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Espinosa v. State

United States District Court, E.D. California

December 11, 2014

DARREL ESPINOSA, Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA; DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA; FRANCHISE TAX BOARD OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA; and PARTIES UNKNOWN, Defendants.

ORDER

KIMBERLY J. MUELLER, District Judge.

On December 10, 2014, Darrel Espinosa, plaintiff pro se, filed a civil rights complaint and an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order. ECF Nos. 1, 3. Mr. Espinosa seeks an order enjoining the defendants from taking any further actions to enforce the "Demand for Payment - Vehicle Registration Collections" procedure initiated against a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria, vehicle identification number 2FAFP71W1XX226857. Mot. TRO 1, ECF No. 3.

The Local Rules of the Eastern District of California impose certain requirements on every person who applies for a temporary restraining order:

No hearing on a temporary restraining order will normally be set unless the following documents are provided to the Court and, unless impossible under the circumstances, to the affected parties or their counsel:
(1) a complaint;
(2) a motion for temporary restraining order;
(3) a brief on all relevant legal issues presented by the motion;
(4) an affidavit in support of the existence of an irreparable injury;
(5) an affidavit detailing the notice or efforts to effect notice to the affected parties or counsel or showing good cause why notice should not be given, ...;
(6) a proposed temporary restraining order with a provision for a bond...;
(7) a proposed order with blanks for fixing the time and date for hearing a motion for preliminary injunction, the date for the filing of responsive papers, the amount of the bond, if any, and the date and hour of issuance...; and
(8) in all instances in which a temporary restraining order is requested ex parte, the proposed order shall further notify the affected party of the right to apply to the Court for modification or dissolution on two (2) days' notice or such shorter notice as the Court may allow.

E.D. Cal. L.R. 231(c). Mr. Espinosa has not strictly complied with these rules. He has not filed the documents described in Local Rule 231(c)(4), (5), (6) and (7) and has not complied with Rule 231(c)(8). Nevertheless, Mr. Espinosa includes most of the information required by the Rule and is a pro se litigant; the court evaluates his application despite its shortcomings in the interest of efficiency and justice. Cf., e.g., Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 1987) (describing leniency courts should exercise when evaluating the civil rights complaints of pro se litigants).

A temporary restraining order may be issued upon a showing "that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition." Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(1)(A). The purpose of such an order is to preserve the status quo and to prevent irreparable harm "just so long as is necessary to hold a hearing, and no longer." Granny Goose Foods, Inc. v. Brotherhood of Teamsters, 415 U.S. 423, 439 (1974). In determining whether to issue a temporary restraining order, a court applies the factors that guide the evaluation of a request for preliminary injunctive relief: whether the moving party "is likely to succeed on the merits, ... likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, ... the balance of equities tips in [its] favor, and... an injunction is in the public interest." Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); see Stuhlbarg Int'l. Sales Co. v. John D. Brush & Co., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001) (stating that the analysis for temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions is "substantially identical"). A party must show the threatened injury is both likely and immediate. Winter, 555 U.S. at 22 (stating that "plaintiffs seeking preliminary relief [must] demonstrate that irreparable injury is likely in the ...


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