United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
T. ERWIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Phoebe Renee Halliwell has filed a motion seeking a
preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (TRO)
(ECF No. 26). In the motion, Ms. Halliwell states that she
suffers from Gender Dysphoria (GD) and requests that the
Court order Defendants to “carry out [a] Plan of
Treatment by a qualified Transgender Specialist” by
providing Plaintiff with either: (1) hormone therapy or (2)
consultation with a qualified physician to evaluate and treat
her condition. (ECF Nos. 26:1 & 26-5:4).
HALLIWELL IS NOT ENTITLED TO A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION OR
Halliwell has not provided the Court with any information
that she has served the Second Amended Complaint upon
Defendants, and thus appears to be seeking a TRO without
notice pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(1). Pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b), a TRO may be entered on an emergency
basis in order to prevent “immediate and irreparable
injury, loss or damage” from occurring before the
opposing party can be heard. See Granny Goose Foods, Inc.
v. Brotherhood of Teamsters and Auto Truck Drivers
Local No. 70 of Alameda County, 415 U.S. 423, 439
(1974) (“Ex party temporary restraining orders are no
doubt necessary in certain circumstances, but under federal
law they should be restricted to serving their underlying
purpose of preserving the status quo and preventing
irreparable harm just so long as is necessary to hold a
hearing, and no longer.”) (internal citation omitted).
Likewise, “[T]he limited purpose of a preliminary
injunction is merely to preserve the relative positions of
the parties until a trial on the merits can be held
....” Schrier v. Univ. Of Co., 427 F.3d 1253,
1258 (10th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted).
obtain a preliminary injunction or TRO, the movant must show:
(1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2)
irreparable harm to the movant if the injunction is denied;
(3) the threatened injury outweighs the harm that the
preliminary injunction may cause the opposing party; and (4)
the injunction, if issued, will not adversely affect the
public interest. Gen. Motors Corp. v. Urban Gorilla,
L.L.C., 500 F.3d 1222, 1226 (10th Cir. 2007).
“[B]ecause a preliminary injunction is an extraordinary
remedy, the right to relief must be clear and
unequivocal.” Greater Yellowstone Coal. v.
Flowers, 321 F.3d 1250, 1256 (10th Cir. 2003).
types of preliminary injunctions are disfavored and, thus,
courts require more of the parties who request them. See
Free the Nipple-Fort Collins v. City of Fort Collins,
Colorado, 916 F.3d 792, 797 (10th Cir. 2019). Disfavored
preliminary injunctions do not merely preserve the
parties' relative positions pending trial. Id.
Instead, a disfavored injunction may exhibit any of three
characteristics: (1) it mandates action (rather than
prohibiting it); (2) it changes the status quo; or (3) it
grants all the relief that the moving party could expect from
a trial win. Id. “To get a disfavored
injunction, the moving party faces a heavier burden on the
likelihood-of-success-on-the-merits and the balance-of-harms
factors: She must make a ‘strong showing' that
these tilt in her favor.” Id.
ruling that a plaintiff has a strong “likelihood of
success on the merits” is based on the evidence the
plaintiff intends to present at trial. McDonnell v. City
& Cty. of Denver, 878 F.3d 1247, 1253 (10th Cir.
2018). In her motion for preliminary injunction and TRO, Ms.
Halliwell has stated that she is likely to succeed on the
merits because Defendants have “intentionally
interfer[ed] with Medical Treatment once prescribed.”
(ECF No. 26:3). In support of her claim, Plaintiff has
submitted: (1) a record from the Oklahoma Department of
Corrections which references an October 15, 2013 diagnosis of
GD and (2) a March 30, 2012 medical record from James
Crabtree Correctional Center which diagnosed Plaintiff as
being “transgender.” (ECF No. 26-2 & 26-3).
But this evidence does not support Plaintiff's claim that
Defendants in this case have intentionally withheld treatment
for Plaintiff's GD. Accordingly, the Court should
conclude that at this stage, Ms. Halliwell has failed to make
a “strong” showing that she would likely succeed
on the merits of her Eighth Amendment claim.
the analysis can end at this stage, it is worth noting that
Ms. Halliwell has also not met her burden of demonstrating
that the requested injunctive relief is not adverse to the
public interest-the relevant public interest here being
deference to prison officials' proper administration of
their prison facilities. A federal court considering a motion
for injunctive relief affecting the conditions of a
prisoner's confinement must give substantial weight to
the adverse impact on public safety and on prison operation.
18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2); Stephens v. Jones, 494
Fed.Appx. 906, 911-12 (10th Cir. 2012). The Supreme Court has
declared that courts are not to substitute their judgment on
matters of institutional administration for the
determinations made by prison officials. See O'Lone
v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 353 (1987).
Accordingly, courts hesitate to interfere with prison
officials' decisions concerning the day-to-day
administration of prisons, to which deference must be
accorded unless they violate the Constitution or federal law.
See Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 84-86 (1987).
Plaintiff ultimately succeeded on her constitutional claims,
the assertions in her motion do not justify the Court
immediately mandating that Plaintiff's requested medical
treatment be undertaken, which would interfere with prison
management. Granting the relief Plaintiff seeks would require
this Court to intrude directly into the affairs of state
prison administration, which for important policy reasons, is
a step that courts should be reluctant to take. See
Turner, 482 U.S. at 84-86.
AND NOTICE OF RIGHT TO OBJECT
forgoing reasons, the Court should DENY
Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and
Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 26).
is hereby advised of her right to object to this Report and
Recommendation. See 28 U.S.C. § 636. Any
objection must be filed with the Clerk of the District Court
by June 27, 2019. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). Failure to make
timely objection to this Report and Recommendation waives the
right to appellate review of both factual and legal questions
contained herein. Casanova v. Ulibarri, 595 F.3d
1120, 1123 (10th Cir. 2010).