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Armstead v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

January 14, 2020

BALDWIN, et al., Defendants.

          Sarah D. Morrison Judge



         Plaintiff Demarco Armstead's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (Doc. 6) is before the Undersigned. For the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that the Motion be DENIED. Defendants are DIRECTED to submit under seal Plaintiff's antiviral drug administration history records, similar to those submitted by the County Defendants, (see Doc. 40), from December 12, 2019, to the date of this Report and Recommendation by January 28, 2020.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, and is currently being detained at Franklin County Correctional Center, has brought this suit against 24 Defendants. Plaintiff's 35-page handwritten Complaint asserts numerous claims, including religious discrimination, excessive use of force, retaliation, conspiracy, and deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. (See generally Doc. 1-2). Since bringing this action, Plaintiff has filed 28 separate motions along with numerous letters and exhibits. (See, e.g., Docs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 29, 38, 39, 48, 49, 51, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 74, 75). Currently before the Undersigned is Plaintiff's Motion for Restraining Order. (Doc. 6). In his Motion, Plaintiff does not describe the injunctive relief he seeks but rather asserts broadly that Defendants have failed to administer nearly 20 doses of his prescribed antiviral medication to treat his HIV. (See generally id.). More specifically, he alleges:

[t]his facility and medical staff contracted to provide medical care to me has maintained a practice of providing inefficient and questionable medical services resulting in almost 20 missed doses of my mandatory life sustaining medication treatment regime, failure to respond to my urgent and emergency symptoms and chronic ailments. A custom of not addressing my health care needs [ ] physically devastating my already compromised condition. The substandard care has caused me to become fearful of my own survival and quality of life I will be able to enjoy. As a pretrial detainee, I am forced to endure torture because of poverty.


         Defendants Baldwin, Blade, Blake, Bryant, Carmen, Chambers, Fargus, Farnsworth, Holt, Jane Doe, Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2, Jane Doe #3, John Doe #1, John Doe #2, Obrien, Probst, See, and Shroder (the “County Defendants”) filed a timely response asserting that Plaintiff failed to identify his medical condition or prescribed medication and therefore failed to meet his burden for a restraining order. (Doc. 31). The Undersigned directed the County Defendants to do more work. (Doc. 33). Specifically, the Undersigned directed them to address Plaintiff's factual allegations. (Id. at 2). The County Defendants did so. On December 16, 2019, they filed a supplemental response along with relevant medical records, which were filed under seal. (See Docs. 35, 40, 41). Defendants NaphCare, Inc., Lyons, Stefanko, and Jones (the “NaphCare Defendants”) also filed a response to Plaintiff's Motion. (See Doc. 55). Plaintiff has filed two reply briefs in support of his Motion. (See Doc. 58 at 48; Doc. 73). Thus, this matter is now ripe for resolution.

         II. STANDARD

         “The standard for addressing a motion for a temporary restraining order is the same as the standard applied to a motion for a preliminary injunction.” Ferron v. Search Cactus, L.L.C., No. 2:06-CV-327, 2007 WL 2110497, at *1 (S.D. Ohio July 13, 2007) (citation omitted). Both are extraordinary measures, and the movant must meet a high burden to show that such a measure is justified. See ACLU v. McCreary Cty., 354 F.3d 438, 444 (6th Cir. 2003); Kendall Holdings, Ltd. v. Eden Cryogenics LLC, 630 F.Supp.2d 853, 860 (S.D. Ohio 2008). Indeed, the proof required to obtain this relief “is much more stringent than the proof required to survive a summary judgment motion.” Leary v. Daeschner, 228 F.3d 729, 739 (6th Cir. 2000). Accordingly, the movant must show more than factual issues-he “must affirmatively demonstrate [his] entitlement to injunctive relief.” Davis v. Caruso, No. 07-11740, 2008 WL 878878, at *3 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 28, 2008).

         When considering whether to grant this extraordinary relief, a district court must balance four factors:

(1) whether the movant has a strong likelihood of success on the merits; (2) whether the movant would suffer irreparable injury without the injunction; (3) whether issuance of the injunction would cause substantial harm to others; and (4) whether the public interest would be served by issuance of the injunction.

City of Pontiac Retired Employees Ass'n v. Schimmel, 751 F.3d 427, 430 (6th Cir. 2014) (en banc) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

         Under the first factor, to establish a strong likelihood of success on the merits, the movant must demonstrate “more than a mere possibility” of success. Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 435 (2009). This means that the movant must “show, at a minimum serious questions going to the merits” of his claims. Dodds v. United States Dep't of Educ., 845 F.3d 217, 221 ...

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