United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division
RICHARD MARK GERGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
the Court is the Report and Recommendation ("R &
R") of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No. 78) recommending
the Court deny Plaintiffs motion for preliminary injunction.
(Dkt. No. 65.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court
adopts the R & R as the order of the Court to deny
Plaintiffs motion for preliminary injunction.
Vincent Brown, proceeding pro se, filed an action
alleging violations of his constitutional rights pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter before the Court is
Plaintiffs motion for preliminary injunction, filed on
September 18, 2019. (Dkt. No. 65.) Plaintiff is currently
housed at the Broad River Correctional
Institute. (Dkt. No. 1-5 at 5.) (Dkt. No. 1-4 at 19.)
In his motion, Plaintiff maintains the living conditions
while he was housed at Lee Correctional Institute amount to
cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his Eighth
Amendment rights. (Id. at 2.) Plaintiff contends he
did not receive timely or adequate medical attention with
regard to his physical and mental wellness. (Id. at
3-5.) He contends that the living conditions were unsanitary
with no light. (Id. at 2.) Plaintiff requests for
the Court to "intervene to secure actual evidence"
and to "take Judicial Notice of his living
conditions." (Id. at 7.) In addition, he asks
the Court to take pictures of the dirty cells. (Id.)
Defendants filed a motion in opposition to Plaintiffs motion
for preliminary injunction. (Dkt. No.71.) The Magistrate
Judge issued an R & R denying Plaintiffs motion for
preliminary injunction on September 25, 2019. (Dkt. No. 78.)
Report and Recommendation
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court
that has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a
final determination remains with the Court. See Mathews
v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court may
"accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate
judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court must make
a de novo determination of those portions of the R
& R Plaintiff specifically objects. Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b)(2). Where Plaintiff fails to file any specific
objections, "a district court need not conduct a de
novo review, but instead must only satisfy itself that
there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to
accept the recommendation." Diamond v. Colonial Life
& Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir.
2005) (internal quotation omitted). "Moreover, in the
absence of specific objections to the R & R, the Court
need not give any explanation for adopting the
recommendation." Wilson v. S.C. Dept of Corr.,
No. 9:14-CV-4365-RMG, 2015 WL 1124701, at *1 (D.S.C. Mar. 12,
2015). See also Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 200
(4th Cir. 1983). Plaintiff did not file objections in this
case, and the R & R is reviewed for clear error.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the
"court may issue a preliminary injunction only on notice
to the adverse party." Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a). A preliminary
injunction is warranted when the movant demonstrates four
factors: (1) the movant's likelihood of success on the
merits, (2) whether the movant will face irreparable harm in
the absence of preliminary relief, (3) whether the balance of
equities favors preliminary relief, and (4) whether
injunctive relief is in the public interest. Winter v.
Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008).
review of the R & R and the parties' arguments, the
Court finds the Magistrate Judge ably addressed the issues
and correctly concluded that Plaintiffs motion should be
denied. The Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's
findings that Plaintiffs motion does not satisfy the
Winter standard. Plaintiff contends several times
that he has not received adequate or timely medical care
(Dkt. No. 65 at 2-5), which amounts to cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.
(Id. at 1.) The Plaintiff engages in a discussion of
the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual
punishment, which imposes certain duties on prison officials
to include taking reasonable measures to guarantee the safety
of the inmates. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. at 825,
832 (1994) (Dkt. No. 65 at 1-3.) Refusal to provide
treatment, when indicating a "deliberate indifference to
serious medical needs of prisoners" results in "the
'unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain,' . . .
proscribed by the Eighth Amendment." Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976).
motion for preliminary injunction contains vague claims for
proper medical, dental, and mental health care services.
(Dkt. No. 65 at 5.) There is a specific allegation where
Plaintiff alleges, he waited several weeks to receive
treatment for a broken tooth. (Id.) The Complaint
reflects that his tooth was operated on and fixed within
thirty-five days of the initial injury. (Dkt. No. 1 at 12.)
Plaintiff filed a Request to Staff Member on September 8,
2019, indicating that something fell off his tooth and it was
broken again. (Dkt. No. 1-4 at 17.) Defendant responded on
September 10, 2019, indicating Plaintiff would be notified of
the first available appointment. (Id.) On September
23, 2019, Plaintiff was transferred to the Broad River
Correctional Institute. (Dkt. No. 1-5 at 5.) (Dkt. No. 1-4 at
19.) The Plaintiffs allegations do not show Defendants
refused to treat his injured tooth, but rather demonstrate
Defendant attempted treatment of his injury. The Court agrees
with the R & R of the Magistrate Judge that Plaintiff
does not demonstrate likelihood of success on the merits.
irreparable harm is not established. Establishing a risk of
irreparable harm is not enough, a plaintiff has a burden of
proving a 'clear showing of immediate irreparable
injury.' Direx Israel, Ltd. v. Breakthrough Med.
Corp., 952 F.2d 802, 812 (4th Cir. 1991). While
Plaintiff contends he suffers from a broken tooth, which has
not been treated for several weeks, causing unnecessary
infliction of pain, his request for relief does not include
treatment for his tooth. (Id.) He requests for the
Court to "intervene to secure actual evidence" and
to "take Judicial Notice of his living conditions."
(Id. at 7.) Since the filing of his motion for
preliminary injunction, Plaintiff has transferred to the
Broad River Correctional Institute and has been removed from
the cell described in his motion for preliminary injunction.
(Dkt. No. 1-5 at 5.) (Dkt. No. 1-4 at 19.) As such, his
allegations do not clearly establish "actual and
imminent" injury if a preliminary injunction is not
issued. Direx Israel, Ltd, 952 F.2d at 812.
preliminary injunction will not issue without a showing of
irreparable injury." Direx Israel, Ltd.., 952
F.2d at 812 (noting that the basis of injunctive relief in
the federal courts has always been irreparable harm and
inadequacy of legal remedies.) As Plaintiff failed to
demonstrate irreparable injury, he has failed to establish
the necessity of a preliminary injunction. The Court agrees
with the R & R of the Magistrate Judge that Plaintiff
failed to ...