United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: REQUEST FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (DOC. NO. 12)
C. HALL JANET C. HALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Victor Smalls (“Smalls”) is incarcerated at
Northern Correctional Institution (“Northern”).
He initiated this action by filing a pro se complaint
pursuant to section 1983 of title 42 of the United States
Code against defendant Dr. Carson Wright (“Dr.
Wright”). See, e.g., Compl. (Doc. No. 1)
¶ 16. On January 11, 2017, the court dismissed, pursuant
to section 1915A(b)(1) of title 28 of the United States Code,
the claims of deliberate indifference to medical needs
against Dr. Wright relating to a period from 2010 to July
2016. See Initial Review Order & Ruling re Mot.
for Appointment of Counsel (“IRO & Ruling”)
(Doc. No. 16) at 5. The court concluded that the deliberate
indifference to medical needs claims relating to a period
from July 2016 to November 29, 2016, at Northern would
proceed against Dr. Wright. See id.
pending before the court is Smalls's memorandum seeking
preliminary injunctive relief. See generally Mem. of
Law in Supp. of Pl.'s Emergency Order to Show Cause &
TRO & Preliminary Inj. (“Mem. in Supp.” or
“Memorandum in Support”) (Doc.No.
Dr. Wright has objected to Smalls's request. See
generally Defs.' [sic] Obj. & Mem. of Law in
Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Prelim. Inj.
(“Opp'n”) (Doc. No. 21).
Memorandum in Support, Smalls reasserts the same claims that
he asserted in his Complaint. He alleges that he has suffered
from chronic back problems since 2007, and that a July 2016
x-ray of his back showed a spinal fracture. See
Decl. in Supp. of Pl.'s Mot. for TRO & Prelim. Inj.
(“Decl.”) (Doc. No. 12-1) ¶¶ 2, 7. When
he arrived at Northern in August 2016, Smalls submitted a
request for medical treatment for his severe back pain to Dr.
Wright, who was a physician assigned to Northern. See
id. ¶¶ 8-9. On September 20, 2016, Dr. Wright
examined Smalls, increased his pain medication, submitted a
request for an x-ray of Smalls's back, but denied
Smalls's request for an MRI. See id. ¶ 10.
Smalls claims that he continues to experience constant pain
in his back. See id. ¶¶ 11-12. He seeks an
order directing Dr. Wright to send him for an MRI of his back
and to arrange for him to see a qualified specialist. See
id. ¶ 13.
Memorandum and Declaration are dated January 4, 2017. Neither
document includes any allegations that Smalls sought
treatment or examination for continuing back pain since he
was seen by Dr. Wright on September 20, 2016. Dr.
Wright's Opposition to Smalls's demand for injunctive
relief includes the report of the spinal x-rays taken on
October 5, 2016, and Smalls's current list of
medications. See Opp'n, Ex. 1 at 2; Opp'n,
Ex. 2 at 1.
January 30, 2017, Smalls, Attorney Edward Wilson, Jr.-who
represents Dr. Wright-and Dr. Monica Farenella participated
in a status conference held by Magistrate Judge Merriam.
See Mem. of Conference & Scheduling Order.
(“Mem. of Conf.”) (Doc. No. 22) at 2. During the
conference, Smalls acknowledged that he had not seen the
October 2016 x-ray report and had not reviewed his medical
file. See Id. at 2. Dr. Wright-through
counsel-asserted that medical staff at Northern have provided
Smalls with appropriate treatment for his back pain and that
the October 2016 x-ray included the affected portion of his
spine. See id. at 3; see also Opp'n at
1.Counsel offered to make the x-ray report
available to Smalls. Mem. of Conf. at 3.
report of the spinal x-rays taken on October 5, 2016,
reflects that Smalls's lumbosacral spine is normal.
See Opp'n, Ex. 1 at 2. Smalls's medication
list indicates that medical staff at Northern prescribed pain
medication to Smalls on January 8, 2017. See id. The
prescription is good for a year. See id.
court concludes that Smalls has not demonstrated that he will
suffer irreparable harm if his requests for relief are not
granted now. See Winter v. Natl Res. Def. Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008) (requiring, among other
showings, “likel[ihood]” that plaintiff will
“suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary
relief, ” before court will grant preliminary
injunctive relief). Whether or not Smalls has a spinal
fracture, he has not alleged that he sought treatment and Dr.
Wright refused to examine or treat him. Rather, Smalls
disagrees with the treatment that medical staff have provided
to him since his transfer to Northern in August 2016. He
believes that an MRI and examination by a specialist is
warranted given his complaints of pain, see Decl. at
3, and an x-ray from July 2016, that purported to show
“an age-indeterminate fracture” of his spine,
see Opp'n, Ex. 1 at 3. Neither the discussion at
the Status Conference held on January 30, 2017 nor
Smalls's medical records suggests that he cannot seek, or
will not receive, appropriate, additional treatment from Dr.
Wright or other medical staff at Northern for continued back
pain. Nor do they suggest that medical staff at Northern,
including Dr. Wright, would not examine or treat him based on
his symptoms or complaints regarding the degree of relief
provided by pain medication.
light of the foregoing, to the extent that Smalls's
Memorandum in Support (Doc. No. 12) seeks preliminary
injunctive relief, it is DENIED.