Richmond v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Judge Allison D. Burroughs: MEMORANDUM AND ORDER entered: granting 2 Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Wells Fargo shall file an answer to the complaint by February 28, 2017. If Wells Fargo opposes Richmond's mot ion for a preliminary injunction, it shall file a brief in opposition by March 1, 2017. The Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO") shall remain in effect until 12:00 PM on March 3, 2017. Before the TRO expires, the parties shall inform the Court whether they agree to an extension. If not, the Court will schedule a hearing. A copy of this Order has been mailed to the Plaintiff. (Montes, Mariliz)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE,
Civil Action No. 17-cv-10199-ADB
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GRANTING
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
Plaintiff Deborah Richmond filed this action on February 6, 2017, seeking to prevent
Defendant Wells Fargo Home Mortgage from foreclosing on her home, located at 32 Clover
Road in Holbrook, Massachusetts. [ECF No. 1]. The same day, Richmond filed a motion for a
preliminary injunction to delay the foreclosure sale scheduled for February 24, 2017. [ECF No.
2]. The Court held status conferences on February 16 and 17, 2017, in order to ensure that Wells
Fargo was notified of this lawsuit, was represented by counsel, and had an opportunity to object
to the motion. At the February 17 hearing, which was requested by Wells Fargo, counsel for
Wells Fargo represented that he was attempting to contact his client but had not yet ascertained
its position on the motion for a preliminary injunction.
At this time, the Court will consider Richmond’s motion as a motion for a temporary
restraining order because Wells Fargo, although given notice and represented by counsel,
arguably did not have enough time to prepare for the February 17 hearing so as to allow the
meaningful participation contemplated by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65. In considering a
motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), the Court examines the same four factors that
apply to a motion for a preliminary injunction. See, e.g., Kilmowicz v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l
Trust Co., Civ. A. No. 16-40081-TSH, 2016 WL 3541540, at *1 (D. Mass. June 23, 2016);
Nzaddi v. Dep’t of Corr., Civ. A. No. 12-10876-RGS, 2012 WL 1853580, at *4 (D. Mass. May
18, 2012). Those factors are: “1) the movant’s likelihood of success on the merits; 2) whether
and to what extent the movant would suffer irreparable harm if the request were rejected; 3) the
balance of hardships between the parties; and 4) any effect that the injunction or its denial would
have on the public interest.” Diaz-Carrasquillo v. Garcia-Padilla, 750 F.3d 7, 10 (1st Cir. 2014).
In this case, the potential for irreparable harm is so great that it strongly compels a
finding that a TRO is required. If the home is foreclosed upon before Richmond has an
opportunity to litigate her case, she will no longer be able to obtain meaningful redress.
Richmond has also indicated a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, based on the
argument that the pending foreclosure may be the result of a miscommunication. The balance of
hardships favors Richmond, who stands to lose her home, in contrast to Wells Fargo, which will
face a brief delay in being able to foreclose on the home. Finally, the public interest weighs in
favor of ensuring that the foreclosure is lawful before it is allowed to proceed.
Wells Fargo shall file an answer to the complaint by February 28, 2017. If Wells Fargo
opposes Richmond’s motion for a preliminary injunction, it shall file a brief in opposition by
March 1, 2017. The TRO shall remain in effect until 12:00 PM on March 3, 2017. Before the
TRO expires, the parties shall inform the Court whether they agree to an extension. If not, the
Court will schedule a hearing.
Accordingly, Defendant Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is hereby ENJOINED from
conducting the scheduled foreclosure sale on Plaintiff Richmond’s home, located at 32 Clover
Road in Holbrook, MA, prior to March 3, 2017.
February 17, 2017
/s/ Allison D. Burroughs
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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