United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
JESSICA BARRON, KENNETH WYLIE, and WILLIAM CAMPBELL, Plaintiffs,
THE CITY OF GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiffs' Application for Temporary
Restraining Order and Renewed Motion for Preliminary
Injunction (Doc. 31). Plaintiffs request a temporary
injunction enjoining the City of Granite City, Illinois from
enforcing its compulsory-eviction law, Granite City Mun. Code
§§ 5.142.010 et seq., against Plaintiffs,
from taking any steps to remove Plaintiffs Jessica Barron and
Kenny Wylie from their home, and from taking any steps
against Plaintiff William Campbell for declining to evict
Plaintiffs Barron and Wylie. For the following reasons, the
Application for Temporary Restraining Order is
temporary restraining order ("TRO") is an order
issued without notice to the party to be enjoined that may
last no more than 14 days. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(2). A TRO may
issue without notice only if "specific facts in an
affidavit or a verified complaint clearly show that immediate
and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the
movant before the adverse party can be heard in
opposition." Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(1)(A). Such injunctive
relief is warranted "to prevent a substantial risk of
serious injury from ripening into actual harm."
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 845 (1994). A party
seeking a TRO bears the burden of showing that it is
"reasonably likely to succeed on the merits[, ] is
suffering irreparable harm that outweighs any harm the
nonmoving party will suffer if the injunction is granted,
there is no adequate remedy at law, and an injunction would
not harm the public interest" Joelner v. Vill of
Wash. Park, 378 F.3d 613, 619 (7th Cir. 2004) (referring
to preliminary injunction).
the first element, Plaintiffs need only demonstrate that they
have a "better than neglible" chance of succeeding
on the merits. Ty Inc. v. Jones Group, Inc., 237
F.3d 891, 897 (7th Cir. 2001). Plaintiffs allege that the
City's compulsory-eviction law targets individuals who
are too poor to qualify for traditional mortgages in
violation of the Equal Protection Clause. They also assert
that the City intends to evict Barron and Wylie from their
home for a crime committed by someone else, in violation of
the Due Process Clause. Based on these allegations, the Court
finds that Plaintiffs' Complaint demonstrates a
"better than neglible" likelihood of success on the
merits for purposes of a TRO.
remaining threshold requirements-irreparable harm, lack of an
adequate remedy at law, and public interest - tend to merge.
See Roland Mach. Co. v. Dresser Indus., Inc., 749
F.2d 380, 386 (7th Cir. 1984). That is because as "[a]n
injury is 'irreparable' when it is of such a nature
that the injured party cannot be adequately compensated in
damages or when damages cannot be measured by any pecuniary
standard." Meridian Mut. Ins. Co. v. Meridian Ins.
Group, Inc., 128 F.3d 1111, 1120 (7th Cir. 1997);
see also Girl Scouts of Manitou Council, Inc. v. Girls
Scouts of the United States, Inc., 549 F.3d 1079, 1089
(7th Cir. 2008).
Plaintiffs contend the potential loss of their home
constitutes irreparable harm for which there is no adequate
remedy at law. The Court Agrees. See, United Church of
the Med. Ctr. v. Med. Ctr. Comm'n, 689 F.2d 693, 701
(7th Cir. 1982) (noting that "a given piece of property
is considered to be unique, and its loss is always an
irreparable injury."). There can be no adequate remedy
at law for the loss of a home; particularly in this instance
where Plaintiffs have spent two years paying on their
installment contract with the aim of owning their own home.
If the City evicts them, Plaintiffs and their children not
only face imminent homelessness, but a loss of their
investment. Plaintiffs are poor and do not have the resources
to immediately rent another property. These factors weigh in
favor of the issuance of a TRO.
said, the Court must weigh the irreparable harm that
Plaintiffs will endure without the protection of a TRO
against any irreparable harm the City will suffer if the
Court were to grant the requested relief. See Girl Scouts
of Manitou Council, Inc., 549 F.3d at 1086. Whatever
harm the City will suffer from being enjoined from evicting
Plaintiffs pales in comparison to the loss of one's home.
given the constitutional rights involved, the Court declines
to require Plaintiffs to post a security under Rule 65(c).
See Copeland v. City of E. Chicago, IN, 2007 WL
1232215, at *4 (N.D. Ind. 2007) (declining to require
plaintiffs to post a bond in constitutional rights case);
Ogden v. Marendt, 264 F.Supp.2d 785, 795 (S.D. Ind.
2003); Smith v. Board of Elections Comm'rs for
Chicago, 591 F.Supp. 70, 71-72 (N.D. Ill. 1984).
foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs' Application for Temporary
Restraining Order and Renewed Motion for Preliminary
Injunction (Doc. 31) is GRANTED in part. To
preserve the status quo until a hearing on Plaintiffs'
Motion for Preliminary Injunction is conducted, the Court
ISSUES the following Temporary Restraining
The City of Granite City, Illinois, its agents, servants,
employees, attorneys, and all persons acting in concert and
participation with them, are hereby ENJOINED
and PROHIBITED from enforcing the City's
compulsory-eviction law, Granite City Mun. Code §§
5.142.010 et seq. against Plaintiffs Barron, Wylie
and Campbell, from taking any action to remove Plaintiffs
Barron and Wylie from their home, and from taking any action
against Plaintiff Campbell for declining to evict Plaintiffs
Barron and Wylie.
accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b)(2),
this TRO shall expire on October 23,
2019 at the time reflected on the notice of electronic filing
(“NEF”), unless extended by
further order of the Court. Plaintiffs'
Motion for Preliminary Injunction is hereby set for hearing
on October 23, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. in the Benton Courthouse
before the undersigned Judge.