United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE
R. Underhill, United States District Judge.
Anthony Torrez (“Torrez”) filed this complaint
asserting a claim for deliberate indifference to serious
mental health needs. Torrez has filed a motion for temporary
restraining order or preliminary injunction seeking to be
transferred to a designated mental health facility.
same standard is used to evaluate a request for temporary
restraining order as a motion for preliminary injunction.
Andino v. Fischer, 555 F.Supp.2d 418, 419 (S.D.N.Y.
2008). Interim injunctive relief “is an extraordinary
and drastic remedy, one that should not be granted unless the
movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of
persuasion.” Grand River Enterprise Six Nations
Ltd. v. Pryor, 481 F.3d 60, 66 (2d Cir. 2007) (citation
omitted). “[D]istrict courts may grant a preliminary
injunction where a plaintiff demonstrates ‘irreparable
harm' and meets one of two related standards:
‘either (a) a likelihood of success on the merits, or
(b) sufficiently serious questions going to the merits of its
claims to make them fair ground for litigation, plus a
balance of the hardships tipping decidedly in favor of the
moving party.'” Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians
v. New York State Dep't of Fin. Servs., 769 F.3d
105, 110 (2d Cir. 2014) (quoting Lynch v. City of
N.Y., 589 F.3d 94, 98 (2d Cir. 2009) (internal quotation
marks omitted)). “[T]he court's task when granting
a preliminary injunction is generally to restore, and
preserve, the status quo ante, i.e., the situation
that existed between the parties immediately prior to the
events that precipitated the dispute.” Asa v.
Pictometry Intern. Corp., 757 F.Supp.2d 238, 243
(W.D.N.Y. 2010). See also McCormack v. Hiedeman, 694
F.3d 1004, 1019 (9th Cir. 2012) (preliminary
injunctive relief intended to preserve the status quo until
the court can rule on lawsuit's merits).
however, the moving party seeks mandatory relief “that
alters the status quo by commanding some positive act,
” the burden is higher. Cacchillo v. Insmed,
Inc., 638 F.3d 401, 406 (2d Cir. 2011) (citing
Citigroup Global Mkts., Inc. v. VCG Special Opportunities
Master Fund Ltd., 598 F.3d 30, 35 n.4 (2d Cir. 2010)
(internal quotation marks omitted)). Mandatory preliminary
injunctive relief “should issue only upon a clear
showing that the moving party is entitled to the relief
requested, or where extreme or very serious damage will
result from a denial of preliminary relief.”
Cacchillo, 638 F.3d at 406 (citing Citigroup
Global Mkts., 598 F.3d at 35 n.4) (internal quotation
marks omitted)). In this case, Torrez seeks mandatory
injunctive relief, specifically a transfer to a designated
mental health facility. Thus, he must meet the higher
district court has wide discretion in determining whether to
grant preliminary injunctive relief. Moore v.
Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc., 409 F.3d 506,
510 (2d Cir. 2005). “In the prison context, a request
for injunctive relief must always be viewed with great
caution so as not to immerse the federal judiciary in the
management of state prisons.” Fisher v. Goord,
981 F.Supp. 140, 167 (W.D.N.Y. 1997). Allegations of
irreparable harm or claims of a likelihood of success on the
merits must be substantiated with evidence in admissible
form. See Girard v. Hickey, 2016 WL 915253, at *7
(N.D.N.Y. Mar. 4, 2016) (citing Ivy Mar Co. v. C.R.
Seasons Ltd., 907 F.Supp. 561 (E.D.N.Y. 1995)
(“[B]are allegations, without more, are insufficient
for the issuance of a preliminary injunction.”), and
Hancock v. Essential Res., Inc., 792 F.Supp. 924,
928 (S.D.N.Y. 1992) (“Preliminary injunctive relief
cannot rest on mere hypotheticals.”)).
defendants have submitted the affidavit of Dr. Frayne,
Torrez' current mental health provider. Defs.' Mem.
Ex. 3 (ECF No. 35-1). Dr. Frayne states that he has been
treating Torrez since February 2016 and sees Torrez at least
once a month. In addition, Torrez is seen by his assigned
social worker. Id., ¶¶ 7-8. Dr. Frayne
states that, although Torrez has a documented history of
mental health treatment beginning in childhood, he currently
does not have a psychiatric diagnosis that would require
prescription medication. He does not suffer from a severe and
chronic mental health condition or disorder. Id.,
¶¶ 9, 11. Torrez has progressed through Phase 1 of
the Administrative Segregation Program, id., ¶
13, and has been transferred to a different correctional
facility for Phase 2. Dr. Frayne opines that Torrez'
current place of confinement does not adversely compromise
his mental health. Id., ¶ 14.
support of his motion, Torrez provides evidence that he has a
history of post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder,
and depression. He does not, however, provide any evidence
showing that these conditions cannot, or have not, been
treated in his current facility. To obtain mandatory
preliminary injunctive relief, Torrez must present evidence
supporting his claims that he will suffer irreparable harm
should the relief be denied. He has not done so. Accordingly,
Torrez' motion is denied.
November 8, 2017, Torrez filed a supplement to his motion
seeking relief pursuant to a new state statute. He attaches
to his submission a copy of Raised Bill 7302 entitled
“An Act Concerning Isolated Confinement and
Correctional Staff Training and Wellness.” ECF No. 31
at 7-12. The history of House Bill No. 7302 shows that the
bill was signed by the governor on July 11, 2017 as Public
visited Dec. 7, 2017). Although the Raised Bill indicates an
effective date of October 1, 2017, the text of Public Act
17-239 states that it becomes effective January 1, 2018.
(last visited Dec. 7, 2017). Thus, the act was not in effect
when Torrez filed his supplement.
addition, although the proposed bill submitted by Torrez
includes language barring the housing of inmates with mental
illness in administrative segregation, ECF No. 31 at 10, that
language is not included in the bill that was enacted.
See Defs.' Mem. Ex. 1, ECF No. 42 at 3. Thus,
even if the statute had become effective, it would afford
Torrez no relief.
motion for temporary restraining order or preliminary
injunction [ECF No. 10] and the additional
relief requested in the supplement to that motion
[ECF No. 31] are DENIED.