United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
BET SHAVEI-TZION a/k/a BET SHAVEI-TZION INTERNATIONAL and/or BET SHAVEU-TZION, LTD., INTERNATIONAL, Plaintiff,
CADLES OF GRASSY MEADOWS, II, LLC, substitute to Brown Bark, I, L.P. assignee of Sovereign Bank, successor by merger to Main Street Bank, Defendant.
MALACHY E. MANNION United States District Judge
the court is the plaintiff's emergency motion for a
preliminary injunction. (Doc. 3). The plaintiff is a
synagogue and religious organization with a location in Eaton
Township, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. A 95-acre parcel of
property owned by the plaintiff is currently scheduled for
Sheriff's Sale in Wyoming County on Thursday, June 8,
2017 pursuant to a mortgage executed by the plaintiff on
November 16, 2000 in favor of Main Street Bank. This mortgage
is currently held by the defendant as a subsequent assignee.
Based on the foregoing, the plaintiff's motion will be
unspecified time in the year 2000, the plaintiff's
president, Rabbi Harry Dombek, entered into an oral agreement
with Mount Laurel Cemetery Association (“Mount
Laurel”) to pledge the 95-acre parcel of property at
issue so that Mount Laurel could obtain a $250, 000.00 loan.
Rabbi Harry Dombek also served as president/trustee of Mount
Laurel. In exchange, Mount Laurel promised to donate certain
funds to the plaintiff. The agreement was such that the
pledge would only be issued “if needed” in the
event Mount Laurel could not secure a loan on its own. (Doc.
1 ¶9). Although Mount Laurel's own property
was valued at $1, 600, 000.00, the plaintiff went forward
with the agreement and executed a mortgage with Main Street
Bank to secure a promissory note signed by Mount Laurel. The
mortgage and note were subsequently assigned to Sovereign
Bank by merger. In 2006, the mortgage was, again, assigned to
Brown Bark I, an investment land speculator.
Laurel defaulted on the mortgage obligation while the
mortgage was held by Brown Bark I. A mortgage foreclosure
action was filed in the Wyoming County Court of Common Pleas
on March 26, 2007. After initiating the foreclosure action,
the debt was assigned to the defendant and the defendant was
substituted as the proper plaintiff in the state foreclosure
action. On August 26, 2009, on summary judgment motion, the
state court determined that another 275-acre parcel of
property owned by the plaintiff was not sufficiently
described in the mortgage so as to create a lien, but that
genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the
95-acre parcel was mortgaged. On November 19, 2014, after a
non-jury trial, the state court ruled that the note and
mortgage were in default and lifted all stays on the subject
property. With judgment entered in the state foreclosure
action, the plaintiff's real property was scheduled for
Sheriff's Sale on June 8, 2017. The plaintiff alleges
that the advertisements for the Sheriff's Sale
incorrectly describe the property subject to sale as being
190.64 acres in size.
5, 2017, the plaintiff filed a complaint in this court. (Doc.
1). In Count I of the complaint, the plaintiff
alleges that the defendant violated the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C.
§1692 et seq. by failing to provide
required notices. In Count II, the plaintiff alleges a
procedural due process violation. The plaintiff alleges that
the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure relating to
foreclosure violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the United
States Constitution because the plaintiff would not able to
seek redress for the advertising deficiencies until after the
sale is complete. The plaintiff requests only equitable
relief, a declaratory judgment invalidating the judgment of
the state court and an injunction to stop the pending sale.
On June 6, 2016, the plaintiff filed the current emergency
motion for a preliminary injunction.
grant of injunctive relief, including preliminary injunctive
relief, is an extraordinary remedy and it should only be
granted in limited circumstances. Am. Tel. & Tel. Co.
v. Winback & Conserve Program, Inc., 42 F.3d 1421,
1426-27 (3d Cir. 1994) (quoting Frank's GMC Truck
Cent., Inc. v. Gen. Motors Corp., 847 F.2d 100, 102 (3d
Cir. 1988)) (alterations in original). The court's
ultimate decision to deny a preliminary injunction is
discretionary, though legal and factual determinations will
be reviewed according to their normal standard. See
Tenafly Eruv Ass'n, Inc. v. Borough of Tenafly, 309
F.3d 144, 156 (3d Cir. 2002).
order to obtain a preliminary injunction, the moving party
must demonstrate the following:
(1) the likelihood that the plaintiff will prevail on the
merits at final hearing; (2) the extent to which the
plaintiff is being irreparably harmed by the conduct
complained of; (3) the extent to which the defendant will
suffer irreparable harm if the preliminary injunction is
issued; and (4) the public interest.
Id. at 1427 (quoting Merchants & Evans, Inc.
v. Roosevelt Bldg. Prods., 963 F.2d 628, 623-33 (3d Cir.
1992)). More specifically, the third prong requires a
balancing of harms between the plaintiff and the defendant
and a finding that the balance favors the plaintiff's
request for relief. See Issa v. Sch. Dist. of
Lancaster, 847 F.3d 121, 131 (3d Cir. 2017).
injunction should issue only if the plaintiff produces
evidence sufficient to convince the district court that all
four factors favor preliminary relief.” Id.
Moreover, it is only if the first two prongs are satisfied
that the court must inquire into the final two factors.
Tenafly, 309 F.3d at 157. Thus, “a failure to
show a likelihood of success or a failure to demonstrate
irreparable injury must necessarily result in the denial of a
preliminary injunction.” In Re Arthur
Treacher's Franchise Litig., 689 F.2d 1137, 1143 (3d
Cir. 1982). However, if a plaintiff proves the first two
requirements, it will almost always be the case that the
public interest favors preliminary relief, Issa, 847
F.3d at 143, leaving the crux of the matter to the balance of
plaintiff's request fails based on the first two
requirements for issuing a preliminary injunction. Therefore,
the court need not and will not address the ...