an opportunity to be heard.
Int’l Ass’n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers v. Verso Paper Corp., 80 F. Supp. 3d 247,
278 (D. Me. 2015). A temporary restraining order, therefore, is an even more exceptional
remedy than a preliminary injunction, which is itself “an extraordinary and drastic remedy
that is never awarded as of right.” Voice of the Arab World, Inc. v. MDTV Med. News Now,
Because the elements that Plaintiff must satisfy to obtain a preliminary injunction are similar to the
elements necessary to secure a temporary restraining order, the analysis is equally applicable to both
requests. Newton v. LePage, 789 F. Supp. 2d 172, 178 (D. Me. 2011).
Plaintiff must demonstrate that his claimed injury outweighs any harm that granting the injunctive relief
would inflict upon Defendants. Lancor v. Lebanon Hous. Auth., 760 F. 2d 361, 362 (1st Cir. 1985).
Plaintiff must prove that “the public interest will not be adversely affected by the granting of the
injunction.” Planned Parenthood League v. Bellotti, 641 F.2d 1006, 1009 (1st Cir. 1981).
Inc., 645 F.3d 26, 32 (1st Cir. 2011) (quoting Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 689 – 90
(2008)). By rule, a temporary restraining order requires a clear showing “that immediate
and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party
can be heard in opposition.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1).
Regardless of whether notice is provided, “[t]he dramatic and drastic power of
injunctive force may be unleashed only against conditions generating a presently existing
actual threat; it may not be used simply to eliminate a possibility of a remote future injury,
or a future invasion of rights, be those rights protected by statute or by the common law.”
Holiday Inns of Am., Inc. v. B & B Corp., 409 F.2d 614, 618 (3d Cir. 1969). Moreover,
“judicial restraint is especially called for in dealing with the complex and intractable
problems of prison administration.” Rogers v. Scurr, 676 F.2d 1211, 1214 (8th Cir. 1982).
Through his motion, Plaintiff maintains injunctive relief is necessary because
Defendants have failed to treat properly a number of symptoms, including a condition he
describes as a “skull anomaly” that could suggest a “skull base tumor.” (Plaintiff’s
Declaration at 3, ECF No. 370-1.) To be entitled to injunctive relief, Plaintiff must first
establish that he is likely to prevail on his underlying claim. Here, Plaintiff contends that
Defendants have acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs.
The Due Process Clause imposes on the states the “substantive obligation” not to
treat prisoners in their care in a manner that reflects “deliberate indifference” toward “a
substantial risk of serious harm to health,” Coscia v. Town of Pembroke, 659 F.3d 37, 39
(1st Cir. 2011), or “serious medical needs,” Feeney v. Corr. Med. Servs., 464 F.3d 158,
161 (1st Cir. 2006) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 105 – 106 (1976)). A
deliberate indifference claim must satisfy both an objective and a subjective standard.
Leavitt v. Corr. Med. Servs., 645 F.3d 484, 497 (1st Cir. 2011).
The objective standard evaluates the seriousness of the risk of harm to one’s health.
For a medical condition to be objectively “serious,” there must be “a sufficiently substantial
‘risk of serious damage to [the inmate’s] future health.’” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825,
843 (1994) (quoting Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 35 (1993)). A medical need is
serious if it has been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment, or is so obvious
that even a lay person would recognize a need for medical intervention. Leavitt, 645 F.3d
at 497; Gaudreault v. Mun. of Salem, 923 F.2d 203, 208 (1st Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 500
U.S. 956 (1991).
The subjective standard concerns the culpability of the defendant. There must be
evidence that a particular defendant possessed a culpable state of mind amounting to
“deliberate indifference to an inmate’s health or safety.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834 (internal
quotation marks omitted).
Deliberate indifference is akin to criminal recklessness,
“requiring actual knowledge of impending harm, easily preventable.” Feeney, 464 F.3d at
162 (quoting Watson v. Caton, 984 F.2d 537, 540 (1st Cir. 1993)). The focus of the
deliberate indifference analysis “is on what the jailers knew and what they did in response.”
Burrell v. Hampshire Cnty., 307 F.3d 1, 8 (1st Cir. 2002).
The record establishes that as recently as April 22, 2017, after examining Plaintiff
in the emergency department at Maine Medical Center, which examination included a
neurological exam and an assessment of Plaintiff’s complaint about his skull, a physician
determined that Plaintiff did not suffer from a serious head-related condition and that no
imaging of Plaintiff’s head was necessary. (ECF No. 388-1.) Given this record, Plaintiff
has not established he is likely to prevail on his deliberate indifference claim against
Defendants. Similarly, given the physician’s assessment, Plaintiff has also failed to
demonstrate that he will suffer irreparable harm or that he will suffer any hardship if an
injunction is not issued. Finally, without any record evidence to support his deliberate
indifference claim, the balance between an injunction and the public interest militates
against an injunction particularly given that “judicial restraint is especially called for in
dealing with the complex and intractable problems of prison administration.” Rogers, 676
F.2d at 1214. In short, Plaintiff is not entitled to the requested injunctive relief.
Based on the foregoing analysis, I recommend the Court deny Plaintiff’s motion for
temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
A party may file objections to those specified portions of a magistrate
judge's report or proposed findings or recommended decisions entered
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 636(b)(1)(B) for which de novo review by the
district court is sought, together with a supporting memorandum, within
fourteen (14) days of being served with a copy thereof. A responsive
memorandum shall be filed within fourteen (14) days after the filing of the
Failure to file a timely objection shall constitute a waiver of the right
to de novo review by the district court and to appeal the district court's order.
/s/ John C. Nivison
U.S. Magistrate Judge
Dated this 31st day of May, 2017.
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