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Mitchell v. Badawi

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 18, 2015



R. STEVEN WHALEN, Magistrate Judge.

On March 31, 2014, Plaintiff Randall C. Mitchell, a prison inmate in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections ("MDOC"), filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief [Doc. #37], which has been referred for a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). For the reasons discussed below, I recommend that the motion be DENIED.


In his complaint, Mr. Mitchell, a prison inmate, alleges that following an injury to his foot on June 23, 2011, he received inadequate medical care. His complaint centers on Defendant Dr. Badawi. Mr. Mitchell alleges that Dr. Badawi refused to send him to an outside specialist, and falsely accused him of being non-compliant with a treatment plan. Complaint [Doc. #1], § II, Statement of Facts. Mr. Mitchell states that after he was transferred to the E.C. Brooks Correctional Facility in October of 2013, he was finally referred to a specialist, and underwent surgery on January 14, 2014. Id. He claims that the Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs, in violation of the Eight Amendment, by depriving him "of a wound care/outside specialist for over two years... making Plaintiff's wound more complicated to heal, and risk of losing his foot." Id., § III, Statement of Claims. He also claims that the delay in treatment forced him "to live in inhumane living conditions" because of his untreated medical problems. Id.

On July 14, 2014, I granted in part Mr. Mitchell's motion for leave to file an amended complaint, permitting him to add an allegation of delay in medical treatment against all Defendants, and to add a claim of retaliation against Defendant Adray [Doc. #24].

In the present motion for injunctive relief, Mr. Mitchell alleges that the shoes given to him cause blisters, and requests that his medical providers within the MDOC be ordered to issue proper shoes.


Generally, in determining whether to grant injunctive relief, a court must examine and weigh four factors: (1) whether the moving party has shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits; (2) whether the moving party will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not issued; (3) whether the issuance of the injunction would cause substantial harm to others; and (4) whether the public interest would be served by issuing the injunction. Overstreet v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, 305 F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002); McPherson v. Michigan High School Athletic Ass'n, 119 F.3d 453, 459 (6th Cir. 1997) ( en banc ). "These factors are not prerequisites, but are factors that are to be balanced against each other." Overstreet, 305 F.3d at 573.

Plaintiffs bear the burden of demonstrating their entitlement to a preliminary injunction, and their burden is a heavy one. "A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy which should be granted only if the movant carries his or her burden of proving that the circumstances clearly demand it." Overstreet, supra, at 573. "[T]he proof required for the plaintiff to obtain a preliminary injunction is much more stringent than the proof required to survive a summary judgment motion." Leary v. Daeschner, 228 F.3d 729, 739 (6th Cir. 2000). Thus, plaintiffs may not merely point to genuine issues of material fact which exist, but must affirmatively demonstrate their entitlement to injunctive relief.


A. Likelihood of Success

Mr. Mitchell's complaint centers on allegations of past denial or delay in medical treatment, and he concedes that in January of 2014, he finally received surgery on his foot. While he complains that he continues to suffer as the result of this delay in treatment, neither his original complaint nor his amended complaint specifically refers to a failure to provide him with proper shoes. His complaint requests monetary damages for the Defendants' past conduct, and does not seek or refer to a need for ongoing or future treatment. Thus, he is unlikely to prevail on the merits of the request for corrective shoes that he raises in the present motion because he did not request such relief in his complaint. His remedy for his current complaint lies first within the MDOC's grievance procedure.

B. Irreparable Harm

This is not a case where the Plaintiff has received no medical treatment, and to the extent that he argues that the Defendants have not been sufficiently attentive to his needs, or that the treatment has not been efficacious, he has stated no more than a personal disagreement with his doctors. Nor has he shown, beyond speculation, that he will be irreparably harmed if the Court does not order the immediate issuance of corrective shoes. Injunctive relief should not issue ...

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