July 3, 2013
United States of America, Plaintiff,
John Ferron, Defendant.
DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.
On July 3, 2013, Plaintiff filed a complaint and emergency ex parte motion to permit the United States, through competent medical practioners employed by or contracted with the Public Health Service, Division of Immigrant Health Services, to involuntarily administer food, nutritional support, fluids, and to conduct medical monitoring, including laboratory tests, to Defendant who has been on a self-described hunger strike since July 29, 2013. The motion is supported by the declaration of Dr. Carlos M. Quinones.
The Court concludes that the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b)(1)(A) are satisfied even though the government has not submitted the required affidavit or verified complaint. Immediate and irreparable injury will occur if the Court waits for Defendant to respond in opposition.
The Court also concludes that the government is likely to succeed in showing that its interests in discharging its duties to care for those in its custody and in furthering legitimate penological objectives outweighs any interest Defendant might have in expressing himself through a hunger strike. See In re Soliman, 134 F.Supp.2d 1238 (N.D. Ala. 2001). The Court also concludes that the other requirements for a temporary restraining order are met - there is a likelihood of irreparable harm, the balance of hardship tips in favor of the government, and public policy favors preserving Defendant's life.
The government's motion for a temporary restraining order is granted. The United States shall be permitted immediately and involuntarily to administer food, nutritional support, and fluids to Defendant, and to conduct medical monitoring, including laboratory tests.
This order shall remain in effect for 14 days unless extended under Rule 65(b)(2). A further status hearing shall be held on July 11, 2013, at 4:00 p.m.