UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 4, 2012
AURORA LOAN SERVICES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Larry Alan Burns United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING APPLICATION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
Lara seeks a preliminary injunction to halt his imminent eviction from his home following a non-judicial foreclosure. The Court has already denied Lara a temporary restraining order for this purpose. It did so largely on the ground that Lara lost an unlawful detainer action in San Diego Superior Court, which makes this case, or at least this motion,
effectively an appeal from a state court judgment.*fn1 And that's plainly prohibited by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. See Carmona v. Carmona, 603 F.3d 1041, 1050 (9th Cir. 2010) ("The Rooker-Feldman doctrine . . . stands for the relatively straightforward principle that federal district courts do not have jurisdiction to hear de facto appeals from state court judgments."). Lara's preliminary injunction motion runs into the same Rooker-Feldman problem. Lara had the opportunity to contest his eviction in San Diego Superior Court, and he lost. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars him from seeking relief from that loss in federal court.*fn2
"A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest." Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 129 S.Ct. 365, 374 (2008). Having carefully reviewed Lara's motion and Defendants' opposition, the Court finds that Lara has failed to establish that his claims are likely to succeed on the merits. His motion for a preliminary injunction is accordingly DENIED. At best, Lara can show that if he is evicted from his home he would suffer irreparable harm, but if that alone could justify injunctive relief every distressed homeowner facing foreclosure would be entitled to such relief. There must be some likelihood of success on the merits, and Lara has failed to make that showing.
IT IS SO ORDERED.