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Safari Club Int'l v. Jewell

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

June 6, 2014

SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL, et al., Plaintiff,
v.
SALLY M. R. JEWELL, in her official capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, et al., Defendants

Page 30

For SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL, Plaintiff: Anna Margo Seidman, Douglas Scott Burdin, Jeremy Evan Clare, LEAD ATTORNEYS, SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL, Washington, DC.

For NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, Plaintiff: Christopher A. Conte, LEAD ATTORNEY, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION, Fairfax, VA.

For SALLY JEWELL, In her official capacity as Secretary of the Department of the Interior, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, An agency of the United States, DANIEL ASHE, In his official capacity as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, An agency of the United States, Defendants: Andrea Gelatt, Meredith L. Flax, LEAD ATTORNEYS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Land & Natural Resources Division, Washington, DC.

Page 31

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

AMY BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Safari Club International brought this lawsuit to challenge two decisions of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (" FWS" ) to suspend any importation of sport-hunted African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania in 2014. Compl. [Dkt. # 1] ¶ 1.[1] Plaintiff alleges that the decisions violate the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. Id. ¶ ¶ 77-111. After filing its complaint, plaintiff filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. Mot. for Prelim. Inj. [Dkt. # 4] (" Mot." ); Mem. of P. & A. in Supp. of Mot. for Prelim. Inj. [Dkt. # 4-2] (" Mem." ). The parties have fully briefed the motion,[2] and it is now before the Court.

Safari Club alleges that actions of FWS have irreparably harmed its interests as an organization and the interests of its members. Because plaintiff has failed to demonstrate the necessary irreparable injury, the Court will deny the motion for a preliminary injunction.[3]

Page 32

ANALYSIS

On April 4, 2014, FWS issued a press release announcing " a suspension on imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in Tanzania and Zimbabwe during calendar year 2014." April 4, 2014 Press Release, Ex. A to Mem. [Dkt. # 4-5].[4] Plaintiff has challenged the agency's action and moved for a preliminary injunction to restore the pre-suspension status quo pending a ruling on the merits of the lawsuit.

To obtain a preliminary injunction, Safari Club must establish that: 1) it is likely to succeed on the merits; 2) it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief; 3) the balance of equities tips in its favor; and 4) an injunction serves the public interest. Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20, 129 S.Ct. 365, 172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008).[5]

Injunctive relief is an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief. Id. at 22. Failure to show any irreparable harm is grounds for the court to refuse to issue a preliminary injunction, even if the other three factors entering the calculus point in the plaintiff's favor. Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches v. England, 454 F.3d 290, 297, 372 U.S. App.D.C. 94 (D.C. Cir. 2006); see also GEO Specialty Chems., Inc. v. Husisian, 923 F.Supp.2d 143, 147 (D.D.C. 2013) (" ...


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