Fasi v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. et al
ORDER denying 5 Plaintiff's Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. By Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 1/3/13.(mnfsl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Philip A. Brimmer
Civil Action No. 12-cv-03290-PAB-MJW
HSBC BANK USA, N.A. and
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.,
This matter comes before the Court on the motion for a temporary restraining
order (“TRO”) [Docket No. 5] filed by plaintiff Donna Fasi.
On December 18, 2012, Ms. Fasi filed a complaint against defendants HSBC
Bank USA, N.A. (“HSBC”) and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”). Docket No. 1.
The complaint alleges that Ms. Fasi entered into a mortgage loan with Wells Fargo on
January 9, 2006 regarding property which Ms. Fasi appears to operate as a farm. Id. at
3, ¶¶ 3-4; Docket No. 5 at 2, ¶ 5. The complaint further alleges that HSBC foreclosed
on the subject property while acting as a trustee for NHEL Home Equity Loan Trust.
Docket No. 1 at 3, ¶ 4. The complaint does not allege when such foreclosure took
place. The complaint includes one claim, namely, that Wells Fargo violated the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et
seq., by inflating the appraised value of Ms. Fasi’s property. Docket No. 1 at 62-65, ¶¶
144-75. Her allegation that Wells Fargo inflated its appraisal is based on her assertion
that Eagle County, where the property is located, had contemporaneously appraised
the property for substantially less. Id. Through the motion for TRO, Ms. Fasi seeks to
enjoin defendants from evicting her and her family until her RICO claim can be heard
on its merits. Docket No. 5 at 10, ¶ 20.
Local Rule 65.1 states that a motion for a temporary restraining order shall be
accompanied by a certificate of counsel or pro se party stating that “actual notice” of the
motion was provided to the opposing party or stating the “efforts made by the moving
party to give such notice.” D.C.COLO.LCivR 65.1A. Ms. Fasi has not included such a
certificate. Instead, Ms. Fasi claims that the Court should grant a TRO on an ex parte
basis. Docket No. 5 at 5, ¶ 15. The Local Rules state that courts may not consider an
ex parte motion for a TRO except in accordance with Rule 65(b) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Id. at 65.1A.2. Rule 65(b) provides in part that:
The court may issue a temporary restraining order without written or oral
notice to the adverse party or its attorney only if . . . 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.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1)(A). Ms. Fasi asserts that the Court should enter a TRO without
the nature of the fraud conducted by the defendants in the mortgage lending
process, taken together with Colorado’s lack of consumer protections against
invalid foreclosure, plaintiff’s equity in the Fasi family farm is at risk until
plaintiff’s RICO claim against the defendants is properly adjudicated.
Docket No. 5 at 5, ¶ 15. The motion includes an affidavit from Ms. Fasi explaining the
irreparable harm that would ensue upon eviction. Docket No. 5 at 7-10.
Neither the motion nor the affidavit explains why Ms. Fasi’s alleged irreparable
injuries “will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition.”
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1)(A). Ms. Fasi does not suggest that harm would result
from providing notice to opposing counsel itself, e.g., by claiming that such notice
would prompt defendants to evict her. Moreover, Ms. Fasi does not substantiate the
imminence of an eviction. She quotes correspondence from an attorney for
defendants stating that the “Writ of Restitution may be executed at any time after it is
issued by the Eagle County Court.” Docket No. 5 at 2, ¶ 4. However, Ms. Fasi does
not indicate whether such writ has been issued, whether defendants have set a date
on which Ms. Fasi must leave her home, and, if so, whether that date is imminent.1
Thus, Ms. Fasi fails to comply with the notice provision of Local Rule 65.1A and fails to
clearly show pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b) that immediate and
irreparable injury will result before the adverse party can be heard. Ms. Fasi’s motion
will be denied on this basis alone.
Even if the Court considers the motion on the merits, Ms. Fasi fails to justify the
issuance of a TRO. A party seeking a TRO must show (1) a likelihood of success on
the merits; (2) a likelihood that the movant will suffer irreparable harm in the absence
of preliminary relief; (3) that the balance of equities tips in the movant’s favor; and (4)
that the injunction is in the public interest. RoDa Drilling Co. v. Siegal, 552 F.3d 1203,
1208 (10th Cir. 2009) (internal citation omitted).
Here, Ms. Fasi cannot establish that she will suffer irreparable harm absent a
Colorado courts issue a Writ of Restitution no sooner than 48 hours from the
entry of judgment for plaintiffs in an unlawful detainer action. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-40115, 13-40-122(1). Id.
TRO because she does not allege that she has a present right to remain in her home.
Eviction from property that one does not own does not constitute irreparable harm.
Allen v. United Props. & Constr., Inc., 07-cv-00214-LTB-CBS, 2008 WL 4080035, at
*18 (D. Colo. Sep. 3, 2008) (citing Wendt v. Edward D. “Tito” Smith, 2003 WL
21750676, at *3 (C.D. Cal. 2003)). Moreover, Ms. Fasi’s RICO claim is a legal claim
through which she seeks to recover $698,100. Docket No. 1 at 65, ¶ 171 (“The
amount of Plaintiff’s compensatory damages is $232,700. This amount is tripled under
civil RICO to $698,100.”); see Beacon Theatres, Inc. v. Westover, 359 U.S. 500, 50304 (1959) (claim for treble damages under Sherman Act is a legal claim). Ms. Fasi’s
RICO claim, if successful, would entitle her to monetary damages, which does not
constitute irreparable harm justifying issuance of an injunction. RoDa Drilling Co., 552
F.3d at 1210 (“a plaintiff satisfies the irreparable harm requirement by demonstrating a
significant risk that he or she will experience harm that cannot be compensated after
the fact by monetary damages”) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted);
Pimentel v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co., 2009 WL 3398789 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20,
2009) (wrongful eviction from unowned property can be compensated through
Finally, Ms. Fasi alleges that the damages she seeks in her RICO claim (three
times the difference between the allegedly inflated appraisal and the county appraisal)
offset the balance she owes on the mortgage. Docket No. 1 at 65, ¶¶ 173-74 (“The
balance of the loan is equitably setoff against Plaintiff’s damages, which are credited to
any existing mortgage loan balance.”). Ms. Fasi’s motion for a TRO does not provide
any authority to support her assertion that she may remain in possession of the
property as a remedy for defendants’ alleged RICO violation or even that she is
entitled to have an award of monetary damages under RICO offset against the
remaining balance on the mortgage.
Ms. Fasi fails to demonstrate a likelihood that she will suffer irreparable harm in
the absence of a TRO. The Court need not reach the other factors of the inquiry
because, absent a showing of irreparable harm, Ms. Fasi does not provide sufficient
support for issuance of injunctive relief. See Ty, Inc. v. GMA Accessories, Inc., 132
F.3d 1167, 1172 (7th Cir. 1997) (“a plaintiff who cannot show any irreparable harm at
all from the withholding of a preliminary injunction is not entitled to the injunction
however strong his case on the merits, for he has no need for preliminary relief in such
a case, no need therefore to short circuit the ordinary processes of the law.”).
For the foregoing reasons, it is
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
[Docket No. 5] is DENIED.
DATED January 3, 2013.
BY THE COURT:
s/Philip A. Brimmer
PHILIP A. BRIMMER
United States District Judge