United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
MATTHEW C. STECHAUNER, Plaintiff,
EDWARD F. WALL, JON E. LITSCHER, CATHY JESS, JAMES GREER, PAUL KEMPER, JUDY P. SMITH, JASON ALDANA, KRISTEN VASQUEZ, DANIELLE FOSTER, SGT. JAMISON, SGT. BROWN, OFFICER DISMUKE, LORA BLASIUS, DOCTOR KREMBS, DOCTOR PATRICK MURPHY, DOCTOR WHEATLEY, DOCTOR SHEIDE, DOCTOR ADAMS, SGT. NEAL, and DAWN FOFANA, JOHN/JANE DOES, Defendants.
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON District Judge
plaintiff Matthew C. Stechauner, a Wisconsin prisoner
incarcerated at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution (OCI),
filed a motion for a preliminary injunction with his proposed
complaint. Dkt. 4. Stechauner alleges that he is coughing up
blood and mucus every day and that he suffers from dizziness,
breathing problems, and a host of other medical issues.
Id. at 1. He seeks an order requiring the Health
Service Unit at OCI to provide him with proper medical care.
Id. Because Stechauner alleges that he has urgent
medical needs, I ordered an expedited response from
defendants Danielle Foster and Doctor Wheatly. Dkt. 13.
Foster and Wheatly responded as ordered, and Stechauner's
motion for a preliminary injunction is now fully briefed.
Dkt. 16; Dkt. 17; Dkt. 18; Dkt. 19. I will deny
obtain a preliminary injunction, the movant must show that
(1) he will suffer irreparable harm before the final
resolution of his claim without a preliminary injunction; (2)
traditional legal remedies are inadequate; and (3) his claim
has some likelihood of success on the merits. BBL, Inc.
v. City of Angola, 809 F.3d 317, 323-24 (7th Cir. 2015).
Once the movant makes this showing, the court “weighs
the factors against one another, assessing whether the
balance of harms favors the moving party or whether the harm
to other parties or the public is sufficiently weighty that
the injunction should be denied.” Id. (citing
ACLU of Ill. v. Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583, 589 (7th Cir.
Prison Litigation Reform Act limits the scope of preliminary
injunctive relief in cases challenging prison conditions.
Under the PLRA, the injunctive relief to remedy prison
conditions must be “narrowly drawn, extend no further
than necessary to correct the harm the court finds requires
preliminary relief, and be the least intrusive means
necessary to correct that harm.” 18 U.S.C. §
3626(a)(2); see also Westefer v. Neal, 682 F.3d 679,
681 (7th Cir. 2012). The PLRA also requires the court to
“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. §
declaration, Dkt. 17, shows that Stechauner is regularly seen
by medical professionals. Between January 2017 and March 31,
the date of Foster's declaration, Stechauner had been
seen by the HSU at OCI more than a dozen times. Id.
¶ 7. He also has been seen by numerous offsite doctors,
for an otolaryngologist consultation, an endoscopy of his
throat, and a head and neck soft-tissue CT scan. Id.
¶¶ 8-9. Most recently, after the filing of his
preliminary injunction motion, Stechauner underwent a surgery
that removed “biopsies/polyps in [his] throat.”
Id. ¶ 9. Although Stechauner does not have
diagnoses for all his numerous symptoms yet, he continues to
receive medical care. Id. ¶ 12.
contends that his current medical care is inadequate, but he
does not dispute Foster's evidence. He submits five of
his health service requests, Dkt. 18-1, and each of them
shows that he was seen promptly. (The exact dates are hard to
make out on two of these, but Stechauner does not contend
that he is not being seen.) His argument boils down to this:
if he is receiving proper medical care, “th[e]n how is
[he] still having serious medical issues . . . ?” Dkt.
18, at 6. The Eighth Amendment does not allow prison
officials to turn a blind eye to serious medical problems,
but it does not promise a cure. Stechauner does not dispute
that he is receiving constant medical care, and such care is
the “antithesis of deliberate indifference.”
Harper v. Santos, 847 F.3d 923, 927 (7th Cir. 2017)
(quoting McGee v. Adams, 721 F.3d 474, 482 (7th Cir.
2013)); accord Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources,
Inc., Case No. 11-cv-0839, 2012 WL 4936599, at *6 (S.D.
Ill. Sept. 21, 2012) (finding no irreparable harm when the
inmate received “regular medical care”).
the parties' submissions show that there is no genuine
dispute that prison officials are not ignoring
Stechauner's complaints and that he is receiving regular
care, I can decide Stechauner's motion without a hearing.
“An evidentiary hearing is required if the nonmoving
party raises genuine issues of material fact in response to a
motion for a preliminary injunction.” Promatek
Indus., Ltd. v. Equitrac Corp., 300 F.3d 808, 814 (7th
Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). But a district court
“need not conduct an evidentiary hearing unless one is
called for as a result of a fact issue created by the
response to a motion for a preliminary injunction.”
Dexia Credit Local v. Rogan, 602 F.3d 879, 884 (7th
Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). There is no dispute as to any
material fact here.
is not foreclosed from filing another motion for an
injunction if he can show that prison officials are providing
care they know to be ineffective. See Petties v.
Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 730 (7th Cir. 2016). But at this
point, Stechauner has not shown this to be the case.
ORDERED that plaintiff Matthew C. Stechauner's motion for