Barron et al v. Granite City, Illinois
ORDER: The Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF 6) filed by Jessica Barron, William Campbell, and Kenneth Wylie (Doc. 31 ) is GRANTED in part. See Order for details. The Motion for He aring on Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 10 ) is GRANTED. Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction is hereby set for hearing on October 23, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. in the Benton Courthouse before Judge Staci M. Yandle. Signed by Judge Staci M. Yandle on 10/9/2019. (mah)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
JESSICA BARRON, KENNETH WYLIE,
and WILLIAM CAMPBELL,
THE CITY OF GRANITE CITY,
Case No. 19-cv-834-SMY-MAB
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
YANDLE, District Judge:
Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Renewed
Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 31). Plaintiffs request a temporary injunction enjoining
the City of Granite City, Illinois from enforcing its compulsory-eviction law, Granite City Mun.
Code §§ 5.142.010 et seq., against Plaintiffs, from taking any steps to remove Plaintiffs Jessica
Barron and Kenny Wylie from their home, and from taking any steps against Plaintiff William
Campbell for declining to evict Plaintiffs Barron and Wylie. For the following reasons, the
Application for Temporary Restraining Order is GRANTED.
A temporary restraining order ("TRO") is an order issued without notice to the party to be
enjoined that may last no more than 14 days. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(2). A TRO may issue without
notice 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). Such injunctive relief is warranted "to prevent a
substantial risk of serious injury from ripening into actual harm." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
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825, 845 (1994). A party seeking a TRO bears the burden of showing that it is "reasonably likely
to succeed on the merits[,] is suffering irreparable harm that outweighs any harm the nonmoving
party will suffer if the injunction is granted, there is no adequate remedy at law, and an injunction
would not harm the public interest" Joelner v. Vill of Wash. Park, 378 F.3d 613, 619 (7th Cir.
2004) (referring to preliminary injunction).
As to the first element, Plaintiffs need only demonstrate that they have a "better than
neglible" chance of succeeding on the merits. Ty Inc. v. Jones Group, Inc., 237 F.3d 891, 897 (7th
Cir. 2001). Plaintiffs allege that the City's compulsory-eviction law targets individuals who are
too poor to qualify for traditional mortgages in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. They also
assert that the City intends to evict Barron and Wylie from their home for a crime committed by
someone else, in violation of the Due Process Clause. Based on these allegations, the Court finds
that Plaintiffs' Complaint demonstrates a "better than neglible" likelihood of success on the merits
for purposes of a TRO.
The remaining threshold requirements—irreparable harm, lack of an adequate remedy at
law, and public interest – tend to merge. See Roland Mach. Co. v. Dresser Indus., Inc., 749 F.2d
380, 386 (7th Cir. 1984). That is because as "[a]n injury is 'irreparable' when it is of such a nature
that the injured party cannot be adequately compensated in damages or when damages cannot be
measured by any pecuniary standard." Meridian Mut. Ins. Co. v. Meridian Ins. Group, Inc., 128
F.3d 1111, 1120 (7th Cir. 1997); see also Girl Scouts of Manitou Council, Inc. v. Girls Scouts of
the United States, Inc., 549 F.3d 1079, 1089 (7th Cir. 2008).
Here, Plaintiffs contend the potential loss of their home constitutes irreparable harm for
which there is no adequate remedy at law. The Court Agrees. See, United Church of the Med.
Ctr. v. Med. Ctr. Comm'n, 689 F.2d 693, 701 (7th Cir. 1982) (noting that "a given piece of property
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is considered to be unique, and its loss is always an irreparable injury."). There can be no adequate
remedy at law for the loss of a home; particularly in this instance where Plaintiffs have spent two
years paying on their installment contract with the aim of owning their own home. If the City
evicts them, Plaintiffs and their children not only face imminent homelessness, but a loss of their
investment. Plaintiffs are poor and do not have the resources to immediately rent another property.
These factors weigh in favor of the issuance of a TRO.
That said, the Court must weigh the irreparable harm that Plaintiffs will endure without the
protection of a TRO against any irreparable harm the City will suffer if the Court were to grant the
requested relief. See Girl Scouts of Manitou Council, Inc., 549 F.3d at 1086. Whatever harm the
City will suffer from being enjoined from evicting Plaintiffs pales in comparison to the loss of
Finally, given the constitutional rights involved, the Court declines to require Plaintiffs to
post a security under Rule 65(c). See Copeland v. City of E. Chicago, IN, 2007 WL 1232215, at
*4 (N.D. Ind. 2007) (declining to require plaintiffs to post a bond in constitutional rights case);
Ogden v. Marendt, 264 F.Supp.2d 785, 795 (S.D. Ind. 2003); Smith v. Board of Elections Comm'rs
for Chicago, 591 F.Supp. 70, 71-72 (N.D. Ill. 1984).
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs' Application for Temporary Restraining Order and
Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 31) is GRANTED in part. To preserve the
status quo until a hearing on Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction is conducted, the Court
ISSUES the following Temporary Restraining Order:
The City of Granite City, Illinois, its agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and all
persons acting in concert and participation with them, are hereby ENJOINED and
PROHIBITED from enforcing the City's compulsory-eviction law, Granite City
Mun. Code §§ 5.142.010 et seq. against Plaintiffs Barron, Wylie and Campbell,
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from taking any action to remove Plaintiffs Barron and Wylie from their home, and
from taking any action against Plaintiff Campbell for declining to evict Plaintiffs
Barron and Wylie.
In accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b)(2), this TRO shall expire on October
23, 2019 at the time reflected on the notice of electronic filing (“NEF”), unless extended by
further order of the Court. Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction is hereby set for hearing
on October 23, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. in the Benton Courthouse before the undersigned Judge.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: October 9, 2019
STACI M. YANDLE
United States District Judge
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