United States District Court, District of Columbia
Isaac D. Narvaez Gomez, Plaintiff,
John F. Kelly et al., Defendants.
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY United States District Judge
is a native of Venezuela who resides in Walterboro, South
Carolina. Currently, he is a student at the University of
South Carolina. Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a
Petition for a Writ of Mandamus and Complaint for Declaratory
Judgment, which he recently amended. See Pet. [Dkt.
# 12]. Plaintiff seeks to compel the government to adjudicate
his “Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for
Withholding of Removal, ” which he alleges the
government received on June 9, 2016. Pending before the Court
is plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and
Preliminary Injunction (“Mot.”). For the reasons
explained below, the motion will be denied.
restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are
extraordinary remedies. A temporary restraining order can be
granted 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). The standard for obtaining
injunctive relief through either a temporary restraining
order or a preliminary injunction is well established. A
moving party must show: (1) a substantial likelihood of
success on the merits, (2) that it would suffer irreparable
injury if the injunction were not granted, (3) that an
injunction would not substantially injure other interested
parties, and (4) that the public interest would be furthered
by the injunction. Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches v.
England, 454 F.3d 290, 297 (D.C. Cir. 2006); see
Hall v. Johnson, 599 F.Supp.2d 1, 3 n.2 (D.D.C. 2009)
(“The same standard applies to both temporary
restraining orders and to preliminary injunctions.”).
applying the four-factored standard, district courts may
employ a sliding scale as to which a particularly strong
showing in one area can compensate for weakness in another.
Hall, 599 F.Supp.2d at 3 (quoting CSX Transp.,
Inc. v. Williams, 406 F.3d 667 (D.C. Cir. 2005)).
Nevertheless, both the United States Supreme Court and the
Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit have emphasized that a
movant must show at least some likelihood of irreparable harm
in the absence of an injunction. See Winter v. Nat. Res.
Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008) (holding that
a plaintiff must “demonstrate that irreparable injury
is likely in the absence of an injunction, ” and not a
mere “possibility”); CityFed Fin. Corp. v.
Off. of Thrift Supervision, 58 F.3d 738, 747 (D.C. Cir.
1995) (holding that a plaintiff must demonstrate “
‘at least some injury' for a preliminary injunction
to issue . . . [because] ‘the basis of injunctive
relief in federal courts has always been irreparable harm . .
. ' ”) (quoting Sampson v. Murray, 415
U.S. 61, 88 (1974)). This is because a preliminary injunction
“ordinarily is sought to preserve the status quo
pending the resolution of the underlying litigation . . . . a
preliminary injunction that would change the status quo is an
even more extraordinary remedy.” Abdullah v.
Bush, 945 F.Supp.2d 64, 67 (D.D.C. 2013), aff'd
sub nom. Abdullah v. Obama, 753 F.3d 193 (D.C. Cir.
2014) (citations omitted).
basis for the TRO, plaintiff asserts that he “continues
to suffer from the irreparable harm regarding the allegations
set forth on paragraphs 35 and 36 of the Amended
Complaint.” Mot. at 2. Those paragraphs set forth
plaintiff's claims against President Donald J. Trump in
his official and individual capacities. The claims can be
described as a general rebuke of (1) President Trump's
recently issued Executive Orders regarding immigration,
which, according to plaintiff “are violent in nature
and pointlessly aggressive towards asylee/refugees (and other
immigrants in general), ” and (2) President Trump's
“intentional taunts on social media platforms such as
‘Twitter.'” Am. Compl. ¶ 35. In the
instant motion, plaintiff asserts that he has suffered
“irreparable loss of enjoyment of life, emotional
distress, and loss of consortium . . . due to the harmful
posts defendant Donald J. Trump communicates via social
media[.]” Mot. at 2. Plaintiff concludes that he
“will continue to suffer irreparable harm if immediate
injunctive relief does not issue, ” id., but
he has not specified the action to be restrained and, most
importantly, he has not cited any authority that would permit
this Court to enjoin the President of the United States from
communicating via social media.
“[e]very order granting an injunction and every
restraining order must: (A) state the reasons why it issued;
(B) state its terms specifically; and (C) describe in
reasonable detail-- and not by referring to the complaint or
other document--the act or acts restrained or required.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(d). The instant motion is completely devoid
of facts to permit the Court to ...