United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
BRIAN A. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is Plaintiffs Motion for a Preliminary
Injunction (Doc. 11). Also before the Court is
Plaintiffs Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc.
6). The Court has jurisdiction in this matter
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Oral argument is not
required. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiffs motion for
a preliminary injunction is denied is DENIED and Plaintiffs
motion for the appointment of counsel is
Ducksworth ("Plaintiff') alleges that Hal Macmurdo,
a physician at the Dixon Correctional Institute
("Defendant"), has unlawfully discontinued
Plaintiffs weekly visits to University Medical Center in New
Orleans for speech and physical therapy services for
"financial reasons." (Doc. 11 at p. 1). Plaintiff
alleges that he suffers from recurrent respiratory
papillomatosis ("RRP") and muscle tension dysphoria
("MTD"). Plaintiff further alleges that RRP is a
condition which causes growths on the sufferer's vocal
cords. (Id. at p. 2). Plaintiff claims that once the
growths are present, the only course of action is surgical
removal, and that if left untreated, the growths could become
life threatening. (Id.). Plaintiff avers that the
medical staff at the prison have neither the expertise nor
the equipment to properly monitor his vocal cords.
(Id.). Plaintiff also avers that MTD is a condition
wherein the sufferer's neck muscles tighten to such an
extent that it renders his vocal cords inoperable.
(Id. at p. 3). Plaintiff claims that the only
treatment for MTD is regular physical therapy.
(Id.). Plaintiff further avers that he has already
been to the hospital over sixty times in eight months so that
he could receive proper treatment, and the throat lozenges,
ibuprofen, and neck exercises suggested by the prison have
been insufficient. (Id.).
the second motion for a preliminary injunction that Plaintiff
has filed. (Doc. 7). The Court denied Plaintiffs first motion
without prejudice, as Plaintiff did not serve any of the
relevant parties. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff has rectified this
"would be inequitable" to hold pro se
litigants to strict procedural standards and thereby punish
such litigants "for lacking the linguistic and
analytical skills of a trained lawyer." Perez,
312 F.3d at 194. Nonetheless, courts "still require
pro se parties to fundamentally 'abide by the
rules that govern the federal courts.'" E.E.O.C.
v. Simbaki, Ltd., 767 F.3d 475, 484 (5th Cir.2014)
(citing Frazier v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 541
Fed.Appx. 419, 421 (5th Cir.2013)). Thus, courts have held,
for example, that "[p]ro se litigants must properly
plead sufficient facts that, when liberally construed, state
a plausible claim to relief, ... and brief arguments on
appeal." In re Emergency Room Mobile Servs.,
L.L.C., 529 B.R. 676, 683 (N.D. Tex. 2015).
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic
remedy; it is never awarded as of right." Munafv.
Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 689-90 (2008) (internal citations
and quotations omitted). At all times, the burden of
persuasion remains with Plaintiff as to each of the four
elements. Specifically, a Plaintiff must establish: (1) a
substantial likelihood of prevaibng on the merits; (2) a
substantial threat of irreparable injury if the injunction is
not granted; (3) the threatened injury outweighs any harm
that will result to the non-movant if the injunction is
granted; and (4) the injunction will not disserve the public
interest. See Ridgely v. Fed. Emergency Mgmt.
Agency, 512 F.3d 727, 734 (5th Cir. 2008). See also
Allied Mktg. Grp., Inc. v. CDL Mktg., Inc., 878 F.2d
806, 809 (5th Cir. 1989) (preliminary injunctive relief
"is an extraordinary remedy and should be granted only
if the movant has clearly carried the burden of persuasion
with respect to all four factors"); Mississippi
Power & Light Co. v. United Gas Pipe Line Co., 760
F.2d 618, 621 (5th Cir. 1985) ("[t]he decision to grant
a request for preliminary injunction is to be treated as the
exception rather than the rule"). The decision whether
to grant or deny a request for a preliminary injunction is
within the sound discretion of the Court. See Allied
Mlttg. Grp., Inc., 878 F.2d at 809.
plaintiff fails to meet his burden regarding any of the
necessary elements, the Court need not address the other
elements necessary for granting a preliminary injunction. See
Roho, Inc. v. Marquis, 902 F.2d 356, 261 (5th Cir.
1990) (declining to address the remaining elements necessary
to obtain a preliminary injunction after finding that the
plaintiff failed to show a substantial likelihood of success
on the merits).
has not satisfied the basic elements required for the
imposition of temporary restraints as set forth by
Ridgley. Plaintiff fails to expand his analysis of
the facts of his case past the "irreparable harm"
criteria. Plaintiff argues that irreparable harm would occur
should his conditions be left untreated, but does not address
the likelihood of success of his claims, or whether granting
an injunction disserves the public interest. Plaintiff
briefly addresses whether the harm done to him outweighs the
harm that would be caused to Defendant Macmurdo if the Court
grants an injunction, albeit in a cursory fashion, stating
only that "no harm will come to defendant Macmurdo if
the plaintiffs weekly MTD treatments are restored for 90 days
by the granting of this motion." (Doc. 11 at p. 3).
Plaintiff does not address any potential harm the injunction
may case to other Defendants listed in the complaint, nor
does Plaintiff explain why he believes that an injunction
would not harm Defendants, despite also claiming that his
doctor visits were discontinued for "financial
Court is called to review a pro se litigant's
complaint liberally, so as to glean a cause of action from
often inartfully pleaded complaints. The Court has complied
with this mandate. The Court cannot, however, be expected to
"extract blood from a stone" when a pro se
litigant does not allege even the bare minimum facts to
support a cause of action. As Plaintiff has not put forth
arguments addressing all of the requisite criteria
for the issuance of a temporary restraining order, the Court
cannot reach the full merits of Plaintiffs request.
Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.
Court has twice denied Plaintiffs requests for injunctive
relief on procedural grounds, as required by case law and
statutory authority, and is concerned that Plaintiffs lack of
legal education may prevent Plaintiff from prosecuting his
case in an effective manner. Because Plaintiff's
allegations, if true, may present sufficiently ...