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Young v. Draper

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Danville Division

February 14, 2017

RICKEY G. YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVE DRAPER, ET AL, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Hon. Jackson L. Kiser Senior United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Injunction [ECF No. 5] and Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or a Preliminary Injunction [ECF No. 7]. I heard oral arguments on the Motions on February 2, 2017. At that time, I informed the parties that the Motions would be denied. This opinion supplements my in-court statements.

         I. STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND[1]

         On January 3, 2017, Plaintiff Rickey Young filed a Complaint in this Court alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1985, common-law defamation, and apparently a violation of the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. (See Compl. ¶¶ 1, 5, 15, 19.) Plaintiff contends that all defendants (the sheriff, the chief of police, a deputy sheriff, and the landlord) conspired to serve upon him an “illegal form notice for trespassing” (id. ¶ 13), that they “wrongfully and illegally attempted to arrest the plaintiff” (id. ¶ 14), and that they defamed him in that “[t]he statements by the defendants infer that the plaintiff committed crimes of moral turpitude when he entered property belonging to another when the plaintiff had permission to remain on the property as a guest. The statements taken as a whole infer that the plaintiff committed acts of falsity, fraud and deceit, as well as commission of a criminal offense, damaging the plaintiff's reputation locally, nationally, and globally.” (Id. ¶ 18.)

         Plaintiff contends that, on December 29, 2016, he was visiting a resident at 101 Wood Street, Apt. D1, in Martinsville, VA. At that time, he was served with a “No Trespass Notice, ” by Deputy Corcoran (“the Notice”), who is not a party to this action. The Notice, which was signed by Defendant Nancy Hylton, [2] stated:

THE MARTINSVILLE CITY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS ONLY SERVING THIS NOTICE AS A SERVICE AND IN NO WAY SHOULD IT BE FELT THAT THE MARTINSVILLY CITY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS JUDGING WHO HAS A RIGHT TO THE ABOVE LISTED PROPERTY AND WHO DOES NOT. THIS IS ALL THE OPINION OF THE PERSON OBTAINING THIS NOTICE AND IT WILL BE USED IN COURT, IF DEEMED NECESSARY, THAT THE ABOVE LISTED PERSON HAS BEEN LEGALLY NOTIFIED TO VACATE SAID PREMISES.

         [ECF No. 9-1.] Plaintiff's Complaint does not allege when or how the Defendants “attempted” to arrest him, but he does allege that Defendants “den[ied] the tenant the opportunity to receive assistance with her handicap primarily because she is white and the plaintiff is black.” (Compl. ¶ 1.)

         Plaintiff filed Motions for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b) (“the Motions”). [ECF Nos. 5, 7.] Although Plaintiff asserts that he “provided a copy” of his request to the City Attorney, no return of service was filed with the Court. Nevertheless, all parties were represented at the hearing on the Motions on February 2, 2017.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         “The standard of review for granting either a TRO [temporary restraining order] or a preliminary injunction is the same.” U.S. ex rel. $12, 642.00 U.S. Currency v. Virginia, 2003 WL 23710710, at *1 (E.D. Va. 2003). “To obtain a preliminary injunction the traditional standard requires the court to evaluate four factors: (1) the likelihood of irreparable harm to the plaintiff if the preliminary injunction is denied; (2) the likelihood of harm to the defendant if the requested relief is granted; (3) the likelihood that the plaintiff will succeed on the merits; and (4) the public interest.” Moore v. Kempthorne, 464 F.Supp.2d 519, 525 (E.D. Va. 2006) (citing Manning v. Hunt, 119 F.3d 254, 263 (4th Cir. 1994)). “While plaintiffs seeking preliminary injunctions must demonstrate that they are likely to succeed on the merits, they ‘need not show a certainty of success.'” League of Woman Voters of N.C. v. North Carolina, 769 F.3d 224, 247 (4th Cir. 2014) (quoting Pashby v. Delia, 709 F.3d 307, 321 (4th Cir. 2013)).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff does not meet any of the requirements to obtain a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order.

         (1) Likelihood of irreparable harm to Plaintiff

         Plaintiff has not offered any evidence that he has a need or a right to be on the property in question. He has failed to offer any evidence that he: (1) owns or rents property there; (2) is employed there; or (3) has children or family who reside at that address. Cf. Boone v. Commonwealth, No. 2575-95-2, 1997 Va.App. LEXIS 56 (Va. Ct. App. Feb. 4, 1997) (affirming a conviction for trespassing where defendant had not established a legitimate claim of right to be on the property). He asserts, in passing, that a disabled person resides at the address, but he has not asserted that he is her caretaker or that he provides any necessary service to or for her. At most, he has alleged that a friend lives at that address and that, because of the “ban, ”[3] he cannot visit. Setting aside that he has no protected right in visiting someone at that specific address, he has not shown or argued that he cannot visit the ...


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