United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
TIMOTHY W. CLOYD, Plaintiff,
CORIZON HEALTH CARE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Judge Brown has entered a Report and Recommendation (Doc. No.
53) that recommends Timothy W. Cloyd's Motion for
Preliminary Injunction (Doc. No. 45) requesting medical
treatment be denied. In accordance with Rule 72(b) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Cloyd has filed several
specific Objections (Doc. No. 58) to the R & R.
first objects to Magistrate Judge Brown's observation
that Cloyd did not reply to Defendant's response. While
Cloyd acknowledges this is a true statement, he claims that
this failure was due to the fact that the inmate helping him
was shipped to another institution. This objection is
irrelevant because Magistrate Judge Brown was merely
identifying the documents on which his decision was based.
Replies are not mandatory and, in fact, are often not allowed
without leave of the Court.
next objects to the statement that “the medical records
in this case are not as clear as they could be[, ] and the
Plaintiff has not provided specific examples of some of the
treatment he claims was ordered but not carried out.”
(Doc. No. 53 at 3). In this regard, Cloyd points to a medical
record from May 10, 2017 that he claims shows an MRI was
ordered but not taken. However, that record merely states
that Cloyd complained of “chronic back pain” and
that he “may need repeat MRI.” (Doc. No. 58 at
8). This exhibit does not definitively state that Cloyd is to
receive an MRI, or when such a repeat MRI is needed. In this
respect, the document merely confirms Magistrate Judge
Brown's observation that the medical records are far from
also objects to Magistrate Judge Brown's statement that,
“although the Plaintiff complains of back pain[, ] he
was performing fairly heavy work and requesting transfer to
another institution where he could work and earn more
money.” (Doc. No. 53 at 3). Cloyd claims “he is a
class B medical status, which does not allow him to be placed
on such labor intensive job, ” and that
“CoreCivic put him in this job against policy.”
(Doc. No. 58 at 2). As support he points to an exhibit which
shows his classification on February 24, 2015 to be
“Class B Limited Duty, ” (Doc. No. 58 at 12).
Nevertheless, on an exhibit dated August 9, 2017 that was
attached to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Cloyd
wrote that he has “done industrial cleaning and
landscaping[, ] hard labor for behavior and program credit
called good days[.]” (Doc. No. 45 at 5). In that same
exhibit, Cloyd complains that CoreCivic would not allow him
to go to the “Transition Center, ” even though he
had been engaged in “hard labor jobs.” (Doc. No.
45 at 5). Thus, regardless of how it came about, Magistrate
Judge Brown did not err in observing that Cloyd performed
also objects to Magistrate Judge Brown's statement that
he did not attend several physical therapy sessions. Cloyd
claims this was impossible because physical therapy was not
ordered until May 20, 2017, it started on June 8, 2017, and
it finished on July 24, 2017. He also claims that his
“personal calendar” shows that he did not miss
any physical therapy session, and that he only missed sick
calls when he was on lock-down or when he was not notified by
staff of the appointment. Whatever Cloyd's personal
calendar may show, it is not evidence before the Court and
the medical records before Magistrate Judge Brown indicate
that Cloyd was a “no show” for numerous medical
appointments between and March 21, 2017 and June 7, 2017.
(Doc. No. 45 at 6; Doc. No. 49 at 5).
remainder of Cloyd's objections are in the nature of
argument. He asserts that, while the medical records show
some minor medical treatment, they amount to “no
treatment at all[.]” (Doc. No. 58 at 3). He also argues
in a conclusory fashion that “irreparable harm has been
shown, ” and that he has shown deliberate indifference
to his medical needs. (Id.).
one moving for “extraordinary relief” in the form
of a preliminary injunction, Mich. Bldg. & Const.
Trades Council v. Snyder, 729 F.3d 572, 583 (6th Cir.
2013), it is Cloyd's burden to establish (1) “that
he is likely to succeed on the merits, ” (2)
“that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the
absence of preliminary relief, ” (3) “that the
balance of equities tips in his favor, ” and (4)
“that an injunction is in the public interest.”
Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7,
20 (2008). Cloyd has established none of those elements.
claim is for deliberate indifference to his medical needs,
which “requires him to show both that the
‘alleged mistreatment was objectively serious, '
and that the officials ‘subjectively ignored the risk
to the inmate's safety.'” Rhinehart v.
Scutt, 509 F. App'x 510, 513-14 (6th Cir. 2013)
(quoting Bishop v. Hackel, 636 F.3d 757, 766 (6th
Cir. 2011)). Even assuming Cloyd's medical condition is
serious, he has not shown that his complaints were ignored.
To the contrary, the medical records before the Court
establish that, when Cloyd asserted a variety of complaints,
those complaints were addressed by the medical staff. While
he may not like the treatment he received, and while he may
believe it could have been better or more thorough, “a
disagreement over the wisdom or correctness of a medical
judgment is insufficient for the purpose of a deliberate
indifference claim, ” and, as a general rule,
“where a plaintiff has received care, he will not be
able to sustain a claim of deliberate indifference.”
Id. (collecting cases).
Cloyd presented any evidence that he is likely to suffer
irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction. While
verifying medical evidence may be excused “where a
plaintiff's claims arise from an injury or illness
‘so obvious that even a layperson would easily
recognize the necessity for a doctor's attention,
'” Blackmore v. Kalamazoo Cty., 390 F.3d
890, 899 (6th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted), Cloyd has not
shown that to be the case here. Rather, his Motion for a
Preliminary Injunction is based on the fact that he did not
receive an MRI and that he had an enlarged prostate. As to
the former, he claims Dr. Soldo “said he would
recommend a[n] MRI, ” and, as to the latter, he claims
Dr. Soldo “imediately [sic] precripd [sic]
proscar.” (Doc. No. 45 at 1, 2). This hardly suggests
inattention or an obvious need for treatment that was
failure to show either a substantial likelihood of success or
irreparable harm also leads to the conclusion that neither
the equities, nor the public interest, support his request
for injunctive relief. A federal court “ must remember
that the duty to protect inmates' constitutional rights
does not confer the power to manage prisons or the capacity
to second-guess prison administrators[.]” Jones v.
Caruso, 569 F.3d 258, 278 (6th Cir. 2009). Rather,
“[t]he medical care of prison inmates is entrusted to
prison doctors, to whose judgment and training courts owe
substantial deference.” White v. Napoleon, 897
F.2d 103, 113 (3d Cir. 1990); see Hayward v. Hershey Med.
Ctr., No. 1:16-CV-2555, 2018 WL 447326, at *5 (M.D. Pa.
Jan. 17, 2018) (same); Georgetown v. Tran, No.
CIV.A. 01-1584, 2002 WL 818079, at *4 (E.D. La. Apr. 25,
2002) (same). “By granting the requested injunctive
relief in this case, the Court would be in the untenable
position of second-guessing Defendants' medical
decisions, a task for which [it is] particularly
ill-equipped.” Mitchell v. Badawi, No.
14-11346, 2015 WL 4094372, at *2 (E.D. Mich. June 18, 2015);
see Gaybor v. Pugh, No. 4:14-CV-00318, 2014
WL 4184372, at *9 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 21, 2014) (observing that a
court “is ill-equipped to micro-manage medical
treatment or second-guess the BOP's administrative
decisions, including transfers”).
the Court rules as follows:
(1) The R & R (Doc. No. 53) is ADOPTED
(2) Cloyd's Objections (Doc. No. 58) are