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Paul Hupp v. San Diego County District Attorney; San Diego County

April 26, 2012

PAUL HUPP,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY; SAN DIEGO COUNTY OFFICE OF ASSIGNED COUNSEL; SAN DIEGO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT; SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT; SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT; JEFFREY HOWARD FREEDMAN; JOHN SARGENT MEYER; JAMES PATRICK ROMO; THEODORE STEPHEN DRCAR; CHARLIE WETZEL; WILLIAM J. KIERNAN; P. MEYER; AND ROES 1-10, INDIVIDUALLY, JOINTLY, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION [Doc. No. 20]

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Paul Hupp ("Plaintiff")'s motion for a preliminary injunction. [Doc. No. 20.] For the reasons below, the Court DENIES the motion.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff commenced this action on February 28, 2012 against Defendants San Diego County District Attorney ("SD DA"), San Diego County Office of Assigned Counsel ("SD OAC"), San Diego County Superior Court ("SD Superior Court"), San Diego County Sheriff's Department ("SD Sheriff's"), San Diego Police Department ("SDPD"), Jeffrey Howard Freedman ("Freedman"), John Sargent Meyer ("Judge Meyer"), James Patrick Romo ("Romo"), Theodore Stephen Drcar ("Drcar"), Charlie Wetzel ("Wetzel"), William J. Kiernan ("Kiernan"), and P. Meyer ("P. Meyer") alleging violations of his civil rights and state law tort claims. [Doc. No. 1.] On April 2, 2012, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint ("FAC") asserting twelve causes of action against these Defendants. [Doc. No. 4.]

The following facts are taken from the FAC. In November 2010, a trial court entered a three year restraining order against Plaintiff restraining his contact with Defendant Freedman. [FAC ¶ 27.] In July 2011, Freedman applied for contempt of court charges against Plaintiff based on accusations that Plaintiff sent him three letters in violation of the restraining order. [Id. ¶ 28.] The primary evidence used to support the contempt charges was the letters Freedman received. [Id. ¶ 31.] Plaintiff alleges that these letters had no connection to him whatsoever. [Id.]

On November 16, 2011, Judge Meyer found Plaintiff guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of violating the restraining order and sentenced Plaintiff to 25 days in custody and a $5,000 fine. [FAC ¶ 33.] Judge Meyer's order stated: "Respondent is not entitled to any custody credits and shall serve all 25 days with no early release, per court." [Id.] On January 3, 2011, Plaintiff reported to the SD Sheriff's to serve his 25 day sentence. [Id. ¶ 38.] Plaintiff told the SD Sheriff's that they had to apply his custodial credits under California Penal Code § 4019, but the SD Sheriff's refused to apply them in accordance with Judge Meyer's order. [Id.] Plaintiff alleges Defendants' refusal to apply his custodial credits under California Penal Code § 4019 violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. [Id. ¶¶ 78-87.] Plaintiff also alleges that a criminal action has been filed against him and is currently pending in state court. [Id. ¶ 128.]

By the present motion, Plaintiff moves for an injunction. [Doc. No. 20.] Plaintiff (1) seeks to enjoin the SD Sheriff's, SD Superior Court, and J. Meyer from denying Plaintiff his custodial credits under California Penal Code § 4019; and (2) to enjoin his ongoing and future civil or criminal prosecutions. [Id. at 2-3.] Defendants County of San Diego and Romo have filed a response in opposition to Plaintiff's motion for an injunction.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard for a Motion for Preliminary Injunction

"A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right." Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 365, 376 (2008). "[P]laintiffs seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that (1) they are likely to succeed on the merits; (2) they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief; (3) the balance of equities tips in their favor; and (4) a preliminary injunction is in the public interest." Sierra Forest Legacy v. Rey, 577 F.3d 1015, 1021 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Winter, 129 S. Ct. at 374).

The grant or denial of a preliminary injunction is reviewed for abuse of discretion. Am. Trucking Ass'ns, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 559 F.3d 1046, 1052 (9th Cir. 2009). "[A] district court necessarily abuses its discretion when it bases its decision on an erroneous legal standard or on clearly erroneous findings of fact." Id. "Stated differently, [a]s long as the district court [gets] the law right, it will not be reversed simply because the appellate court would have arrived at a different result if it had applied the law to the facts of the case." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

II. Analysis

A. Likelihood of Success on the Merits

Plaintiffs' FAC contains twelve causes of action against the Defendants. [FAC ¶¶ 48-131.] In Plaintiff's motion for an injunction, he provides no substantive analysis demonstrating why he will succeed on these claims. Therefore, Plaintiff has failed to establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits of these claims. See, e.g., Sarantapoulas v. Recontrust Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13467, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 3, 2012); Shaterian v. Wells Fargo Bank, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62165, at *12 (N.D. Cal. Jun. 10, 2011) ("[A] plaintiff may not support a motion for a preliminary injunction by merely pointing to his complaint and the facts alleged therein."). Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction can be denied on this basis alone. See Johnson v. California State Bd. of Accountancy, 72 F.3d 1427, ...


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