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FITZGERALD v. MOUNTAIN LAUREL RACING INC.

January 22, 1979

William FITZGERALD, Plaintiff
v.
MOUNTAIN LAUREL RACING INC., Kenneth Marshall, and John Knight, Presiding Judge, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DIAMOND

I

 Plaintiff, a harness horse driver and trainer, brought this action under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C.A. ยง 1983, for injunctive relief on the grounds that the defendants violated his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution when they suspended him from driving and training horses at the Meadows Racetrack in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

 Plaintiff's petition for a temporary restraining order was refused and a hearing was held, after which a preliminary injunction was issued by an order which provided in part as follows:

 
"(T)he court finds that the prerequisites to the issuance of an injunction . . . have been met in this case, to-wit that plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm if the requested relief is not granted; that said harm outweighs any injury that may visit the defendants or the public generally; and that plaintiff has shown a sufficient likelihood of prevailing on the merits of his claim.
 
". . . de
 
"An opinion with underlying findings of fact and conclusions of law will follow."

 The bases for the court's conclusion that the prerequisites to the issuance of the preliminary injunction were met are set forth below.

 II

 1. Prior to August 19, 1978, the plaintiff was duly licensed by the Pennsylvania State Harness Racing Commission (Commission) as a trainer of harness racing horses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 2. At all times pertinent, the defendant Mountain Laurel Racing Inc. (Mountain Laurel) was a racing association incorporated in and under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the purpose of conducting racing meets at the Meadows Racetrack (Meadows) in Meadowlands, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

 3. Defendant Kenneth Marshall was an employee of Mountain Laurel and worked at the Meadows as Racing Secretary at all times pertinent.

 4. Defendant John Knight was an employee of Mountain Laurel and worked at the Meadows as Presiding Judge at all times pertinent.

 5. On Saturday, August 19, 1978, the plaintiff was informed by defendant Marshall that based on discussions with the track judges Mountain Laurel had decided to suspend plaintiff from training and driving horses at the Meadows and to ...


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