K.Y. v. Schmitt

Filing 12

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER. Signed by Judge Maxine M. Chesney on February 14, 2018. (mmclc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/14/2018)

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1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 K.Y., Case No. 18-cv-00940-MMC Plaintiff, 8 9 10 v. RICK SCHMITT, Re: Dkt. No. 2 Defendant. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER 12 13 Before the Court is plaintiff's "Emergency Ex Parte Motion for a Temporary 14 Restraining Order," filed February 13, 2018. Having read and considered the motion, the 15 Court hereby rules as follows. 16 In his complaint, plaintiff, presently a sophomore at San Ramon Valley High 17 School, alleges he is running unopposed for the position as Junior Class President (see 18 Compl. ¶¶ 1-2), and that the school's "2018-2019 Campaign Rules and Guidelines" 19 ("Campaign Rules") include "unconstitutional provisions," such as a rule that "campaign 20 signs and slogans" may not contain "inappropriate material" (see Compl. ¶¶ 19).1 21 According to plaintiff, the "Campaign Rules have a chilling effect and serve as a prior 22 restraint on election speech." (See Compl. ¶ 6.) The school's "election week" is 23 February 20-22, 2018. (See Yu Decl. ¶ 4.) 24 25 By the instant motion, plaintiff seeks an order enjoining defendant Rick Schmitt, Superintendent of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District ("SRVUSD"), from 26 111 27 28 The Campaign Rules provide the following definition of "inappropriate material": "Types of inappropriate material would include material that is: vulgar, obsence, racist, sexist or otherwise offensive to others." (See Compl. ¶ 19.b.) 1 2 "enforcing the unlawful Campaign Rules." (See Pl.'s Mot. at 16:15-17.) "A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right." 3 Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008). "A plaintiff seeking a 4 preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is 5 likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of 6 equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest." Id. at 20; Quiroga 7 v. Chen, 735 F. Supp. 2d 1226, 1223 (D. Nev. 2010) (noting "[t]emporary restraining 8 orders are governed by the same standard applicable to preliminary injunctions"). 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Here, as set forth below, plaintiff fails to show he is likely to suffer irreparable injury if the Campaign Rules are not enjoined.2 According to plaintiff, although the application he completed to run for Junior Class 12 President included a section requiring that he and his parents sign an acknowledgement 13 he would "abide by all SRVUSD policies, regulations and handbooks . . . and any other 14 applicable rules" (see Yu Decl. Ex. C), e.g., the Campaign Rules, plaintiff and his parents 15 submitted the application without so agreeing (see id. ¶ 6; Pl.'s Mot. at 2). Plaintiff, 16 however, does not allege, let alone offer evidence to show, the school has taken or 17 threatened to take any action against plaintiff for not agreeing to abide by the Campaign 18 Rules. Indeed, plaintiff acknowledges the school approved his application and informed 19 him "he was unopposed and would be permitted to run." (See Pl.'s Mot. at 2:19-20.) 20 To the extent plaintiff argues the school nonetheless will require him to abide by 21 the Campaign Rules notwithstanding his refusal to do so, plaintiff has failed to identify 22 any action he wishes to take but has not taken due to a fear of violating the Campaign 23 Rules, and, consequently, has shown no more than the existence of a "hypothetical 24 threat," which is "not enough" to warrant injunctive relief. See United Public Workers v. 25 26 27 28 2 As plaintiff has not shown a likelihood of imminent harm, the Court does not address herein the other requisite elements. See American Trucking Ass'n v. City of Los Angeles, 559 F.3d 1046, 1057 (9th Cir. 2009) (holding plaintiff seeking injunction "not entitled to relief" in absence of showing "likelihood of irreparable harm"). 2 1 Mitchell, 330 U.S. 75, 86-91 (1947) (holding plaintiffs who "declare[d] a desire to act 2 contrary to [a] rule against political activity [by federal employees]" were not entitled to 3 injunctive relief prohibiting defendant from enforcing such rule, where plaintiffs failed to 4 identify "the kinds of political activity [they] desire[d] to engage in" or identify "the contents 5 of their proposed public statements or the circumstances of their publication"). 6 Accordingly, the motion is hereby DENIED. 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 9 Dated: February 14, 2018 MAXINE M. CHESNEY United States District Judge 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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