United States District Court, D. Delaware
GEORGE B. SHAW, Plaintiff,
SGT. ROBERT MOCK, Defendant. v.
George B. Shaw ("Plaintiff) filed this action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his
constitutional rights. (D.I. 3) Plaintiff is incarcerated at
the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("VCC") in
Smyrna, Delaware. He appears pro se and has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 6)
recently filed a letter/motion for injunctive relief seeking
mental health treatment. (D.I. 13) His motion is unrelated to
the claims raised in his Complaint. Defendant opposes the
motion. (D.I. 16)
preliminary injunction is "an extraordinary remedy that
should be granted only if: (1) the plaintiff is likely to
succeed on the merits; (2) denial will result in irreparable
harm to the plaintiff; (3) granting the injunction will not
result in irreparable harm to the defendant; and (4) granting
the injunction is in the public interest."
NutraSweet Co. v. Vit-Mar Enterprises, Inc., 176
F.3d 151, 153 (3d Cir. 1999) ("Nutra Sweet II").
The elements also apply to temporary restraining orders.
See Nutri Sweet Co. v. Vit-Mar Enterprises.,
Inc., 112 F.3d 689, 693 (3d Or. 1997)(“Nutra
Sweet I”) (stating temporary restraining order
continuing beyond time permissible under Rule 65 must be
treated as preliminary injunction and must conform to the
standards applicable to preliminary injunctions).
"[F]ailure to establish any element in [a plaintiffs]
favor renders a preliminary injunction inappropriate."
Nutra Sweet II, 176 F.3d at 153. Furthermore,
because of the intractable problems of prison administration,
a request for injunctive relief in the prison context must be
viewed with considerable caution. See Rush v.
Correctional Med. Services, Inc., 287 Fed.Appx. 142, 144
(3d Cir. July 31, 2008) (citing Gaff v. Harper, 60
F.3d 518, 520 (8th Cir. 1995)).
states that he has serious mental health issues, and he is
not being provided mental health treatment. He seeks
counseling and medication. Plaintiff wants to be in the
mental health program for maximum security inmates. He
indicates that he is suicidal and has previously attempted
opposition to the motion, Defendant provides the declaration
of Marc Richman, the Bureau Chief for the Bureau of
Correctional Health Care Services for the Delaware Department
of Correction, and also submits his mental health records.
(D.I. 16 at Exs. A, B) The medical records indicate that
Plaintiff received and continues to receive mental health
treatment though the DOC's medical provider. He has been
seen by several psychologists and had had numerous weekly
visits with clinicians. In addition, Plaintiff was placed in
residential treatment centers after apparent efforts to harm
Richman indicates that Plaintiff is not a current residential
treatment candidate due to his propensity to display
threatening behaviors and disobey orders. However, Plaintiff
receives regular consults from qualified mental health
professionals. Dr. Richman indicates that on the day
Plaintiff authored his motion, he demanded to see a mental
health counselor, and he was seen. At that time, the
counselor determined there was no evidence of any acute
emotional distress. Plaintiff agreed to notify mental health
in the event there was a risk of harm to himself or to
others. Plaintiff responds that Defendant's response is
misleading, and explains that, while he sees a doctor every
other week, he does not get any treatment. (D.I. 18)
Plaintiff wants to be returned to the treatment center.
prison official is deliberately indifferent if he knows that
a prisoner faces a substantial risk of serious harm and fails
to take reasonable steps to avoid the harm. See Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994). A prison official may
manifest deliberate indifference by "intentionally
denying or delaying access to medical care." Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 U.S. at 104-05. However, so long as the
treatment provided is reasonable, "a prisoner has no
right to choose a specific form of medical treatment."
Lasko v. Watts, 373 Fed.Appx. 196, 203 (3d Cir.
2010) (quoting Harrison v. Barklej, 219 F.3d 132,
138-40 (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.
See 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).
goal is to return to the treatment center. The evidence of
record indicates that, contrary to the position in his
motion, mental health professionals are aware of Plaintiff s
condition, Plaintiff received and continues to receive mental
health treatment, and his condition is regularly monitored
through consults by mental health professionals. In light of
the foregoing, the Court finds that Plaintiff has
demonstrated neither the likelihood of success on the merits,
nor irreparable harm to justify the issuance of immediate
injunctive relief. Therefore, the motion will be denied.