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Carpenter v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

June 19, 2019

Edward Lamar Carpenter, Plaintiff,
Charles L. Ryan, et al., Defendants.


          David G, Campbell Senior United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Edward Lamar Carpenter, who is currently confined in the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis, filed a pro se civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is Plaintiff's “Motion: To Add Additional Facts to Motion Sent 28 Feb 2019 Hernia, Knee & Hemroid [sic]” (Doc. 70) and “Motion: Discovery of Dental Records and Additional Facts” (Doc. 83), which the Court construes as Motions for Preliminary Injunction. The Court is also in receipt of Defendants Corizon Health, Inc. (“Corizon”) and Dentist Dr. Larry Russell's “Joint Notice to Court Regarding Periodontal Treatment” (Doc. 66), to which Plaintiff has filed a Response (Doc. 67).

         I. Background

         On screening of Plaintiff's four-count First Amended Complaint (Doc. 30) under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), the Court determined that Plaintiff stated claims against Defendants Corizon, Nurse Practitioner (NP) Lawrence Ende, Nurse LaToya Bryce, and Dr. Russell for alleged violations of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights regarding his medical and dental care. (Docs. 17, 48.)

         II. Notice Regarding Periodontal Treatment

         On February 12, 2019, the Court denied without prejudice Plaintiff's Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 18), in which Plaintiff sought relief for various medical issues, including an asserted need for urgent dental care. (See Doc. 55.) In denying the Motion, the Court relied in part on Dr. Russell's December 21, 2018 treatment plan for Plaintiff to receive follow-up periodontal treatment and gave Defendants Corizon and Russell 30 days to “file a Notice indicating whether they have provided follow-up periodontal treatment for Plaintiff in accordance with Dr. Russell's December 21, 2018 treatment plan or explaining why such treatment has not been provided.” (Doc. 55.)

         In their Notice, filed on March 13, 2019, Corizon and Russell (“Defendants”) produce dental records showing that Plaintiff received the follow-up periodontal treatment Dr. Russell prescribed. (Doc. 66.) The records show that, on February 22, 2019, Plaintiff was seen by Dental Assistant Delvia Orellana for teeth cleaning. (Doc. 66-3.) He was also seen by Dentist Jose DeLossantos, who completed scaling and root planing of all four quadrants of Plaintiff's mouth based on Plaintiff's desire to keep his teeth as long as possible and discussed Plaintiff's need for extractions of teeth 29 and 30 due to mobility and bone loss, which Plaintiff indicated he understood. (Doc. 66-4.) This treatment was in accordance with Dr. Russell's December 21, 2018 treatment plan. (See Doc. 66-1.)

         Plaintiff filed a Response to the Notice (Doc. 67), in which he largely realleges complaints about his dental care that the Court already addressed in its February 12, 2019 Order denying all of Plaintiff's requests for preliminary injunctive relief. (See Doc. 55.) Although Plaintiff continues to disagree with the course of dental treatment Defendants have provided going back to 2011, he does not dispute that he has received the care Dr. Russell prescribed, which was the only remaining issue from Plaintiff's Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 18) still pending before the Court. Because Defendants have produced evidence that Plaintiff received this treatment, there are no remaining issues to address relative to that Motion, and no further notice or action from Defendants with respect to that Motion is required.

         III. Plaintiff's New Motions for Preliminary Injunction

         A. Legal Standard

         “A preliminary injunction is ‘an extraordinary and drastic remedy, one that should not be granted unless the movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of persuasion.'” Lopez v. Brewer, 680 F.3d 1068, 1072 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997) (per curiam); see also Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008) (citation omitted) (“[a] preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right”). A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must show that (1) he is likely to succeed on the merits, (2) he is likely to suffer irreparable harm without an injunction, (3) the balance of equities tips in his favor, and (4) an injunction is in the public interest. Winter, 555 U.S. at 20. “But if a plaintiff can only show that there are ‘serious questions going to the merits'-a lesser showing than likelihood of success on the merits-then a preliminary injunction may still issue if the ‘balance of hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff's favor,' and the other two Winter factors are satisfied.” Shell Offshore, Inc. v. Greenpeace, Inc., 709 F.3d 1281, 1291 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1135 (9th Cir. 2011)). Under this serious questions variant of the Winter test, “[t]he elements . . . must be balanced, so that a stronger showing of one element may offset a weaker showing of another.” Lopez, 680 F.3d at 1072.

         Regardless of which standard applies, the movant “has the burden of proof on each element of the test.” See Envtl. Council of Sacramento v. Slater, 184 F.Supp.2d 1016, 1027 (E.D. Cal. 2000). Further, there is a heightened burden where a plaintiff seeks a mandatory preliminary injunction, which should not be granted “unless the facts and law clearly favor the plaintiff.” Comm. of Cent. Am. Refugees v. INS, 795 F.2d 1434, 1441 (9th Cir. 1986) (citation omitted).

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act imposes additional requirements on prisoner litigants who seek preliminary injunctive relief against prison officials and requires that any injunctive relief be narrowly drawn and the least intrusive means necessary to correct the harm. 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2); see Gilmore v. People of the State of Cal., 220 F.3d 987, 999 (9th Cir. 2000).

         B. ...

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