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Edwards v. Nevada Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 10, 2019

RONNIE EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Ronnie Edward’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Notice of Appeal. ECF No. 1. The Court construes the motion as one for an ex parte temporary restraining order based on a claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against Nevada Department of Corrections as well as the warden, associate wardens, medical director, and medical staff at High Desert State Prison (“HDSP”). For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the motion Plaintiff’s Motion.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Motion for Preliminary Injunction on May 8, 2019. ECF No. 1. But Plaintiff failed to pay the filing fee to initiate a civil matter or an application to proceed in forma pauperis. See docket. No. screening order has been issued. See Id. Defendants have not had an opportunity to respond.

         II. FACTS ALLEGED

         The Court makes the following findings based upon the allegations in the Motion.

         Plaintiff underwent a corneal transplant on March 14, 2017. In conjunction with the surgery, Plaintiff’s treating physician prescribed specific medications, including prescription eye drops. Medical staff at HDSP, the facility at which Plaintiff is incarcerated, have failed to timely refill Plaintiff’s prescriptions despite Plaintiff’s repeated submissions of medical kites and grievances.

         Importantly, Plaintiff visited his treating physician on November 30, 2018. The physician informed Plaintiff that his eye was rejecting the transplant. The physician then questioned if Plaintiff had been complaint with his medications. When Plaintiff explained that HDSP staff failed to timely refill his prescriptions and caused him to go without his medications for weeks at a time, the physician wrote an order instructing HDSP staff to provide six refills to Plaintiff and directing Plaintiff to increase the number of eye drops used daily. HDSP staff continued to delay Plaintiff’s prescription refills, resulting in Plaintiff going without his eye drops for over one month.

         Plaintiff continues to submit kites and grievances and attaches several medical kites to confirm his complaints. He also details the pain and vision loss resulting from not having his medication in a timely fashion.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A temporary restraining order (“TRO”) may be issued without notice to the adverse party only if the moving party: (1) provides a sworn statement clearly demonstrating “that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition,” and (2) sets forth the efforts made to notify the opposing party and why notice should not be required. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1). TROs issued without notice “are no doubt necessary in certain circumstances, but under federal law they should be restricted to serving their underlying purpose of preserving the status quo and preventing irreparable harm just so long as is necessary to hold a hearing, and no longer.” Reno Air Racing Ass’n v. McCord, 452 F.3d 1126, 1131 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Granny Goose Foods, Inc. v. Bhd. of Teamsters, 415 U.S. 423, 439 (1974)). The analysis for a temporary restraining order is “substantially identical” to that of a preliminary injunction. Stuhlbarg Intern. Sales Co, Inc. v. John D. Brush & Co., Inc., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001).

         A preliminary injunction is “an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). To obtain a preliminary injunction, a plaintiff must establish four elements: “(1) a likelihood of success on the merits, (2) that the plaintiff will likely suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, (3) that the balance of equities tips in its favor, and (4) that the public interest favors an injunction.” Wells Fargo & Co. v. ABD Ins. & Fin. Servs., Inc., 758 F.3d 1069, 1071 (9th Cir. 2014), as amended (Mar. 11, 2014) (citing Winter, 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008)). A preliminary injunction may also issue under the “serious questions” test. Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1134 (9th Cir. 2011) (affirming the continued viability of this doctrine post-Winter). According to this test, a plaintiff can obtain a preliminary injunction by demonstrating “that serious questions going to the merits were raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff’s favor,” in addition to the other Winter elements. Id. at 1134-35 (citation omitted).

         IV. ...


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