Hooper v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development et al
ORDER: Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Injunction 15 is denied. Signed on 4/4/2017 by Judge Michael J. McShane. (cp)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON
DENNIS RUSSELL HOOPER,
Civ. No. 6:17-cv-00031-MC
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF
HOUSING AND URBAN
DEVELOPMENT, et al.,
Plaintiff Dennis Russell Hooper moves for Temporary Injunction seeking a stay in state
eviction proceedings to prevent the disposal or removal of plaintiff’s personal property. ECF No.
15. The Motion is accompanied by Plaintiff’s Memorandum (ECF No. 16), Plaintiff’s
Declaration (ECF No. 17), and Amended Complaint (ECF No. 18). Because Plaintiff has not
shown a likelihood of success on the merits, Plaintiff’s motion seeking temporary injunction
(ECF No. 15) is DENIED.
1 – ORDER
For the limited purpose of Plaintiff’s Motion and without reaching the ultimate merits of
the amended complaint, the Court accepts the asserted facts at true. Plaintiff is or until recently
was a residential tenant of Coos-Curry Housing Authority. Amend. Compl., ECF No. 18. On
February 22, 2017, plaintiff was served an eviction summons with the cause listed for eviction to
be a lease violation. Pl.’s Memo 1-2, ECF No. 16. The Curry County Circuit Court, State of
Oregon held a hearing on March 1, 2017 under the case number 17LT02905. The Circuit Court
granted default judgment in Coos-Curry Housing Authority’s favor. Plaintiff states he appeared
by telephone, but had incorrectly e-filed his answer and fee waiver. A Notice of Restitution was
issued granting defendant Coos-Curry Housing Authority possession. Defendant then gave
Plaintiff until April 4, 2017 to remove all of his personal property from the rental unit. Plaintiff
has appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
Plaintiff argues he is unable to retrieve his personal property, because he is homeless and
physically disabled. Pl.’s Memo 2, ECF No. 16. The personal property at the apartment unit
consists of many boxes of records and legal documents in support of his claims against
defendant, a secondary wheelchair, wheelchair parts and accessories, durable medical equipment,
i.e. shower bench, leg braces, various medications, some of which require refrigeration, and
personal items such as clothes. Plaintiff has paid rent for the month of March 2017. Plaintiff
declares his income is limited to SSI in the amount of $516.00, he is homeless and unable to
afford permanent shelter; and has no place to store his legal or personal records. Pl.’s Decl. 1,
ECF No. 17.
Plaintiff alleges the eviction constitutes retaliation against plaintiff for filing this lawsuit
in January 2017. Pl.’s Mot., ECF No. 15; Amend. Compl. 20-22, ECF No. 18. Plaintiff’s
2 – ORDER
Amended Complaint outlines the timeline of facts. On November 29, 2016, Coos-Curry Housing
Authority conducted an annual inspection of Plaintiff’s residence. Amend. Compl. 20-22, ECF
No. 18. On December 21, 2016, Housing Authority notified Plaintiff there were “certain failed
items that needed to be addressed by the resident” and that Plaintiff’s residence would be reinspected on January 19, 2017. Failed items include covering the window with a sheet and using
a type of heat source to heat a room that is not allowed. The Amended Complaint reads that
“Plaintiff elected not to comply with the request” believing that Defendant’s requests were not
On January 18, 2017, Plaintiff told Defendant Housing Authority that they would not be
allowed to re-inspect the “failed items.” Amend. Compl. 21-22, ECF No. 18. By letter dated
January 19, 2017, Housing Authority stated that Plaintiff’s tenancy would be cancelled and that
if no action to remedy the violation is taken, the eviction procedure will continue forward.
Plaintiff underwent the Housing Authority’s grievance procedure to aggrieve the notice of
cancellation. Plaintiff’s grievance was ultimately denied and a Residential Eviction Complaint
was filed on February 21, 2017.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
A party seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that it is likely to succeed on the
merits, that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the
balance of equities tips in its favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest. Winter v.
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 365, 374 (2008). The mere possibility of
irreparable harm is not enough. Rather, the plaintiff must establish such harm is likely. Alliance
for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131 (9th Cir. 2011). The standards for issuing a
temporary restraining order are similar to those required for a preliminary injunction. Lockheed
3 – ORDER
Missile & Space Co., Inc. v. Hughes Aircraft Co., 887 F.Supp. 1320, 1323 (N.D. Ca. 1995). The
court’s decision on a motion for a preliminary injunction is not a ruling on the merits. See Sierra
On-Line, Inc. v. Phoenix Software, Inc., 739 F.2d 1415, 1422 (9th Cir. 1984).
Whether Plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the merits is a threshold
inquiry. Ass'n des Eleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Quebec v. Harris, 729 F.3d 937, 944 (9th
Cir. 2013). I find here that there is not a likelihood of success on the merit. First, the timeline of
dates does not support Plaintiff’s claim for retaliation. While the initial complaint was filed
January 9, 2017, the process that led to eviction began on November 29, 2016 from a required
annual inspection which has occurred every year since Plaintiff had first moved into the unit in
2012. Defendant discovered Plaintiff’s non-compliance with Housing Authority’s policies during
the November 29, 2016 inspection, six weeks prior the filing of this lawsuit. Plaintiff’s Amended
Complaint states clearly that he chose not to address the “failed items” and refused to allow
Defendant entry into his rental unit to conduct a re-inspection in violation of the lease. A lease
violation is a valid, prima facie reason to evict Plaintiff irrespective of any motivation to
Because Plaintiff has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits, Plaintiff’s motion
seeking temporary injunction (ECF No. 15) is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 4th day of April, 2017.
4 – ORDER
/s/Michael J. McShane
Michael J. McShane
United States District Judge
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