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Whitlow v. State of California, Department of Education

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 5, 2016

ANA WHITLOW, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, et al., Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ EX PARTE MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

          Honorable Dana M. Sabraw United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs’ ex parte motion for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) to prevent Defendants from proceeding with a foreclosure sale of Plaintiffs’ property.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b)(1) allows for issuance of a TRO:

without written or oral notice to the adverse party or its attorney only if:
(A) specific facts in an affidavit or a verified complaint clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition; and
(B) the movant’s attorney certifies in writing any efforts made to give notice and the reasons why it should not be required.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1). Plaintiffs here have not served a copy of their motion on Defendants and have not claimed that they made any efforts to do so.

         I.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs are minors and corporations challenging the validity of California’s Senate Bill (“SB”) 277, which closes previously available personal belief exemptions (“PBEs”) to the general requirements that students seeking to enroll in California schools must be vaccinated. According to Plaintiffs, SB 277 violates their constitutional guarantee of the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment, in addition to other fundamental rights, without a compelling government interest. Additionally, they claim that even if the government shows a compelling interest, SB 277 is not narrowly tailored or the least restrictive means of achieving that interest.

         Plaintiffs seek injunctive and declaratory relief from SB 277 to prohibit the enforcement of SB 277.

         II.

         DISCUSSION

         The purpose of a temporary restraining order is to preserve the status quo before a preliminary injunction hearing may be held; its provisional remedial nature is designed merely to prevent irreparable loss of rights prior to judgment. See Granny Goose Foods, Inc. v. Brotherhood of Teamsters & Auto Truck Drivers, 415 U.S. 423, 439 (1974) (noting a temporary restraining order is restricted to its “underlying purpose of preserving the status quo and preventing irreparable harm just so long as is necessary to hold a hearing, and no longer”). Injunctive relief is “an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). The standard for issuing a temporary restraining order is identical to the standard for issuing a preliminary injunction. Lockheed Missile & Space Co., Inc. v. Hughes Aircraft Co., 887 F.Supp. 1320, 1323 (N.D. Cal. 1995). A party seeking injunctive relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65 must show “‘that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely ...


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