United States District Court, District of Columbia
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, United States District Judge.
before the Court in this removed action is plaintiff's
motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction (“TRO/PI motion”) [Dkt. # 8]. Both
Trans Union, LLC, and Experian Information Solutions, Inc.,
the removing defendants, filed timely responses to the motion
[Dkt. ## 12, 15]. Plaintiff, appearing pro se, has
filed a combined “Reply to Opposition & Request for
Court Relief Regarding the Attached Subpoena of HUD & FTC
. . . ” [Dkt. # 20], which goes well beyond the scope
of the instant motion. For the reasons explained below,
plaintiff's TRO/PI motion will be denied.
restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are
extraordinary remedies. A temporary restraining order can be
granted without written or oral notice to the adverse party
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). “Every 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)(1).
injunctive relief is “an extraordinary remedy that may
only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is
entitled to such relief.” Sherley v. Sebelius,
644 F.3d 388, 392 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (quoting Winter v.
Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008));
see also Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972
(1997) (“[A] preliminary injunction is an extraordinary
and drastic remedy, one that should not be granted unless the
movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of
persuasion.” (emphasis in original; quotation marks
omitted)). The standard for obtaining injunctive relief
through either a temporary restraining order or a preliminary
injunction is well established. 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.” citation omitted)). The
movant “must establish  that he is likely to succeed
on the merits,  that he is likely to suffer irreparable
harm in the absence of preliminary relief,  that the
balance of equities tips in his favor, and  that an
injunction is in the public interest.” Aamer v.
Obama, 742 F.3d 1023, 1038 (D.C. Cir. 2014) (quoting
Sherley, 644 F.3d at 392) (quoting Winter,
555 U.S. at 20) (alteration in original; quotation marks
seeking such relief, “‘the movant has the burden
to show that all four factors, taken together, weigh in favor
of the injunction.'” Abdullah v. Obama,
753 F.3d 193, 197 (D.C. Cir. 2014) (quoting Davis v.
Pension Benefit Guar. Corp., 571 F.3d 1288, 1292 (D.C.
Cir. 2009)). “The four factors have typically been
evaluated on a ‘sliding scale.'”
Davis, 571 F.3d at 1291 (citation omitted). Under
this sliding-scale framework, “[i]f the movant makes an
unusually strong showing on one of the factors, then it does
not necessarily have to make as strong a showing on another
factor.” Id. at 1291-92.
the United States Supreme Court and 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, 555 U.S. at 22 (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)). “Further, the movant must show that the
alleged harm will directly result from the action which [he]
seeks to enjoin.” Wisconsin Gas Co. v.
F.E.R.C., 758 F.2d 669, 674 (D.C. Cir. 1985). 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
TRO/PI motion is difficult to follow but concerns the
defendant credit reporting entities - Trans Union, Experian,
and Equifax -- and their duty under the Fair Credit Reporting
Act (“FCRA”) “to report accurate payment of
accounts.” Mot. at 1. Plaintiff alleges that (1)
Trans Union has provided inaccurate “rent history and
credit history”; (2) Equifax has inaccurately reported
that his “medical bills [are] in collection . . . and
are refusing to conduct a reinvestigation” based on his
disputes; and (3) Experian has “deleted all of [his]
credit history with Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance
Agency after payment from the United States Department of
Education.” Mot. at 2. Allegedly, plaintiff has had
difficulty obtaining Section 8 housing due to the negative
credit reports. See id.
argues generally that he is likely to prevail on his claim of
negligence. See Mot. at 4-5. Even if true, plaintiff
would be entitled only to “an amount equal to the sum
of . . . any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a
result of the failure” and litigation costs. 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681o. Nothing in the text of the FCRA
“allows private litigants to maintain a claim for
injunctive relief, ” Washington v. CSC Credit
Servs. Inc., 199 F.3d 263, 268 (5th Cir. 2000), and
“courts that have considered [the] issue have
overwhelmingly concluded that the FCRA precludes private
litigants from seeking equitable relief, ”
Owner-Operator Indep. Driver Ass'n, Inc. v. Usis
Commercial Servs., Inc., 410 F.Supp.2d 1005, 1007 (D.
Colo. 2005); see Poulson v. Trans Union, LLC, 370
F.Supp.2d 592, 593 (E.D. Tex. 2005) (Under the FCRA,
“[p]rivate litigants are limited to the remedies laid
out in [in the statute, which] include . . . actual, and
punitive damages, as well as attorney's fees.”)
(citing 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681n, 1681o)). For
this reason, plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on his claim
for injunctive relief,  and it “is [ ] well settled that
economic loss does not, in and of itself, constitute
irreparable harm.” Sataki v. Broadcasting Bd. of
Governors, 733 F.Supp.2d 22, 46 (D.D.C. 2010) (quoting
Wisconsin Gas Co. v. FERC, 758 F.2d 669, 674 (D.C.
Cir. 1985) (alteration in original)).
mere conjecture on the critical factors of likely success and
irreparable harm “alone is sufficient” to deny
his request for a preliminary injunction. CityFed Fin.
Corp., 58 F.3d at 747. As Trans Union notes, moreover,
plaintiff “admits” that no public interest is at
stake, Trans Union's Opp'n at 7 (quoting Pl.'s
Mot. at 5) (“[t]his is not a case that impacts the
public; only the parties involved have an interest in the
outcome”), and Trans Union has made a convincing
uncontested argument why “the balance of
equities” tilts in its favor, id. at 7-8. As
for Experian, ...