Iam v. Washington Mutual Bank, F.A. et al

Filing 20

ORDER by Judge Hamilton denying 19 Motion for TRO; denying 19 Motion for Order to Show Cause; denying 19 Motion for Preliminary Injunction (pjhlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/2/2013)

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1 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 5 JUDITH H. IAM, 6 Plaintiff, No. C 12-4106 PJH 7 v. ORDER DENYING APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE 8 WASHINGTON MUTUAL BANK, et al. 9 10 11 Defendants. ___________________________________/ On December 27, 2012, plaintiff Judith Iam (“plaintiff”) filed an “ex parte” application 12 for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and an “order to show cause re: preliminary 13 injunction.” The application seeks to “prevent execution of a judgment for possession . . . 14 entered in an unlawful detainer case” on October 11, 2012. 15 As an initial matter, while plaintiff claims to be proceeding ex parte, plaintiff has 16 noted that the TRO application “is being served upon the defendants by fax and first-class 17 mail,” and has attached certificates of service. However, the certificates of service indicate 18 that defendants are being served via “U.S. Mail - overnight delivery,” and do not indicate 19 that any defendants were served by fax. Thus, there is some confusion as to whether 20 plaintiff intends to proceed under Rule 65(a), which requires notice, or Rule 65(b), which 21 does not. However, for the reasons described below, the court’s decision would be the 22 same under either scenario. 23 Specifically, this court is prevented from intervening in a state court unlawful 24 detainer action by the Anti-Injunction Act. The Act “is an absolute prohibition against 25 enjoining state court proceedings, unless the injunction falls within one of [the] three 26 specifically defined exceptions.” Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of 27 Locomotive Engineers, 398 U.S. 281, 286 (1970). The three exceptions are narrowly 28 construed, and “doubts as to the propriety of a federal injunction against a state court 1 1 proceeding should be resolved in favor of permitting the state action to proceed.” Lou v. 2 Belzberg, 834 F.2d 730, 739 (9th Cir. 1987). A number of district courts have found that a 3 stay of unlawful detainer proceedings does not fall into one of the exceptions listed in the 4 Act. See, e.g., Diaz v. National City Bank, 2012 WL 2129916 at *2 (S.D. Cal. June 12, 5 2012); Carrasco v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., 2012 WL 646251 at *3-4 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 28, 6 2012); Sato v. Wachovia Mortgage, FSB, 2012 WL 368423 at *2 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 3, 2012). 7 Plaintiff notes that she believes the state court unlawful detainer proceedings to be 8 “irregular and the judgment void,” and that a “motion to vacate said void judgment is in 9 preparation for immediate filing in the county court.” Dkt. 19 at 3. Plaintiff may pursue 10 those arguments in state court, as she apparently intends to do, but the Anti-Injunction Act 11 prevents this court’s intervention. Accordingly, plaintiff’s application for a temporary 12 restraining order and an order to show cause is hereby DENIED. 13 14 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 2, 2013 ______________________________ PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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