Bradshaw v. Central Intelligence Agency
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER denying #2 Motion to Seal Case (styled as 'for Secrecy'); denying without prejudice #3 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. Signed by Judge Robert J. Shelby on 11/13/23 (alt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
MICHAEL SCOTT BRADSHAW JR.,
Case No. 2:23-cv-00811-RJS
Chief Judge Robert J. Shelby
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY,
Now before the court is Plaintiff Michael Scott Bradshaw Jr.’s Motion for Secrecy 1 and
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO Motion). 2 For the reasons provided below, both
Motions are denied.
Bradshaw initiated this case in federal court on November 6, 2023. 3 He asserts claims
against the CIA under various federal and state laws, including the First, Second, and Fourth
Amendments to the United States Constitution and “Utah stalking law.” 4 Bradshaw alleges
individuals under the CIA’s control have been following him for several years as part of the
CIA’s effort to recruit him. 5 He also alleges he has “been a victim of government sponsored
efforts to punish” him for his “political and religious views and also reprisals for having made
FOIA requests.” 6 Attached to the Complaint is the “Statement of Michael Scott Bradshaw Jr.,”
ECF 2, Motion for Secrecy [sealed].
ECF 3, TRO Motion [sealed].
ECF 1, Complaint [sealed].
Id. at 3.
Id. at 5–6; see also ECF 1-1, Bradshaw Statement [sealed].
Complaint at 6.
which outlines the alleged stalking and harassment in more detail. 7
With his Complaint, Bradshaw filed the Motion for Secrecy and the TRO Motion. In the
Motion for Secrecy, Bradshaw moves for “secrecy for this case” because it “contains matters of
national security.” 8 He “requests the strictest protections for case-related materials.” 9 Bradshaw
used a template for this Motion, and the in the space provided for the applicable
“statute(s)/rule(s),” he put “clerk’s office.” 10
Similarly, the TRO Motion does not cite any applicable rules, statutes, or case law. 11 Nor
does it recite any relevant factual allegations. 12 The Motion simply refers to an Exhibit titled
“Request for Relief,” which is attached to the Complaint. 13 In the Request for Relief, Bradshaw
seeks a TRO, a permanent injunction, and money damages. 14 Among other things, Bradshaw
seeks an order preventing CIA personnel from following or gesturing to him, unless necessary
for “an assignment or mission.” 15
Motion for Secrecy at 1.
See TRO Motion.
Id. at 1; see also ECF 1-2, Request for Relief [sealed].
Request for Relief at 2–7.
Id. at 4–6.
Courts construe pro se filings liberally. 16 Bradshaw is representing himself, but he is also
a licensed attorney, 17 so the court does not construe his filing liberally. 18
The court first explains why the Motion for Secrecy is denied and then explains why the
TRO Motion is denied.
Motion for Secrecy
The court does not recognize a “Motion for Secrecy,” but it understands Bradshaw to be
requesting the court seal his case. 19 A party may move to seal a case under DUCivR 5-2.
Among other things, the rule requires the movant to identify “the statute, rule, case law, or other
basis permitting the court to seal the case.” 20 Because “[c]ourt records are presumptively open to
the public,” “the sealing of civil cases is highly discouraged.” 21
Bradshaw’s Motion does not comply with DUCivR 5-2 because it does not identify “the
statute, rule, case law, or other basis permitting the court to seal the case.” 22 The Motion
identifies “clerk’s office” as the applicable statute or rule, which is insufficient. The Motion is
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
See Bradshaw Statement at 8 (stating he represented his political party “as an election-day attorney”). The Utah
State Bar Member Directory lists “M. Scott Bradshaw Jr” as an active attorney, and the accompanying phone
number is the same phone number listed on Bradshaw’s filings. Compare M. Scott Bradshaw Jr, Utah State Bar
Member Directory (Nov. 13, 2023), https://services.utahbar.org/Member-Directory/Profile?customercd=8048, with
Complaint at 1; see also Tal v. Hogan, 453 F.3d 1244, 1264 n.24 (10th Cir. 2006) (noting courts may take judicial
notice of facts which are a matter of public record).
See Mann v. Boatright, 477 F.3d 1140, 1148 n.4 (10th Cir. 2007) (“While we generally construe pro se pleadings
liberally, the same courtesy need not be extended to licensed attorneys.” (citation omitted)).
See Request for Relief at 3 (requesting “Sealing”).
Id. R. 5-2(a).
See id. R. 5-2(c)(1)(B).
To obtain a temporary restraining order, the movant must show (1) a substantial
likelihood of success on the merits, (2) irreparable harm unless the TRO is issued, (3) the
threatened injury outweighs the harm the TRO may cause the opposing party, and (4) the TRO
will not adversely affect the public interest. 23 A temporary restraining order is an extraordinary
remedy and “the exception rather than the rule.” 24 Thus, the movant’s right to the TRO must be
“clear and unequivocal.” 25
As an initial matter, the court does not construe Bradshaw’s Motion as a request for ex
parte relief. Under Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court may issue a TRO
“without written or oral notice to the adverse party.” 26 But to obtain an ex parte TRO, the
movant’s attorney must certify “in writing any efforts made to give notice and the reasons why it
should not be required.” 27 Bradshaw’s TRO Motion did not indicate he was seeking ex parte
relief, and he did not file an attorney certification. 28 Accordingly, the court does not construe his
Motion as a request for an ex parte TRO.
The court denies Bradshaw’s Motion because it lacks factual and legal analysis. In his
Motion, Bradshaw did not acknowledge the four showings necessary for a TRO, let alone try to
demonstrate they are satisfied. 29 For example, he did not explain why he is likely to succeed on
Aposhian v. Barr, 958 F.3d 969, 978 (10th Cir. 2020); see also Wiechmann v. Ritter, 44 F. App’x 346, 347 (10th
Cir. 2002) (unpublished) (stating the requirements for a TRO and preliminary injunction are the same).
Id. (quoting United States ex rel. Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe v. Enter. Mgmt. Consultants, Inc., 883
F.2d 886, 888 (10th Cir. 1989)).
Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Env’t v. Jewell, 839 F.3d 1276, 1281 (10th Cir. 2016) (quoting Wilderness
Workshop v. BLM, 531 F.3d 1220, 1224 (10th Cir. 2008)).
Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1).
Id. R. 65(b)(1)(B).
See TRO Motion.
the merits, nor did he identify the irreparable harm that is likely to occur without a TRO. 30
Instead, he simply cited his Request for Relief. 31 And reviewing Bradshaw’s filing on its own,
the court is not convinced he has alleged facts showing he is entitled to a TRO. Because his right
to relief is not “clear and unequivocal,” the TRO Motion is denied.
For the reasons provided, Bradshaw’ Motion for Secrecy 32 is denied, and his TRO
Motion 33 is denied without prejudice.
SO ORDERED this 13th of November 2023.
BY THE COURT:
ROBERT J. SHELBY
United States Chief District Judge
Id. at 1.
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