Weaver v. Henderson, No. 92-1821

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore SELYA, Circuit Judge, COFFIN, Senior Circuit Judge, and STAHL; SELYA
Citation984 F.2d 11
Docket NumberNo. 92-1821
Decision Date09 December 1992
Parties8 IER Cases 431 Ralph S. WEAVER, etc., et al., Plaintiffs, Appellants, v. Charles HENDERSON, etc., et al., Defendants, Appellees. . Heard

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984 F.2d 11
8 IER Cases 431
Ralph S. WEAVER, etc., et al., Plaintiffs, Appellants,
v.
Charles HENDERSON, etc., et al., Defendants, Appellees.
No. 92-1821.
United States Court of Appeals,
First Circuit.
Heard Dec. 9, 1992.
Decided Jan. 21, 1993.

Kathleen M. McCarthy, Boston, MA, for plaintiffs, appellants.

James T. Masteralexis, Boston, MA, on brief for Intern. Broth. of Police Officers, amicus curiae.

Rosemary S. Gale, Asst. Atty. Gen., with whom Scott Harshbarger, Atty. Gen., Boston, MA, was on brief, for appellees.

Before SELYA, Circuit Judge, COFFIN, Senior Circuit Judge, and STAHL, Circuit Judge.

SELYA, Circuit Judge.

In this case, the district court refused to issue a preliminary injunction suspending the Massachusetts State Police Department's "no mustache" policy. The plaintiffs, veteran police officers partial to their existing mustaches, prosecute this appeal. Finding no legal error or abuse of discretion, we affirm the denial of interim relief.

I. BACKGROUND

In 1991, Massachusetts decided to merge four state police forces (the Division of State Police, the Metropolitan District Commission Police, the Capitol Police, and the Division of Law Enforcement of the Registry of Motor Vehicles) into a single entity (the Department of State Police). See An Act to Consolidate Certain Police Forces in the Commonwealth, 1991 Mass.Acts c. 412, at 985. When the enabling legislation was signed into law, defendant-appellee Charles Henderson was the ranking officer of the Division of State Police. Since the legislation stipulated that Colonel Henderson, by virtue of his rank, would serve as the "executive and administrative head" of the composite force, id. at 990, he possessed power to "make all necessary rules and regulations" for governance of, and discipline within, the new department. Id. at 991. In addition, the law directed him to establish a transition program to familiarize officers of the component units with the new department's rules and practices and to inculcate a unified mission. See id. at 1032.

Pursuant to his newly conferred statutory authority, Colonel Henderson promulgated

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General Order 01 (the Order). 1 The Order barred officers of the Department of State Police from wearing mustaches on and after July 1, 1992, except for undercover assignments or health reasons. 2 In this respect, the Order is substantially identical to a regulation that for seventy-one years dictated the appearance of members of the former Division of State Police, 1,213 strong as of 1991, who comprise more than half the total membership of the 2,093-officer consolidated force created by the 1991 legislation.

On May 21, 1992, six veteran officers of the former Metropolitan and Registry police who had worn mustaches throughout their law enforcement careers sued for declaratory and injunctive relief, naming Colonel Henderson, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Safety, and the Massachusetts State Police as respondents. The plaintiffs simultaneously sought a preliminary injunction to prevent the "no mustache" rule from taking effect as scheduled. They claimed, inter alia, that the Order, if implemented, would abridge their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by forcing them to sacrifice an integral aspect of their personal identities.

Following the submission of affidavits, the district court held a hearing on the prayer for interim injunctive relief. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court allowed the parties to file supplemental affidavits. After considering the cumulative record, the court refused to meddle with implementation of the Order, finding that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their constitutional challenge. This appeal ensued.

II. ANALYSIS

We rehearse the criteria applicable to interim injunctive relief and then assess the supportability of the ruling below.

A. Legal Standards.

Over time, we have developed a quadripartite test for determining whether litigants are entitled to preliminary injunctive redress. See Narragansett Indian Tribe v. Guilbert, 934 F.2d 4, 5 (1st Cir.1991). The sine qua non of that formulation is whether the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits. 3 See id. at 6 (labeling this factor "critical"); Auburn News Co. v. Providence Journal Co., 659 F.2d 273, 277 (1st Cir.1981) (stating that "the probability-of-success component has loomed large" in most cases), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 921, 102 S.Ct. 1277, 71 L.Ed.2d 461 (1982). In the ordinary course, plaintiffs who are unable to convince the trial court that they will probably succeed on the merits will not obtain interim injunctive relief. See, e.g., LeBeau v. Spirito, 703 F.2d 639, 645 (1st Cir.1983) (affirming denial of preliminary injunction and ending inquiry after concluding that plaintiffs were unlikely to prevail on the merits).

When the district court applies the correct legal standard in evaluating a motion for a preliminary injunction, its decision to...

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205 practice notes
  • Elias v. Elias, C.A. No. 13-11602-JLT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • July 15, 2013
    ...F.3d 26, 32 (1st Cir. 2011); Planned Parenthood League of Mass. v. Bellotti, 641 F.2d 1006, 1009 (1st Cir. 1981); see Weaver v. Henderson, 984 F.2d 11, 12 (1st. 1993); Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v. Bishop, 839 F. Supp. 68, 70 (D. Mass. 1993) (extending four part preliminary......
  • Silva v. University of New Hampshire, Civ. No. 93-533-SD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • September 15, 1994
    ...The "sine qua non" of the preliminary injunction test is whether the movant is likely to succeed on the merits. Weaver v. Henderson, 984 F.2d 11, 12 (1st 2. Summary Judgment Standard Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions o......
  • Northwest Bypass v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Civil No. 06-CV-00258-JAW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • January 5, 2007
    ...demonstrate that he is likely to succeed on his quest, the remaining factors become matters of idle curiosity." Weaver v. Henderson, 984 F.2d 11, 12 (1st Cir.1993); Borinquen Biscuit Corp. v. M.V. Trading Corp., 443 F.3d 112, 115 (1st Cir.2006). With respect to this prong of the test, "a co......
  • Doe v. Weld, Civ. A. No. 96-11968-PBS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • December 17, 1996
    ...to convince the trial court that they will probably succeed on the merits will not obtain interim injunctive relief." Weaver v. Henderson, 984 F.2d 11, 12 (1st Cir.1993); see e.g., LeBeau v. Spirito, 703 F.2d 639, 645 (1st Cir.1983). Even where ultimate success is likely, however, a movant ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
206 cases
  • Elias v. Elias, C.A. No. 13-11602-JLT
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • July 15, 2013
    ...F.3d 26, 32 (1st Cir. 2011); Planned Parenthood League of Mass. v. Bellotti, 641 F.2d 1006, 1009 (1st Cir. 1981); see Weaver v. Henderson, 984 F.2d 11, 12 (1st. 1993); Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v. Bishop, 839 F. Supp. 68, 70 (D. Mass. 1993) (extending four part preliminary......
  • Silva v. University of New Hampshire, Civ. No. 93-533-SD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • September 15, 1994
    ...The "sine qua non" of the preliminary injunction test is whether the movant is likely to succeed on the merits. Weaver v. Henderson, 984 F.2d 11, 12 (1st 2. Summary Judgment Standard Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions o......
  • Northwest Bypass v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Civil No. 06-CV-00258-JAW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • January 5, 2007
    ...demonstrate that he is likely to succeed on his quest, the remaining factors become matters of idle curiosity." Weaver v. Henderson, 984 F.2d 11, 12 (1st Cir.1993); Borinquen Biscuit Corp. v. M.V. Trading Corp., 443 F.3d 112, 115 (1st Cir.2006). With respect to this prong of the test, "a co......
  • Doe v. Weld, Civ. A. No. 96-11968-PBS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • December 17, 1996
    ...to convince the trial court that they will probably succeed on the merits will not obtain interim injunctive relief." Weaver v. Henderson, 984 F.2d 11, 12 (1st Cir.1993); see e.g., LeBeau v. Spirito, 703 F.2d 639, 645 (1st Cir.1983). Even where ultimate success is likely, however, a movant ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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