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Robinson v. Wexford Health

United States District Court, D. Maryland

October 15, 2018

JAMES ROBINSON, SID #3234398 Plaintiff
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          Ellen L. Hollander United States District Judge.

         The above-captioned case was opened on July 31, 2018, upon receipt of a civil rights Complaint filed by James Robinson, a prisoner at North Branch Correctional Institution (“NBCI”). Robinson alleged deliberate indifference to his medical needs. ECF 1. Robinson also filed motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, for appointment of counsel, and for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction. ECF 2; ECF 3; ECF 4.

         On August 3, 2018, the Court directed the Office of the Maryland Attorney General to show cause why injunctive relief should not be granted in Robinson's favor. ECF 5. The Attorney General filed a Response (ECF 11), with exhibits. Subsequently, Robinson filed an Amended Complaint, which is substantially similar to his original Complaint. ECF 16. Robinson also filed a second motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. ECF 17; ECF 20. In addition, he filed a motion for production of documents. ECF 19.

         No hearing is necessary to resolve these motions. See Local Rule 105.6.

         I. Motions for Injunctive Relief (ECF 4; ECF 20)

         A. Background

         In June 2016, Robinson was the victim of a serious assault at the hands of another inmate, which resulted in head injuries and a brief hospitalization. ECF 1 at 3. Robinson asserts that he was and continues to be provided with inadequate medical treatment to address the injuries that he suffered during the assault. Id. In particular, Robinson states

I been putting in sick calls for over a whole year now about the same issues saying that [I']m having problems with something feeling like it move inside my head, nerves twitching too much, alot of dizziness, blurry v[i]sion, bones cracking way more than they suppose[d] to, I be having migraines, snot dropping out of my nose, barely being able to hear, my swollen bruised eyes, weight loss, teeth wearing down, gums overlapping [, ] ears, nose & throat sucking in make me choke and hard to swallow, dick & balls getting small and not getting hard and etc but what have they actually done about it?

Id. (some capitalization altered).

         In Robinson's initial motion for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction (ECF 4, “PI Motion”), he asks that defendants: (1) be enjoined “from not trying to personally get [him] to attend [his] medical & dental appointments before signing any more refusal slips denying [him] medical and dental care, ” (2) be required to reschedule his medical and dental appointments “within that same week if [Defendants] do sign a refusal slip”; (3) send him to a hospital for treatment and surgery “to remove all the scars and fix the broken bones in [his] face, uplift [his] gums[, and] repair [his] teeth with some perm[a]nent platinum teeth”; (4) transfer him from NBCI to Jessup Correctional Institution; and (5) specially wrap his food because Robinson has been “having too many problems with the [correctional officers] and feed up workers in this prison and alot of [his] food don't be looking right.” ECF 4.

         Robinson's second motion for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction (ECF 20, “TRO Motion”) is substantially similar to his PI Motion. But, it contains additional requests. Robinson asks that defendants: (6) “cancel the life insurance policy they made on [him] in the end 2016”; (7) “transfer [him] out of the whole Cumberland region to a prison where at leas[t] half the staff there is black African Americans, ”; (8) remove him from “lock up”; and (9) order an outside medical provider to give him “thorough blood work ASAP” because Robinson does not trust the staff at the prison.

         Defendants oppose Robinson's PI Motion, asserting that Robinson is frequently seen by medical providers and that such medical providers have “been unable to substantiate any actual physical injury to treat”; that it is suspected that the true cause for Robinson's complaints is psychological rather than physical; that some delay in Robinson's treatment is a consequence of his repeated disciplinary infractions and resulting placement on staff alert; and that Robinson has refused treatment on multiple occasions. ECF 11 at 4-5, 13-16. Defendants were not ordered to respond to Robinson's TRO Motion.

         B. Discussion

         A preliminary injunction is distinguished from a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) only by the difference in notice to the nonmoving party and by the duration of the injunction. U.S. Dep't of Labor v. Wolf Run Mining Co.,452 F.3d 275, 281 n.1 (4th Cir. 2006) (comparing Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a) with Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)). A preliminary injunction cannot issue without notice to the nonmovant. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a)(1). Because Defendants have responded to the PI Motion, it will be construed as one for a preliminary injunction. Because Defendants have not been ordered to respond to the TRO Motion, it will be treated as a Motion ...


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