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Okwuosa v. City of Elk Grove

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 11, 2009

EMMANUEL OKWUOSA, CHISOROM OKWUOUSA, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CITY OF ELK GROVE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction through which Plaintiffs seek to enjoin:

1) enforcement of various Stop Work orders issued by the City of Elk Grove; and 2) various allegedly discriminatory practices. For the following reasons, Plaintiffs' Application is denied.*fn1

STANDARD

A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy, and Plaintiffs have the burden of proving the propriety of such a remedy by clear and convincing evidence. See Granny Goose Foods, Inc. v. Brotherhood of Teamsters & Auto Truck Drivers, 415 U.S. 423, 442 (1974). In order to warrant issuance of such relief, Plaintiffs must demonstrate either: 1) a combination of probable success on the merits and a likelihood of irreparable injury; or 2) that serious questions are raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply in favor of granting the requested injunction. Stuhlbarg Int'l Sales Co., Inc. v. John D. Brush & Co., Inc., 240 F.3d 832, 839-40 (9th Cir. 2001); Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 129 S.Ct. 365, 375 (2008) (likelihood rather than possibility of success on the merits required for issuance of preliminary injunctive relief). These two alternatives represent two points on a sliding scale, pursuant to which the required degree of irreparable harm increases or decreases in inverse correlation to the probability of success on the merits. Roe v. Anderson, 134 F.3d 1400, 1402 (9th Cir. 1998); United States v. Nutri-cology, Inc., 982 F.2d 394, 396 (9th Cir. 1992). Under either formulation of the test for granting injunctive relief, however, Plaintiffs must demonstrate a significant threat of irreparable injury. Oakland Tribune, Inc. v. Chronicle Publ. Co., 762 F.2d 1374 (9th Cir. 1985).

ANALYSIS

Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction fails because, assuming, arguendo, that they had shown some irreparable harm likely to befall them absent injunctive relief, they have wholly failed to demonstrate any likelihood of success on the merits of their instant claims.

First, it appears that Plaintiffs have not exhausted their administrative remedies. See Complaint, Exhs. 1-3. Accordingly, it is premature for them to seek the requested relief in this Court.

Additionally, Plaintiffs have alleged no facts indicating that their federal discrimination claims are even remotely likely to succeed. Plaintiffs have simply alleged that they are African-American, and a neighbor, with whom they apparently have a less than amicable relationship, is Caucasian. Such allegations simply do not rise to the level necessary to establish governmental discrimination or to convince this Court, especially at such a premature stage in litigation, that it would be proper to enter an Order directing a municipality to act or to refrain from acting in any way.

Finally, it is highly unlikely that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), this Court would continue to exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' state law claims in the absence of viable claims arising under federal law.

CONCLUSION

Consequently, Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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