Anderson v. Kentucky One Health, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER Signed by Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell on 9/14/2017 denying 22 Motion for TRO. cc: Counsel, pro se defendants listed on order, pro se plaintiff(KJA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:17-cv-00359
KENTUCKY ONE HEALTH, INC., et. al.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on pro se Plaintiff Artis Anderson’s (“Plaintiff”) Motion
for a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”). [DN 22.] For the reasons discussed below,
Plaintiff’s Motion is DENIED.
The subject of Plaintiff’s Motion is the alleged violation of “Plaintiff’s rights under
federal law and under the United States Constitution,” and the loss of guardianship of Ms. Mary
Ellen Reynolds (“Ms. Reynolds”), as well as the annulment of his marriage to her. [DN 22-2-3.]
In a 2015 proceeding in Woodford County District Court, the Cabinet for Health and Family
Services, Guardian Services Branch, (“CHFS”), was appointed as Ms. Reynolds’ guardian,
“following a jury determination that Ms. Reynolds was wholly disabled in managing her
personal affairs and financial resources.” [DN 7-33] On March 28, 2016, the Jessamine County
Family Court entered judgment in a case between Ms. Reynolds and Plaintiff, annulling the brief
marriage between them. [Id.] The pair had initially been married on May 11, 2015 in Woodford
County, Kentucky. [Id.] In annulling the marriage between Ms. Reynolds and Plaintiff, the
Jessamine County Family Court noted that Ms. Reynolds’ primary care physician, Dr. Thomas
Coburn, had serious concerns regarding Ms. Reynolds’ mental health in 2014, but that on May
11, 2015, Plaintiff and Ms. Reynolds went to the Woodford County Clerk’s Office and obtained
a marriage license. [DN 7-34.] Multiple individuals from the Clerk’s Office testified to Ms.
Reynolds’ state as “disheveled” or in “disarray.” [Id.] Thereafter, Ms. Reynolds’ mental state
was a point of constant concern, which led the Jessamine County Family Court to rule that Ms.
Reynolds lacked the capacity to effectively consent to marrying Plaintiff, and was thus a nullity.
[DN 7-37.] Plaintiff vehemently contests both the transfer of guardianship to the CHFS as well
as the annulment of his marriage to Ms. Reynolds. These two issues, along with Plaintiff’s
assertions that Defendants have violated his federal statutory and Constitutional rights, comprise
the heart of his present Motion.
In determining whether to grant a temporary restraining order, courts must consider four
factors: “(1) whether the movant has a strong likelihood of success on the merits, (2) whether the
movant would suffer irreparable injury absent a [TRO], (3) whether granting the [TRO] would
cause substantial harm to others, and (4) whether the public interest would be served by granting
the [TRO].”Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Blackwell, 467 F.3d 999, 1009 (6th
Cir. 2006). These factors are “factors to be balanced and not prerequisites that must be satisfied.”
In re Eagle-Picher Indus., Inc., 963 F.2d 855, 859 (6th Cir. 1992) (citing In re DeLorean Motor
Co., 755 F.2d 1223, 1229 (6th Cir. 1985)). “These factors simply guide the discretion of the
court; they are not meant to be rigid and unbending requirements.” Id. (citing Friendship
Materials, Inc. v. Michigan Brick, Inc., 679 F.2d 100, 102 (6th Cir. 1982)). The district court’s
decision to grant or deny a TRO is reviewed for abuse of discretion. Ne. Ohio Coal. for
Homeless & Serv. Employees Int'l Union, Local 1199 v. Blackwell, 467 F.3d 999, 1009 (6th Cir.
2006) (citing Beacon J. Publ’g Co., Inc. v. Blackwell, 389 F.3d 683, 684 (6th Cir. 2004)).
A. Likelihood of success on the merits
The first factor, the likelihood of success on the merits, is the principal consideration for
courts when determining whether a TRO is warranted. The Sixth Circuit has noted that,
“[a]lthough no one factor is controlling, a finding that there is simply no likelihood of success on
the merits is usually fatal.” Gonzales v. Nat’l Bd. of Med. Examiners, 225 F.3d 620, 625 (6th Cir.
2000) (citing Michigan State AFL–CIO v. Miller, 103 F.3d 1240, 1249 (6th Cir. 1997) (“[A]
preliminary injunction issued where there is simply no likelihood of success on the merits must
be reversed.”)). That is precisely the situation in this case, where this Court can discern no
likelihood whatsoever that Plaintiff will succeed on the merits of his claims. To be sure, Plaintiff
has made many claims against Defendants, alleging violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1346,1 “22 U.S.C.
§ 7201(b)(8),”2 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, violations of “at least five (5) Kentucky state
statutes,”3 and other allegations of “Medicare fraud,” “embezzlement,” “theft” and more. [See
Notwithstanding that fact, Plaintiff has not demonstrated in any filing “a strong
likelihood of success on the merits” with respect to any of those claims, which is the touchstone
of any motion for a TRO. See Brunner, 543 F.3d at 361.
For example, in ACLU Fund of Michigan v. Livingston Cnty., 796 F.3d 636, 648-49 (6th
Cir. 2015), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the ACLU was likely to succeed on the
merits of a Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim because the ACLU was able to
actually show that a jail was “blocking delivery of the ACLU letters [to inmates] without
providing the ALCU or the intended recipient notice and an opportunity to contest the decision.”
18 U.S.C. § 1346 merely provides the definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud.”
22 U.S.C. § 7201(b)(8) does not exist. Rather, Plaintiff seems to be referencing 22 U.S.C. § 7102(9).
Plaintiff does not specify which five Kentucky statutes were violated.
Moreover, in that case, “Defendants conceded that if the ACLU letters…were, in fact, ‘legal
mail,’ the Fourteenth Amendment procedural-due-process rights asserted by the ACLU apply.”
Conversely, Plaintiff merely presents vague assertions in this Motion with respect to the
alleged federal statutory and Constitutional violations, asking for an injunction “prohibit[ing] the
violation of any of the Plaintiff’s rights under federal law and under the United States
Constitution…by any state official, employee or any one [sic] acting under the color of state
law….” [DN 22-2-3.] Plaintiff invokes all federal statutory and Constitutional law and all state
employees, and has not presented any facts to show any likelihood of success on the merits of
this case. While he has set forth numerous allegations in his Amended Complaint [DN 6] and in
this Motion, [DN 22], the Court finds that this, without more, falls far short of warranting the
issuance of a TRO. Concerning the guardianship and annulment issues Plaintiff raises in this
Motion, he seeks a TRO in what appears to be a request to have the Jessamine County Family
Court and Woodford County District Court decisions overturned. [DN 22-2-3.] The Court takes
Plaintiff’s concerns regarding the annulment of his marriage, as well as CHFS obtaining
guardianship over Ms. Reynolds, very seriously, but Plaintiff has not produced any concrete
factual basis concerning any wrongdoing by the named Defendants sufficient to satisfy this
Court that he has a strong likelihood of success on the merits of this case. This factor weighs in
favor of Defendants.
B. Irreparable harm
The second consideration of whether a plaintiff will suffer an irreparable harm is a
significant, and possibly determinative, factor in whether a court may grant a TRO or a
preliminary injunction. Friendship Materials, Inc. v. Michigan Brick, Inc., 679 F.2d 100, 105
(6th Cir. 1982). Additionally, “the harm alleged must be both certain and great, rather than
speculative or theoretical.” State of Ohio ex rel. Celebrezze v. Nuclear Regulatory Comm’n, 812
F.2d 288, 290 (6th Cir. 1987). The injury must be of such imminence that there is a clear and
immediate need for relief in order to prevent harm. Wis. Gas. Co. v. Fed. Energy Regulatory
Comm’n, 758 F.2d 669, 674 (D.C. Cir. 1985). This factor, too, weighs in favor of denying
Plaintiff’s Motion for a TRO, because the Court is not persuaded that Plaintiff will suffer such
irreparable harm in the absence of one. Indeed, the issues which Plaintiff raises are either too
vague or speculative for the Court to determine with any degree of certainty that Plaintiff will, in
the absence of the issuance of a TRO, suffer any irreparable harm, or do not present urgent
matters that the Court feels would lead Plaintiff to suffer immediate and irreparable harm without
the issuance of a TRO.
In his Motion, Plaintiff notes the issue of CHFS obtaining guardianship of Ms. Reynolds
and the annulment of his marriage to her. [DN 22.] However, Plaintiff’s Motion merely restates
allegations already made in his Amended Complaint. [DN 6.] After reviewing these filings,
along with Plaintiff’s present Motion, the Court finds that there is nothing contained within the
Motion that suggests that Plaintiff’s need for relief is so immediate or, in the time since the filing
of his Amended Complaint, has become so immediate, as to necessitate a TRO being granted at
this time. Indeed, the guardianship decision regarding Ms. Reynolds was made in 2015, and the
marriage was annulled on March 28, 2016. [DN 7-33, 40.] Plaintiff has pointed to nothing that
has occurred since the entrance of those judgments by the Woodford County District Court and
the Jessamine County Family Court, respectively, which would lead this Court to believe that the
situation was so dire that Plaintiff would suffer immediate and irreparable harm if a TRO was not
C. Harm to others and the public interest
Under the third factor, it is unclear whether the granting of a TRO would or would not
cause substantial harm to others. With regard to the fourth factor, Plaintiff does not address
whether the public interest would or would not be served by the Court granting this motion.
While it remains uncertain as to how the public interest would or would not be served by the
grant or denial of this Motion, this Court is satisfied that the first two factors, taken together,
weigh heavily in favor of Defendants and, as such, this Court denies Plaintiff’s Motion for a
For the reasons discussed herein, Plaintiff’s Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order is
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Artis Anderson, pro se Plaintiff
20 Buckner St.
Winchester, KY 40391
Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr.
Supreme Court of Kentucky
State Capitol, Room 235
700 Capitol Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Kathy R. Mangeot, District Judge
222 St. Clair St.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Office of the Attorney General
ATTN: Andy Beshear
700 Capitol Ave., Suite 118
Frankfort, KY 40601
Barnett Benvenuti & Butler, PLLC
ATTN: Holly Iaccarino
489 East Main St., Suite 300
Lexington, KY 40507
William Clouse, Jr., Circuit Judge
101 W. Main St., #4
Richmond, KY 40475
Jean Logue, Circuit Judge
101 W. Main St., #4
Richmond, KY 40475
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington D.C. 20530
Office of the United States Attorney
717 W. Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
September 14, 2017
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