RCI Entm't (San Antonio), Inc. v. City of San Antonio, Case No. SA-21-CV-0194-JKP

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Western District of Texas
PartiesRCI ENTERTAINMENT (SAN ANTONIO), INC., d/b/a XTC CABARET, Plaintiff, v. THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO, et al., Defendants.
Decision Date08 April 2021
Docket NumberCase No. SA-21-CV-0194-JKP

d/b/a XTC CABARET, Plaintiff,
THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO, et al., Defendants.

Case No. SA-21-CV-0194-JKP


April 8, 2021


Before the Court is Plaintiff's Application for Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 29). The City of San Antonio has filed a response (ECF No. 32) and the Court has held a hearing on the motion. The motion is ripe for ruling. After considering the motion, briefing, and applicable law, the Court denies the motion.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure specifically govern preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65. Plaintiff seeks a temporary restraining order ("TRO") against defendants. Because the City has responded and the Court has conducted a hearing on the matter, the Court considers the motion to be one for preliminary injunction.

"A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy and should only be granted if the [movant has] clearly carried the burden of persuasion on all four requirements." Nichols v. Alcatel USA, Inc., 532 F.3d 364, 372 (5th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted). Granting such "injunction is to be treated as the exception rather than the rule." Healthpoint, Ltd. v. Stratus Pharm., Inc., 273 F. Supp. 2d 769, 777 (W.D. Tex. 2001). Courts do not award such an extraordinary remedy "as of right." Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008).

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To obtain a preliminary injunction or TRO, the movant must demonstrate the following equitable factors: "(1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, (2) a substantial threat of irreparable injury if the injunction is not issued, (3) the threatened injury if the injunction is denied outweighs any harm that will result if the injunction is granted, and (4) the grant of the injunction will not disserve the public interest." Janvey v. Alguire, 647 F.3d 585, 595 (5th Cir. 2011) (citing Byrum v. Landreth, 566 F.3d 442, 445 (5th Cir. 2009)); accord Jackson Women's Health Org. v. Currier, 760 F.3d 448, 452 (5th Cir. 2014). Stated differently, a movant "seeking a preliminary injunction 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." Winter, 555 U.S. at 20. And for purposes of issuing a preliminary injunction, the irreparable injury must occur "during the pendency of the litigation." Justin Indus., Inc. v. Choctaw Secs., L.P., 920 F.2d 262, 268 n.7 (5th Cir. 1990).

Each case requires the courts to "balance the competing claims of injury and . . . consider the effect on each party of the granting or withholding of the requested relief." Winter, 555 U.S. at 24 (citation omitted). Whether to grant or deny a preliminary injunction lies within the sound discretion of the district courts. Weinberger v. Romero-Barcelo, 456 U.S. 305, 320 (1982). And when, "exercising their sound discretion, courts of equity should pay particular regard for the public consequences in employing the extraordinary remedy of injunction." Winter, 555 U.S. at 24 (citation omitted).

"The purpose of a preliminary injunction [(or TRO)] is merely to preserve the relative positions of the parties until a trial on the merits can be held." Univ. of Tex. v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395 (1981). But as the Fifth Circuit long ago cautioned, "[i]t must not be thought, however, that there is any particular magic in the phrase 'status quo,'" because "[t]he purpose of a prelim-

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inary injunction is always to prevent irreparable injury so as to preserve the court's ability to render a meaningful decision on the merits." Canal Auth. of the State of Fla. v. Callaway, 489 F.2d 567, 576 (5th Cir.1974). Courts recognize two types of injunctions, mandatory and prohibitory. See, e.g., Meghrig v. KFC W., Inc., 516 U.S. 479, 484 (1996) (recognizing mandatory and prohibitory injunctions); In re Bahadur, 441 F. Supp. 3d 467, 473 (W.D. Tex. 2020) (same).

It is well settled that the issuance of a prohibitory injunction freezes the status quo, and is intended "to preserve the relative positions of the parties until a trial on the merits can be held." Preliminary injunctions commonly favor the status quo and seek to maintain things in their initial condition so far as possible until after a full hearing permits final relief to be fashioned.

Wenner v. Tex. Lottery Comm'n, 123 F.3d 321, 326 (5th Cir. 1997) (quoting Camenisch, 451 U.S. at 395); accord Meghrig, 516 U.S. at 484 (defining a prohibitory injunction as "one that 'restrains'" action). A mandatory injunction, on the other hand, "compels defendants to promptly and affirmatively act in a specific and extremely extensive manner." U.S. v. Texas, 601 F.3d 354, 362 (5th Cir. 2010); accord Meghrig, 516 U.S. at 484 (defining a mandatory injunction as "one that orders a responsible party to 'take action'"). These injunctions are labeled as mandatory because they mandate rather than enjoin action.

Although courts may appropriately issue a mandatory injunction when "the currently existing status quo is causing a party to suffer irreparable injury," Canal Auth., 489 F.2d at 576, "[m]andatory preliminary relief, which goes well beyond simply maintaining the status quo pendente lite, is particularly disfavored, and should not be issued unless the facts and law clearly favor the moving party," Martinez v. Mathews, 544 F.2d 1233, 1243 (5th Cir. 1976); accord Exhibitors Poster Exch., Inc. v. Nat'l Screen Serv. Corp., 441 F.2d 560, 561 (5th Cir. 1971) (per curiam) (describing the exception as "rare instances in which the facts and law are clearly in favor of the moving party").

The instant motion concerns events that occurred on April 3 and 4,...

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