Davis v. San Diego District Attorney et al

Filing 19

ORDER Denying 9 Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 5/30/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(dxj)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 GAVIN B. DAVIS, Case No.: 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) Plaintiff, 12 13 14 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION v. SAN DIEGO DISTRICT ATTORNEY; MR. LEONARD TRINH; SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT; JOHN DOES, 15 16 (ECF No. 9) Defendants. 17 18 19 Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Gavin B. Davis’s Emergency Motion for 20 Preliminary Injunction. (“PI Mot.,” ECF No. 9.) Also before the Court are Defendant San 21 Diego District Attorney Leonard Trinh’s and Defendant San Diego Police Department’s 22 responses in opposition to Plaintiff’s motion, (ECF Nos. 11, 12, respectively), and 23 Plaintiff’s reply in support of his motion, (“PI Mot. Reply,” ECF No. 16). After considering 24 the parties’ arguments and the law, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s motion. 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 1 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) 1 LEGAL STANDARD 2 The same standard governs TROs and preliminary injunctions. Stuhlbard Int’l Sales 3 Co. v. John D. Brush and Co., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001). “A plaintiff seeking 4 a 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.” Winter v. Nat. Res. 7 Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008) (citing Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 689–90 8 (2008)); see also Am. Trucking Ass’ns, Inc. v. City of L.A., 559 F.3d 1046, 1052 (9th Cir. 9 2009); Sierra Forest Legacy v. Rey, 691 F. Supp. 2d 1204, 1207 (E.D. Cal. 2010). In the 10 Ninth Circuit, “serious questions going to the merits and a balance of hardships that tips 11 sharply towards the plaintiff can support issuance of a preliminary injunction, so long as 12 the plaintiff also shows that there is a likelihood of irreparable injury and that the injunction 13 is in the public interest.” All. for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1135 (9th Cir. 14 2011) (internal quotation marks omitted) (concluding that this “sliding scale” approach 15 survives after the Supreme Court’s decision in Winter). This is an “extraordinary remedy 16 that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” 17 Winter, 555 U.S. at 20. To warrant injunctive relief, irreparable injury must be more than 18 merely possible. See Midgett v. Tri-Cty. Metro. Transp. Dist. of Or., 254 F.3d 846, 850 19 (9th Cir. 2001). Rather, the plaintiff must show “that he faces a real or immediate threat” 20 that he will suffer irreparable harm. Id. Plaintiffs seeking a preliminary injunction carry a 21 particularly “heavy burden” of proving their entitlement to it. Earth Island Inst. v. Carlton, 22 626 F.3d 462, 469 (9th Cir. 2010); see also Munaf, 553 U.S. at 689 (“A preliminary 23 injunction is an ‘extraordinary and drastic remedy.’”). 24 /// 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 2 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) 1 ANALYSIS 2 3 Plaintiff filed his emergency motion for preliminary injunction on April 25, 2017. (ECF No. 9.) In the Requested Relief section, Plaintiff requests: 4 5 1. That the Court “restrain[] Defendant SDDA from seeking Custody of the Plaintiff 6 until such time as the California Attorney General fully opines on jurisdiction, as the 7 Plaintiff alleges that each of Defendant Leonard and Defendant SDDA, do not have 8 it, in any capacity”; 9 2. That the Court “ensure . . . that Defendant SDPD, does not communicate, 10 temporarily, with other police departments in an effort to seek Custody, prematurely 11 and without legal right, of the Plaintiff”; 12 3. That the Court enjoin Judge Jeffrey Fraser from presiding over his two criminal 13 cases. 14 15 (PI Mot. 9–101.) 16 Plaintiff’s motion fails. As an initial matter, Plaintiff’s motion is difficult to 17 understand. He appears to generally discuss events occurring in two of his state law cases. 18 (Id. at 5–8.) Apparently Judge Jeffrey Fraser issued a bench warrant for Plaintiff’s arrest 19 on April 17, 2017, and Plaintiff has filed, in his state court cases, motions to remove Judge 20 Fraser from presiding over his cases and a motion to quash the bench warrant. (Id. at 6.) 21 Plaintiff alleges that on April 24, 2017, officers attempted to execute the arrest warrant, 22 which Plaintiff argues caused him reputational harm. (Id. at 7.) Because Plaintiff argues he 23 is contesting the validity of the warrant, he further argues that the officers do not have the 24 authority to arrest him based on the same, and thus he apparently seeks an order from this 25 Court barring officers from taking him into custody. (Id. at 7–8.) 26 27 28 1 Pin citations to docketed material refer to the CM/ECF numbers electronically stamped at the top of each page. 3 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) 1 Although Plaintiff engages with the relevant Winter factors in support of his motion 2 for a preliminary injunction, he fails to persuade the Court to grant him this “extraordinary” 3 remedy. First, Plaintiff argues that “[t]here is a substantial likelihood that Plaintiff will 4 prevail on the merits because the right to each of Due Process and counsel are some of the 5 most basic and fundamental rights afforded to criminal defendants, which the Plaintiff is 6 awaiting federal rulings on, while clearly not evading the law, and not a threat to anyone.”2 7 (Id. at 8.) This is insufficient to prove a likelihood of success on the merits. Among other 8 things, Plaintiff does not explain what federal rulings he is “awaiting”; and, more 9 fundamentally, “awaiting” a ruling on a matter is not indicative of a likelihood of success 10 on that matter or otherwise. At the very least Plaintiff must explain why he is likely to 11 succeed on those federal matters and, of course, how rulings on those matters are relevant 12 to his requested relief. To the extent his motion is premised on his motions in state court, 13 Plaintiff has failed to show that he will succeed in his challenge to Judge Fraser or any 14 other relief he seeks in that forum. 15 Furthermore, Plaintiff, in a conclusory manner, states he “will suffer irreparable, and 16 separately imminent harm, prima facie, if the preliminary injunction is not granted,” and 17 that “[t]here is no adequate remedy of law other than seeking this relief herein.” (PI Mot. 18 8.) This is plainly insufficient to establish “a clear showing that [he] is entitled to such 19 relief.” Winter, 555 U.S. at 22. Finally, Plaintiff argues that an injunction is in the public 20 interest because “the right to due process and/or the assistance of counsel are some of the 21 most fundamental rights to be afforded to a criminal defendant . . . .” (Id. at 9; see also PI 22 Mot. Reply 17.) While the Court agrees with this statement in the abstract, Plaintiff has not 23 demonstrated a likelihood that these rights have been violated in this case. Additionally, 24 Defendants argue that “Plaintiff does not seek to protect any public interests, and a superior 25 court judge seems to have determined the opposite—that Plaintiff presents enough of a risk 26 27 28 In his reply in support of his motion, Plaintiff further argues that “it is clear that the plaintiff’s federal rights have been violated.” (PI Mot. Reply 16.) But saying that does not make it so. Thus, Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that he is likely to prevail on the merits of his case. 2 4 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS) 1 to others that he must be taken into custody.” (E.g., ECF No. 11, at 4.) On balance, the 2 Court finds that the Winter factors do not favor a grant of injunctive relief, and that Plaintiff 3 has failed to at least demonstrate serious questions going to the merits of his claims and 4 that the balance of hardships tips sharply in his favor. Accordingly, the Court DENIES 5 Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 9).3 6 CONCLUSION For the reasons stated above, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion for 7 8 Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 9). 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. 10 Dated: May 30, 2017 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 For this reason the Court does not reach Defendants’ alternative argument that the Court should abstain from hearing this case under the principles of Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), and its progeny. The Court will, however, consider this argument—and others—in assessing Defendants’ pending motions to dismiss. 3 27 28 5 17-CV-654 JLS (BGS)

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