United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ELLIOTT D. GOODIN, Plaintiff,
IKE ROBERT VERCOE, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR TEMPORARY
O. RICE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is Plaintiff's construed Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order (ECF No. 15). Also before the Court are
Defendant's Motion for Order to Produce Medical and/or
Mental Health Records of Elliot Goodin and Enter a Protective
Order (ECF No. 16) and Motion to Expedite (ECF No. 17). These
matters were heard without oral argument. The Court has
reviewed the record and files herein, and is fully informed.
For reasons discussed below, the Court
DENIES Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order (ECF No. 15). Defendant's Motion for
Order to Produce Medical and/or Mental Health Records and
Enter a Protective Order (ECF No. 16) and Motion to Expedite
(ECF No. 17) are DENIED as moot.
Elliott D. Goodin, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, brings suit against Defendant Ike
(Robert) Vercoe (“Vercoe”). Plaintiff is a
patient at Eastern State Hospital, and Defendant Vercoe is an
employee of Eastern State Hospital. ECF No. 1 at 2-3.
Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that on November 12, 2018,
Plaintiff was asked to go to the seclusion room at Eastern
State Hospital because another patient was cursing at
Plaintiff. ECF No. 1 at 4, 6. Plaintiff went to seclusion
room voluntarily. Id. Plaintiff alleges that, once
in the seclusion room, he was assaulted by Defendant Vercoe.
Id. Plaintiff claims that Defendant Vercoe broke
Plaintiff's hand and slammed his head onto the concrete
floor during the assault. Id. at 4-6. Plaintiff has
provided copies of the ex-rays taken of his hand after the
incident, which confirm that he had two broken knuckles and a
chipped bone in his hand. See id. at 4-5, 7; ECF No.
1-1 at 2-6. Asserting a cause of action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Vercoe
physically assaulted Plaintiff in the seclusion room at
Eastern State Hospital on November 12, 2018. Plaintiff seeks
damages for the injuries he sustained during the alleged
Vercoe denies that he committed any assault or alleged
inappropriate behavior and contends Plaintiff was physically
assaultive toward Eastern State Hospital staff and was
banging himself on the door and windows of the seclusion
room. ECF No. 10.
14, 2019, the Court received a letter from Plaintiff, which
the Court has construed as a motion for a temporary
restraining order (“TRO”). ECF No. 15. In
response to Plaintiff's motion, Defendant Vercoe moved
the Court to issue an order requiring the production of
certain medical and/or mental health records of Plaintiff and
to enter a protective order relating to those records. ECF
No. 16. As he explains in the motion, Defendant Vercoe
requests the records “because they are relevant to the
matters and issues raised in this litigation and/or may lead
to discoverable material, and they are necessary to address
[Plaintiff's] request for a temporary restraining
order.” Id. at 1.
Plaintiff's Motion for TRO
pending motion, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Vercoe has
been harassing him at Eastern State Hospital and seeks
“a temporary restraining order of 500 yards until the
trial” to prevent further harassment. ECF No. 15.
preliminary injunction is an “extraordinary and drastic
remedy.” Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 689
(2008). To obtain injunctive relief under Rule 65, a
plaintiff must make a “clear showing” of: (1) a
likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a likelihood of
irreparable injury in the absence of preliminary relief; (3)
that a balancing of the hardships weighs in plaintiff's
favor; and (4) that a preliminary injunction will advance the
public interest. Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20, 22 (2008); M.R. v.
Dreyfus, 697 F.3d 706, 725 (9th Cir. 2012). Under the
Winter test, a plaintiff must satisfy each element
for injunctive relief. Alternatively, the Ninth Circuit also
permits a “sliding scale” approach under which an
injunction may be issued if there are “serious
questions going to the merits” and “the balance
of hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff's favor,
” assuming the plaintiff also satisfies the two other
Winter factors. All. for the Wild Rockies v.
Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131 (9th Cir. 2011)
(“[A] stronger showing of one element may offset a
weaker showing of another.”); see also Farris v.
Seabrook, 677 F.3d 858, 864 (9th Cir. 2012) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted).
the Court denies Plaintiff's motion for a TRO for two
reasons. First, the Court lacks jurisdiction to grant the
specific relief requested by Plaintiff. While the Court has
jurisdiction over Defendant Vercoe, as the sole named
defendant in this action, the Court has no jurisdiction to
restrain or enjoin non-parties, such as Defendant
Vercoe's employer, the State of Washington. However, the
relief Plaintiff seeks-a TRO requiring Defendant Vercoe to
remain 500 yards away from Plaintiff until trial-would
effectively bind the State of Washington because Defendant
Vercoe is state employee. The Court simply lacks jurisdiction
to restrain the State of Washington in this way. Second,
Plaintiff fails to establish, let alone discuss, any of the
Winter factors in his motion. The Court will not
make the requisite Winter arguments on Plaintiffs
behalf. For these reasons, the Court denies Plaintiff s
Motion for TRO. ECF No. 15.
denied Plaintiffs motion, the Court also denies as moot
Defendant Vercoe's related motion for medical and/or
mental health records and a protective order (ECF No. 16) and
his motion to expedite (ECF No. 17).