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Bill Vogan and Harold Traupel v. Wells Fargo Bank

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 11, 2012

BILL VOGAN AND HAROLD TRAUPEL,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., D/B/A WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE; U.S. BANKCORP, D/B/A U.S. BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR WFMBS 2005-AR12; FIRST AMERICAN TRUSTEE SERVICING SOLUTIONS, LLC, F/K/A FIRST AMERICAN LOANSTAR TRUSTEE SERVICES, LLC; AND DOES 1-10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Mendez U. S. District Court Judge

ORDER DENYING TRO APPLICATION

This matter is before the Court on "Plaintiffs' Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order, and OSC Re Preliminary Injunction" (Doc. #35) ("TRO Application"). The TRO Application is opposed by Defendants (Doc. #37). Defendants have submitted a Request for Judicial Notice ("RJN") in support of their Opposition (Doc. #38). The RJN is granted.

Plaintiffs filed their TRO Application after 5:00 p.m. on May 9, 2012. Plaintiffs' TRO Application seeks an order from this Court enjoining an unlawful detainer trial filed against them in Nevada County Superior Court and scheduled to begin on May 14, 2012. The unlawful detainer trial has been scheduled since April 25, 2012 and the action has been pending since October 21, 2011.

Plaintiffs have not provided this Court with any explanation as to 6 why they waited until the eleventh hour to file their TRO 7 Application. Local Rule 231(b) allows this Court to consider 8 whether Plaintiffs could have sought relief by motion for 9 preliminary injunction at an earlier date without the necessity for seeking last minute relief by motion for temporary restraining order. This Local Rule also authorizes this Court to deny the TRO motion should it find that the applicant unduly delayed in seeking injunctive relief. In the instant case, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs' unexplained delay in bringing their motion for a TRO constitutes laches, and on this ground DENIES this TRO Application.

In addition, the Court also DENIES Plaintiffs' TRO Application on the ground that it is prevented from entering the TRO Plaintiffs seek due to the Anti-Injunction Act, 28 USC § 2283. Under this statute, a federal court is barred from enjoining or staying proceedings in state court. The statute is interpreted broadly and includes injunctions directed at the parties rather than the state court itself. The Act carves out three exceptions which are to be interpreted narrowly. None of the three narrow exceptions to the Anti-Injunction Act applies in this case. Plaintiffs argue that the exception for "injunctions necessary in aid of the Court's jurisdiction" 28 USC § 2283, is applicable but cite no authority in support of their argument. Defendants, on the other hand, submit ample authority in support of their argument that the unlawful detainer action poses no threat to this Court's jurisdiction and, 2 therefore, under the Anti-Injunction Act this Court must deny Plaintiffs' TRO Application. See, e.g., Scherbenske v. Wachovia Mortgage, FSB, 626 F.Supp.2d 1052 (E.D. Cal. 2009); Brousard v. City of Pasadena, No. CV 09-7079 AHM (FFM), 2010 WL 135331 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 11, 2010). 7

The Court need not reach Defendants' other arguments raised in 8 their Opposition to the TRO Application. For the foregoing 9 reasons, Plaintiffs' TRO Application is DENIED. If Plaintiffs still desire to have this Court consider issuing a preliminary injunction they should notice such a motion for a date on the Court's regularly scheduled civil law and motion calendar. Once noticed, the parties shall file their briefs in support of and in opposition to this motion in accordance with the Court's Local Rules.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120511

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