United States District Court, E.D. California
MICHAEL J. HICKS, Plaintiff,
BEHROZ HAMKAR, et al., Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
with a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff alleges defendants were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. Before the court is plaintiff's motion for
injunctive relief. (ECF No. 93.) The court will recommend
denial of plaintiff's motion without prejudice to its
renewal with current information on his medical care.
case is proceeding on plaintiff's second amended
complaint (“SAC”) filed on September 14, 2015.
(ECF No. 51.) Plaintiff alleges defendants Hamkar, Venes,
Yeboah, Sayre, Zamora, and Nangalama failed to appropriately
treat the pain he suffers as a result of a degenerative disk
disease and bone spurring in his lower neck.
December 2015, defendants moved to dismiss the SAC. On
October 6, 2016, the undersigned found plaintiff failed to
state a cognizable § 1983 claim against any defendant
and recommended the motions to dismiss be granted. (ECF No.
92.) Plaintiff objected to that recommendation. On October
14, 2016, plaintiff filed the present motion for injunctive
relief. (ECF No. 93.) Plaintiff contends the prison continues
to provide inadequate treatment for his pain. He seeks a
transfer to a prison that can provide him cervical traction
on a regular basis.
21, 2017, District Judge Mueller granted in part and denied
in part the motions to dismiss. (ECF No. 103.) Judge Mueller
found plaintiff stated cognizable Eighth Amendment claims.
seeks a court order requiring the prison to transfer him to a
facility that can accommodate his need for regular cervical
traction to treat his pain. (ECF No. 93.)
requesting preliminary injunctive relief must show that
“he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is
likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his
favor, and that an injunction is in the public
interest.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def.
Council, 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). The propriety of a
request for injunctive relief hinges on a significant threat
of irreparable injury that must be imminent in nature.
Caribbean Marine Serv. Co. v. Baldrige, 844 F.2d
668, 674 (9th Cir. 1988).
under the so-called sliding scale approach, as long as the
plaintiff demonstrates the requisite likelihood of
irreparable harm and can show that an injunction is in the
public interest, a preliminary injunction may issue so long
as serious questions going to the merits of the case are
raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply in
plaintiff's favor. Alliance for the Wild Rockies v.
Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131-36 (9th Cir. 2011)
(concluding that the “serious questions” version
of the sliding scale test for preliminary injunctions remains
viable after Winter).
principal purpose of preliminary injunctive relief is to
preserve the court's power to render a meaningful
decision after a trial on the merits. See 9 Charles
Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and
Procedure § 2947 (3d ed. 2014). Implicit in this
required showing is that the relief awarded is only temporary
and there will be a full hearing on the merits of the claims
raised in the injunction when the action is brought to trial.
Preliminary injunctive relief is not appropriate until the
court finds that the plaintiff's complaint presents
cognizable claims. See Zepeda v. United States
Immigration Serv., 753 F.2d 719, 727 (9th Cir. 1985)
(“A federal court may issue an injunction if it has
personal jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter
jurisdiction over the claims . . . .”).
cases brought by prisoners involving conditions of
confinement, any preliminary injunction “must be
narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to correct
the harm the court finds requires preliminary relief, and be
the least intrusive means necessary to correct that
harm.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2). Further, an
injunction against individuals not parties to an action is
strongly disfavored. See Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine
Research, Inc., 395 U.S. 100, 110 (1969) (“It is
elementary that one is not bound by a judgment . . .
resulting from litigation in which he is not designated as a
party . . . .”).
court reserved ruling on plaintiff's motion for
injunctive relief until resolution of the motion to dismiss.
Now that the district judge has ruled that plaintiff stated
cognizable claims for deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs, this court may consider plaintiff's motion
for an injunction. The problem, however, is that over nine
months have passed since plaintiff filed his motion. Because
plaintiff is seeking specific medical care, the court should
not consider his request without knowing what care he is
currently receiving. For these reasons, the court will
recommend denial of plaintiff's motion without prejudice.
If the district judge adopts that recommendation, plaintiff
may file a renewed motion, with current medical information.
IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that plaintiff's October 14,
2016 (ECF No. 93) motion for an ...