Sanders v. Fitch et al
ORDER denying 6 and 11 Motion Temporary Restraining Order or, in the Alternative, Preliminary Injunction. Signed by Senior Judge Michael P. Mills on 11/15/2023. (lgm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
LYNN FITCH, ET AL.
ORDER DENYING PETITIONER’S MOTIONS ,  FOR A
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER OR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
This matter comes before the court on the petitioner’s motions ,  for a temporary
restraining order or, in the alternative, for a preliminary injunction. The petitioner is an inmate
currently housed at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Mississippi. The
petitioner seeks an order from the court that his parole be reinstated and that he be released. For
the reasons set forth below, the instant motions ,  will be denied.
Both temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are governed by Fed. R.
Civ. P. 65. Though the same criteria govern the issuance of preliminary injunctions and
temporary restraining orders, the purpose and form of relief differ for each. The purpose of a
preliminary injunction is to preserve the status quo during the course of litigation until the court
can hold a trial on the matter. Steven S. Gensler, 1 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules and
Commentary Rule 65, Practice Commentary; Univ. of Tex. v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395, 101
S.Ct. 1830, 68 L.Ed.2d 175 (1981). When adjudicating a preliminary injunction, the court must
provide notice to all parties and give them a chance to be heard. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a)(1). Once
issued, a preliminary injunction stays in effect until the court grants final relief or otherwise
modifies the order. Steven S. Gensler, 1 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules and
Commentary Rule 65, Practice Commentary. Once the court issues final relief, the preliminary
injunction dissolves, as the court need not rely on its equitable powers to provide interim relief.
11A, Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Fed. Prac. & Proc. Civ. § 2947 (3d ed.); U.S.
Philips Corp. v. KBC Bank N.V., 590 F.3d 1091, 1094 (9th Cir. 2010). A ruling on a preliminary
injunction is immediately appealable:
[T]he courts of appeals shall have jurisdiction over appeals from . . . [i]nterlocutory
orders of the district courts of the United States . . . granting, continuing, modifying,
refusing, or dissolving injunctions, or refusing to dissolve or modify injunctions . . . .
28 U.S.C.A. § 1292(a)(1).
Temporary Restraining Orders
Similarly, the purpose of a temporary restraining order is to preserve the status quo and
prevent irreparable harm, but only until the court can hold an adversarial hearing for a
preliminary injunction. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(3), Granny Goose Foods, Inc. v. Brotherhood of
Teamsters and Auto Truck Drivers Local No. 70 of Alameda County, 415 U.S. 423, 438-439, 94
S.Ct. 1113 (1974). Thus, a temporary restraining order may be granted ex parte, but it only lasts
for 14 days (28 days if the court permits, with a showing of good cause). Fed. R. Civ. P.
65(b)(2). Ex parte temporary restraining orders are disfavored, and courts seldom grant them.
Steven S. Gensler, 1 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules and Commentary Rule 65, Practice
Commentary. Once the court rules on a motion for preliminary injunction, then the temporary
restraining order has served its purpose and should be dissolved. Granny Goose, 415 U.S. at
443. Neither party may appeal a district court’s ruling on a temporary restraining order, as it has
an extremely limited duration. Chicago United Industries, Ltd. V. City of Chicago, 445 F.3d
940, 943 (7th Cir. 2006). However, once the district court rules on a motion for preliminary
injunction regarding the issue, the parties may appeal that order. Northeast Ohio Coalition for
Homeless Service Employees Intern. Union, Local 1199 v. Blackwell, 467 F.3d 999, 1005 (6th
Elements of Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunctive Relief
A party must prove four elements to be entitled to preliminary injunctive relief or a
temporary restraining order: (1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a
substantial threat of irreparable injury if the injunction is not issued; (3) that the threatened injury
to the movant outweighs any harm that may result from the injunction to the non-movant; and (4)
that the injunction will not disserve the public interest. DSC Communications Corp. v. DGI
Technologies, Inc., 81 F.3d 597, 600 (5th Cir. 1996); Rodriguez v. United States, 66 F.3d 95, 97
(5th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S. Ct. 1058, 134 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1996); Cherokee Pump &
Equipment, Inc. v. Aurora Pump, 38 F.3d 246, 249 (5th Cir. 1994).
Preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders are extraordinary remedies,
Cherokee Pump, 38 F.3d at 249, “not to be granted routinely, but only when the movant, by a
clear showing, carries [the] burden of persuasion.” Black Fire Fighters Association v. City of
Dallas, 905 F.2d 63, 65 (5th Cir. 1990) (quoting Holland American Insurance Co. v. Succession
of Roy, 777 F.2d 992, 997 (5th Cir. 1985)). Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 65, the party seeking a
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order must give security in an amount the court
deems proper (which can be zero in some circumstances).
The petitioner is unable to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits in
light of his argument in the instant motions. He argues that, during his release on parole, he
caught Amber Coleman having an affair, and she falsely accused him of criminal activity with
the specific intent that the accusations would lead to revocation of his parole. On May 25, 2022,
the charges arising out of Ms. Coleman’s accusations were dismissed. He alleges that he has
proof to show that he never violated the conditions of his release on parole. He alleges that the
Parole Board nonetheless revoked his parole the next day (May 26, 2022) without holding a
hearing, finding, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he failed to report regularly, failed to
establish a residence, and interacted with law enforcement and failed to immediately notify his
probation officer. In his conversations with the Parole Board, the Board stated that if he was not
convicted on the charges, then his parole would be reinstated. Nonetheless, though the charges
were dismissed, his parole has not been reinstated.
The petitioner states that the Parole Board did not hold a hearing before revoking his
parole; however, one of the documents he attached to his amended petition  was entitled
“Parole Revocation Hearing (Action Sheet).” Doc. 15-2. The sheet contains a note showing
that, as of that date (May 26, 2022), the petitioner had failed to report since his release from the
Technical Violation Center on August 12, 2021 – a claim unrelated to the charges made by
Amber Coleman (domestic violence, simple assault) and Brandi Williams (willful trespassing).
Doc. 15-2 at 2, 3. As the petitioner’s documentation seems to contradict his claims, he has not
demonstrated a substantial likelihood that he will prevail on the merits of his claim, and the
instant motions ,  for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction are
SO ORDERED, this, the 15th day of November, 2023.
/s/ Michael P. Mills
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
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