United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
NEAL E. HAVLIK REG. # 24985-009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court are a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and
Preliminary Injunction [doc. 21], filed by federal inmate
Neal E. Havlik. Havlik has filed a Federal Tort Claims Act
suit based on his medical and dental care at the Federal
Correctional Institution at Oakdale, Louisiana
(“FCIO”), where he is still incarcerated.
See doc. 1. The motion has been referred to the
undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in
accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636.
seeks injunctive relief on allegations that Bureau of Prisons
employees are (1) withholding and destroying his medical
records, (2) denying him medical care, (3) transferring him
“every few days to few weeks” in order to prevent
him from litigating his case, and (4) otherwise retaliating
against him for bringing suit. Doc. 21. He asks that the
court restrain the government from (1) retaliating against
him for seeking medical care/pursuing this suit and (2)
confiscating his records, books, and papers. He also requests
that all medical records, copies of grievances, and videos be
placed under seal for in camera inspection. Id. This
request has been served on the government, which has already
made an appearance in the suit, through the court's
electronic filing system. Upon initial review of the motion,
this court concluded that Havlik's claims did not meet
the standard for a TRO. Doc. 22. We now review his motion, as
well as the response and reply, to determine whether Havlik
is entitled to a preliminary injunction.
obtain a preliminary injunction, a movant must show (1) a
substantial likelihood of success on the merits of the
underlying suit, (2) a substantial threat that he will suffer
irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted, (3) that
the threatened injury outweighs any damage that the
injunction might cause the defendant, an (4) that the
injunction will not disserve the public interest.
Bluefield Water Ass'n, Inc. v. City of Starkville,
Miss., 577 F.3d 250, 252-53 (5th Cir. 2009). The party
seeking a preliminary injunction carries the “heavy
burden” of showing that his request meets each of these
requirements. Clark v. Prichard, 812 F.2d 991, 993
(5th Cir. 1987); Enterprise Int'l, Inc. v.
Corporacion Estatal Petrolera Ecuatoriana, 762 F.2d 464,
472 (5th Cir. 1985). In a prison setting, requests for
preliminary injunctive relief are “viewed with great
caution because judicial restraint is especially called for
in dealing with the complex and intractable problems of
prison administration.” Goff v. Harper, 60
F.3d 518, 520 (8th Cir. 1995) (internal quotations omitted).
The court must “give substantial weight to any adverse
impact on public safety or the operation of a criminal
justice system caused by the preliminary relief . . .
.” 18 U.S.C. §§ 3626(a)(1)(A), (a)(2).
Havlik's medical treatment claims, the government shows
that Havlik has received medical treatment for various
complaints at least 55 times since his arrival at FCIO in
2012. See doc. 28, att. 1, pp. 1-9.
While Havlik disputes the adequacy of this treatment, the
records show that he has received diagnostic tests,
prescription medications, and treatment at the local
community hospital and from an orthopedist. The government
also shows that Havlik refused a procedure scheduled for
August 2018, had two office visits in November 2018, and was
scheduled for shoulder surgery in December 2018. Id.
at p. 9, ¶¶ 37-38. The government's showing
suffices to establish that any dispute over treatment is not
so urgent as to require preliminary injunctive relief.
Havlik's retaliation claims, the government asserts that
his last placement in solitary confinement was in April 2017,
before this lawsuit was initiated, and lasted less than a
week. Doc. 28, att. 1, p. 4 ¶ 16. Havlik does not show
any retaliation since that time, other than his allegations
that medical care is being withheld. Although Havlik
complains that he is being denied Tylenol 3 and offered only
regular Tylenol in retaliation, he does not show a denial of
care sufficient to warrant the court's interference at
this stage. Accordingly, his fear of retaliation relating to
this lawsuit is insufficient to justify preliminary
claim of withheld medical records is likewise unavailing.
Havlik has filed a motion to compel discovery, which is
currently awaiting response from the government. Doc. 29;
see doc. 36 (setting response deadline). Havlik has
yet to show that the tools of discovery are inadequate to
address any withholding of evidence. Likewise, his vague
claims that materials are confiscated and that FCIO employees
are otherwise interfering with his ability to pursue his
claims are belied by his ability to file this suit and
multiple motions therewith. Accordingly, he has not shown any
threat of harm sufficient to justify preliminary injunctive
relief and the motion must be denied.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Rule 72(b) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the parties have fourteen
(14) days from receipt of this Report and Recommendation to
file written objections with the Clerk of Court. Failure to
file written objections to the proposed factual findings
and/or the proposed legal conclusions reflected in this
Report and Recommendation within fourteen (14) days of
receipt shall bar an aggrieved party from attacking either
the factual findings or the legal conclusions accepted by the
District Court, except upon grounds of plain error. See
Douglass v. United Services Automobile Ass'n, 79
F.3d 1415, 1429-30 (5th Cir. 1996).
DONE AND SIGNED.
 This statement is based on a
declaration from Michaela Hano, assistant health services
administrator at FCIO, who states that she is familiar with
Havlik and has reviewed his medical records. Doc. 28, att. 1,
pp. 1-2, ¶¶ 1-3. The government also attaches over
140 pages of ...