United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR TEMPORARY
RESTRAINING ORDER AND DEFERRING RULING ON MOTION FOR
BARBER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Karen Morris's
motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction (Doc. # 11), filed by counsel on November 27,
2019. After reviewing the motion, court file, and the record,
the Court finds as follows:
currently resides with four Rhode Island Red hens in a mobile
home community in Lee County, Florida. Defendant Lee County
claims that keeping the hens violates its county code and has
fined Plaintiff, threatening further fines if she does not
remove the hens. Plaintiff contends that she is disabled and
that the animals provide emotional support. As such,
Plaintiff argues that under the Fair Housing Act, she is
entitled to a reasonable accommodation permitting her to keep
the hens. Plaintiff currently seeks a temporary restraining
order and a preliminary injunction enjoining Lee County from
entering her property and fining her for any reason related
to her emotional support animals while the Court fully
considers the merits of her housing discrimination claims.
district court is authorized to issue a temporary restraining
order without notice to the adverse party only in limited
emergency circumstances. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b);
Local Rule 4.05. The movant bears the burden of establishing
entitlement to a TRO and must demonstrate: “(1) a
substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) that
irreparable injury will be suffered if the relief is not
granted; (3) that the threatened injury outweighs the harm
the relief would inflict on the non-movant; and (4) that
entry of the relief would serve the public interest.”
Schiavo ex rel. Schindler v. Schiavo, 403 F.3d 1223,
1225-26 (11th Cir. 2005); see also Parker v. State Bd. of
Pardons & Paroles, 275 F.3d 1032, 1034-35 (11th Cir.
the movant requests issuance of a TRO without notice to the
adverse party, the district court must first determine
whether the movant has shown adequate justification for such
ex parte relief before addressing whether the movant
has met the four-pronged test. See Emerging Vision, Inc.
v. Glachman, No. 9:10-cv-80734-KLR, 2010 WL 3293346, at
*3 (S.D. Fla. June 29, 2010), report and
recommendation adopted, No. 10-cv-80734-KLR,
2010 WL 3293351 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 11, 2010).
Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a
district court to issue a no-notice TRO only if:
(A) 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; and
(B) the movant's attorney certifies in writing any
efforts made to give notice and the reasons why it should not
Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1)(A)-(B). A no-notice TRO “is an
extreme remedy to be used only with the utmost
caution.” Levine v. Camcoa, Ltd., 70 F.3d
1191, 1194 (11th Cir. 1995).
the Court finds that the TRO motion is procedurally
insufficient. The Court may only issue a TRO if the movant
gives security in an amount that the Court considers proper
to pay the costs and damages sustained by any party found to
have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(c); Williamson v. Bank of America,
N.A., No. 1:12-cv-01829-JEC-RGV, 2012 WL 12883933, at *2
(N.D.Ga. May 29, 2012). However, Plaintiff has not tendered
or offered to tender any amount as security for a TRO.
Instead, she merely believes that Lee County will not suffer
harm if a TRO is entered, but she provides no specific legal
citation for why a security is not necessary in this case.
See CS Business Systems, Inc. v. Schar, No.
5:17-cv-86-Oc-PGBPRI, 2017 WL 1449683, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Mar.
31, 2017). Although a security may be waived in some
circumstances, Plaintiff has failed to put forth sufficient
facts or legal arguments showing that she should be entitled
to a waiver of the security requirement. Consequently, the
TRO motion is due to be denied.
without undertaking substantial and unnecessary analysis, the
Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to establish
entitlement to a TRO. Although Plaintiff indicates an intent
to serve Lee County with a copy of the TRO motion, she does
not detail any efforts made to give notice to Lee County
prior to the filing of her motion, nor does she assert any
specific facts that clearly show she will suffer immediate
and irreparable injury, loss, or damage before Lee County can
be heard in opposition. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(1)(A)-(B). In
light of these deficiencies, the Court is not able to address
Plaintiffs allegations without input from Lee ...