United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
Barbara Jacobs Rothstein U.S. District Court Judge.
Tiffany Oliver instituted this action against Defendant
Gerald Ricci and his businesses Ricci Estates LLC and
Rememory Images LLC (hereinafter collectively referred to a
“Defendants”) on June 2, 2017. Dkt. No. 6. The
Court granted her motion to proceed in forma
pauperis on June 2, 2017. Dkt. No. 5. Plaintiff charges
that Defendants filed an eviction proceedings against her in
violation of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as
amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988
(“Fair Housing Act”), 42 U.S.C. §§
3601-3631. Plaintiff seeks both monetary and injunctive
12, 2017, Plaintiff filed what the Court interpreted as an
ex parte motion for a temporary restraining order in
which she requested that this Court stay a state court
proceeding that Defendants initiated against her. Dkt. No.
12. The Court denied the motion, noting that the
Anti-Injunction Act (“AIA”) prohibited
Plaintiff's requested relief. Dkt. No. 13.
has now filed a document titled “Omnibus Motion for
Emergency Preliminary Injunction Relief and Rule to Show
Cause Why Defendant's [sic] Should Not Be Found
In Contempt”. Dkt. No. 15. The motion raises the same
argument raised in Plaintiff's ex parte motion
for a temporary restraining order, requesting that this Court
“prevent Defendant's [sic] from pursuing
eviction.” Id. at 12. Plaintiff's motion
must be dismissed for the same reasons articulated in the
Court's June 13, 2017 Order denying her motion for an
ex parte temporary restraining order. The requested
relief is prohibited by the AIA which provides that
“[a] Court of the United States may not grant an
injunction to stay proceedings in a State court except as
expressly authorized by [a]ct of Congress, or where necessary
in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or effectuate its
judgments.” 28 U.S.C. § 2283. As articulated in
the Court's June 13, 2017 Order, none of the AIA's
three exceptions applies to this case.
foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's motion [Dkt. No. 15] is
discussed above, Plaintiff has filed a motion for a
preliminary injunction, requesting that this Court issue a
temporary restraining order to prevent Defendants “from
pursuing eviction against Plaintiff” in state court.
Federal Rule of Procedure 65, a request for a preliminary
injunction requires notice to the adverse party, usually in
the form of a hearing. PharmaSeq, Inc. v. Estate of
Griess, 2015 WL 620802, *1 (E.D.P.A. Feb. 11, 2015)
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a)). However, a court may issue an
ex parte temporary restraining order until a hearing
may be held in order to preserve the status quo. Id.
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)); see also Granny Goose Foods,
Inc. v. Bhd. of Teamsters & Auto Truck Drivers Local No.
70 of Alameda Cnty., 415 U.S. 423, 439 (1974) (“Ex
parte temporary restraining orders are no doubt necessary in
certain circumstances, but under federal law they should be
restricted to serving their underlying purpose of preserving
the status quo and preventing irreparable harm just so long
as is necessary to hold a hearing, and no longer.”)
stated above, this Court directed the United States Marshal
Service to mail a copy of the summons and complaint in this
case to the named Defendants. However, this directive was
issued only four days ago and there is no indication in the
record that Defendants have yet been properly served.
Therefore, this Court will consider Plaintiff's motion as
a motion for an ex parte temporary restraining order
under Rule 65(b). See PharmaSeq, Inc., 2015 WL
620802, *2 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 11, 2015) (citing Tootsie Roll
Industries, Inc. v. Sathers, Inc., 666 F.Supp. 655,
657-58 (D. Del.1987) (applying Rule 65(b) standard where
adverse party was not present and had no opportunity to be
heard, despite movant's assertion that the adverse party
was given notice).
relief is an “extraordinary remedy and should be
granted only in limited circumstances.” Id.
(quoting Kos Pharmaceuticals v. Andrx Corp., 369
F.3d 700, 708 (3d Cir. 2004)). The standard to obtain a
temporary restraining order is the same as for a preliminary
injunction. Id. (citing Bieros v. Nicola,
857 F.Supp. 445, 446 (E.D. Pa. 1994)). The party applying for
a temporary restraining order must demonstrate: (1) a
likelihood of success on the merits; (2) that she will suffer
irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted; (3) that
granting injunctive relief ...