United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
TERRENCE W. BOYLE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on defendant's motion to
dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
(DE 19). Also before the court are plaintiffs motion
captioned "Motion to Review" (DE 25) and motion for
injunctive relief (DE 26). In this posture, the issues raised
are ripe for adjudication.
November 1, 2018, plaintiff filed an amended complaint
asserting defendant Kimberly Wynn ("defendants")
acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United
States Constitution. Specifically, plaintiff alleged he has
entered the "fibrosis stage" of Hepatis-C, and is
not being provided treatment. (Am. Compl. p. 6). Plaintiff
stated that defendant is aware of his condition because she
monitors his blood work. Id. Defendants subsequently
moved to dismiss, arguing that plaintiff failed to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff responded,
and clarified that defendant has denied plaintiff treatment
for Hepatitis-C, despite knowing that plaintiff has suffered
Hepatitis-C related liver damage. (PI. Resp. (DE 22), pp.
1-3). Defendant replied.
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) determines only whether
a claim is stated; "it does not resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses." Republican Party v.
Martin. 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992). A claim is
stated if the complaint contains "sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). In
evaluating whether a claim is stated, "[the] court
accepts all well-pled facts as true and construes these facts
in the light most favorable to the [plaintiff]," but
does not consider "legal conclusions, elements of a
cause of action, . . . bare assertions devoid of further
factual enhancement[, ] . . . unwarranted inferences,
unreasonable conclusions, or arguments." Nemet
Chevrolet. Ltd. v. Consumeraffairs.com. Inc.. 591 F.3d
250, 255 (4th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted). In other words,
this plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to articulate
facts, that, when accepted as true, demonstrate that the
plaintiff has stated a claim that makes it plausible he is
entitled to relief. Francis v. Giacomelli. 588 F.3d
186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (quotations omitted).
plaintiff alleged that defendant, a physician assistant,
refuses to provide plaintiff treatment for Hepatitis-C,
despite knowing that plaintiff is suffering Hepatitis-C
related liver damage. Liberally construing plaintiffs
allegations, as the court must at this stage in the
proceedings, the court finds that plaintiff states an Eighth
Amendment claim against defendants. See Erickson v.
Pardus. 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ("A document filed
pro se is to be liberally construed.") (internal
quotation and citation omitted); Estelle v. Gamble.
429 U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976) (finding that a prisoner may make
a showing of deliberate indifference by alleging that
defendants were "intentionally denying or delaying
access to medical care."); see also, Gordon v.
Schiling. No. 17-7298, 2019 WL 4179813 (4th Cir. Sept.
4, 2019). Thus, defendant's motion to dismiss is DENIED.
court next considers plaintiffs motion for injunctive relief.
Specifically, plaintiff requests that the court order prison
officials to "give him the cure for Hepatitis C."
((DE 26), p. 2). The United States Supreme Court has stated
that the movant must establish the following to obtain a
temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction: (1)
that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) that he is
likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief; (3) that the balance of equities tips in
his favor; and (4) that an injunction is in the public
interest. Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council.
Inc.. 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008).
case, plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he likely is to
succeed on the merits, and has not alleged facts necessary to
demonstrate that he likely would suffer irreparable harm if
his motion is not granted. See Buffkin v. Hooks. No.
1:18CV502, 2019 WL 1282785, at *5 (M.D. N.C. Mar. 20, 2019);
Taylor v. Wexford Health Sources Inc.. No.
5:17cvl73, 2018 WL 4761621, at *4 (N.D. W.Va. July 30, 2018).
Further, the public interest is best served if courts do not
get involved with the daily operations of a prison,
especially prior to the finding of a constitutional
violation. See Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of
County of Burlington. 566 U.S. 318, 328 (2012).
Accordingly, plaintiff has not demonstrated that his request
for injunctive relief is in the public interest, and the
balance of equities is in favor of defendant. Thus,
plaintiffs motion is DENIED.
upon the foregoing, plaintiffs motion for injunctive relief
(DE 26) and defendant's motion to dismiss (DE 19) are
DENIED. The court, additionally, DENIES as PREMATURE
plaintiffs pleading captioned "Motion to Review"
(DE 25) as plaintiff requests discovery, but the court has
not yet issued a scheduling order. The Clerk of Court is
DIRECTED to refer this action to ...