United States District Court, D. Delaware
plaintiff, DeShawn Drumgo ("Drumgo"), a prisoner
housed at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center
("VCC"), Smyrna, Delaware, commenced this civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on February
February 22, 2017 and March 7, 2017, Drumgo filed motions for
emergency injunctive relief. (D.I. 4, 8) The court ordered a
response only as to the medical treatment issues wherein
Drumgo asserted a need to see outside physicians for
preexisting medical conditions and for injuries he sustained
during the February 2017 hostage incident at the VCC.
seeking a preliminary injunction must show: (1) a likelihood
of success on the merits; (2) that it will suffer irreparable
harm if the injunction is denied; (3) that granting
preliminary relief will not result in even greater harm to
the nonmoving party; and (4) that the public interest favors
such relief. Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Andrx
Corp., 369 F.3d 700, 708 (3d Cir. 2004) (citation
omitted). "Preliminary injunctive relief is 'an
extraordinary remedy' and 'should be granted only in
limited circumstances.'" Id. (citations
omitted). Because of the intractable problems of prison
administration, a request for injunctive relief in the prison
context must be viewed with considerable caution. Abraham
v. Danberg, 322 F.App'x 169, 170 (3d Cir. 2009)
(unpublished) (citing Goff v. Harper, 60 F.3d 518,
520 (8th Cir. 1995)).
warden Phil Parker opposes the motions and provides the
declaration of Dr. Vincent Carr ("Dr. Carr"), who
oversees the healthcare provided to inmates in Delaware
Department of Correction ("DOC") custody through
its medical service contract provider. (D.I. 10, ex. A.) Dr.
Carr reviewed Drumgo's medical file and states that
Drumgo's complaints appear unfounded noting that: (1)
Drumgo has been seen and symptomatic treatment has been
provided for his complaints of rib pain from contusions and
wrist pain from cuffs; (2) prescription lenses were ordered
for Drumgo on February 27, 2017, and he was provided with
temporary reading glasses in the meantime; (3) Drumgo
underwent an extensive medical examination on February 10,
2017; (4) x-rays taken of Drumgo's ribs did not reveal
signs of a break; and (5) records indicate that a follow-up
evaluation for Drumgo's wrist problems may be needed.
prisoner has no right to choose a specific form of medical
treatment, " so long as the treatment provided is
reasonable. Harrison v. Barkley, 219 F.3d 132,
138-140 (2d Cir. 2000). An inmate's claims against
members of a prison medical department are not viable under
§ 1983 where the inmate receives continuing care, but
believes that more should be done by way of diagnosis and
treatment and maintains that options available to medical
personnel were not pursued on the inmate's behalf.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 107 (1976). Finally,
"mere disagreement as to the proper medical
treatment" is insufficient to state a constitutional
violation. See Spruill v. Gillis, 372 F.3d 218, 235
(3d Cir. 2004) (citations omitted). Dr. Carr's
uncontroverted affidavit indicates that Drumgo is receiving
medical care. Given the record before the court, Drumgo has
not demonstrated the likelihood of success on the merits and,
therefore, injunctive relief is not appropriate.
also seeks the return of all items confiscated from his cell
that apparently were taken following the February 2017
hostage incident. This includes personal property as well as
legal property. To the extent, Drumgo seeks return of
personal property, a claim based on the deprivation of his
personal property is not actionable under § 1983 unless
there is no adequate post-deprivation remedy available.
See Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 542 (1981),
overruled on other grounds by 474 U.S. 327 (1986); Harris
v. McMullen, 609 F.App'x 704, 705 (3d Cir. 2015)
(unpublished). Because Delaware provides an adequate remedy
by filing a common law claim for conversion of property,
Drumgo has failed to demonstrate the likelihood of success on
the merits and, therefore, injunctive relief is not
regard to his legal documents, prisoners must be allowed
"adequate, effective and meaningful" access to the
courts. Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 822 (1977).
"Many courts have found a cause of action for violation
of the right of access stated where it was alleged that
prison officials confiscated and/or destroyed legal
materials." Zilich v. Lucht, 981 F.2d 694, 695
(3d Cir. 1992) (citations omitted). However, for a denial of
the right of access to the courts, Drumgo must show that he
was actually injured by such interference. Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 349 (1996); Oliver v.
Fauver, 118 F.3d 175, 178 (3d Cir. 1997). Drumgo has
made no such showing. Again, Drumgo has failed to demonstrate
the likelihood of success on the merits and, therefore,
injunctive relief is not appropriate.
Drumgo seeks injunctive relief because he has been housed in
solitary confinement for more than a month without a hearing
or a write-up. Drumgo states that in March 2016, he was
classified to medium housing security and contends that his
current housing assignment violates his right to due process.
While not ...