United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING TRO AND DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Se Plaintiff Craig Peden filed his initial Complaint on
October 30, 2017. Dkt. #3. At the same time, Plaintiff filed
an Emergency Motion for Injunction, which the Court construed
as a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
(“TRO”), and ultimately denied. Dkts. #4 and #5.
Summonses have not yet been issued.
alleged in his initial Complaint that Catholic Charities
agreed to pay his rent for October through the end of his
lease in December 2017. Dkt. #3. He also appeared to allege
some type of retaliation and discrimination, although he did
not allege that he is a member of any protected class, nor
did he provide the details of such allegations. See
Id. Plaintiff apparently received a Notice of Belief of
Abandonment related to an apartment in Everett, which also
noted that his lease would be terminated on October 31, 2017,
unless he informed the manager of his intent not to abandon
his property, an address at which he could be served with
certified mail, and his current rent due. Dkt. #3,
Attachment. The circumstances surrounding
Plaintiff's allegations and request were not apparent
from the initial Complaint or the motion itself.
October 31, 2017, the Court directed Plaintiff to file an
Amended Complaint to cure certain deficiencies. Dkt. #6.
Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint on November 21, 2017.
Dkt. #7. Plaintiff named five new Defendants in the Amended
Complaint, and appeared to abandon his prior legal claims.
See Dkt. #7 at 2-4. Instead, he raises allegations
of federal Due Process and Civil Rights violations. Dkt. #7
at 3. He also appeared to raise allegations of federal
housing violations. Id. Plaintiff made general
averments of harassment, defamation, stigmatization, and
discrimination on the basis that he is a divorced, single,
bisexual male with AIDS, but no specifics were provided.
Id.at 6. His allegations appeared to cover a time
period between 2013 and 2017. Id. Because Mr. Peden
failed to explain how each of the Defendants had violated any
federal law, and failed to explain why some of his actions
were not barred by the applicable statutes of limitations,
the Court directed Mr. Peden to file a Second Amended
Complaint. Dkt. #8. Mr. Peden did not comply with that Order.
Instead, on February 2, 2018, Mr. Peden filed a second Motion
for Temporary Restraining Order and Injunction and a Motion
to Appoint Counsel. Dkts. #9 and #10.
Mr. Peden's previous filings, the instant motion suffers
from numerous deficiencies. Indeed, it is not clear what
relief Mr. Peden seeks through the instant motion, although
it appears he may be seeking relief from an eviction in
Everett, WA, and relief from a lien sale of personal property
held in a storage unit in California. See Dkt. #9.
In order to succeed on a motion for temporary restraining
order (“TRO”), the moving party must show: (1) a
likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a likelihood of
irreparable harm to the moving party in the absence of
preliminary relief; (3) that a balance of equities tips in
the favor of the moving party; and (4) that an injunction is
in 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). The Ninth Circuit employs a
“sliding scale” approach, according to which
these elements are balanced, “so that a stronger
showing of one element may offset a weaker showing of
another.” Alliance for the Wild Rockies v.
Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131 (9th Cir.
Court finds that Plaintiff has presented insufficient
evidence to warrant granting a TRO in this case. First, it is
not clear that Defendant has been served by Plaintiff with
the instant Motion or even his lawsuit. See Local
Rule 65(b)(1) (“Motions for temporary restraining
orders without notice to and an opportunity to be heard by
the adverse party are disfavored and will rarely be
granted.”). In fact, the Defendant named on the motion
is not one that was ever named in Mr. Peden's Complaint.
Compare Dkts. #9 (naming Portsmith Apartments, LLC,
as Defendant) with #7 (naming Catholic Community
Services of Western Washington, Lifelong, Everett Housing
Authority, Madison Clinic, Harborview Medical Center, Senior
Terrace Apartments as Defendants).
even if Defendant had received notice, the Court finds that
Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden of demonstrating a
likelihood of success on the merits in this case. Indeed,
Plaintiff provides no legal argument in support of his
position, and the Court cannot adequately determine the basis
of his claims. Further, Mr. Peden fails to explain how the
Defendant has violated any federal law, and fails to explain
why some of the alleged actions are not barred by the
applicable statutes of limitations.
the Court hereby finds and ORDERS:
Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and
Injunction (Dkt. #9) is DENIED.
Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Dkt. #10)
is DENIED. In civil cases, the appointment of counsel to a
pro se litigant “is a privilege and not a
right.” United States ex. Rel. Gardner v.
Madden, 352 F.2d 792, 793 (9th Cir. 1965) (citation
omitted). “Appointment of counsel should be allowed
only in exceptional cases.” Id. (citing
Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598 (9th Cir. 1963)). A
court must consider together “both the likelihood of
success on the merits and the ability of the petitioner to
articulate his claims pro se in light of the
complexity of the legal issues involved.” Weygandt
v. Look, 718 F.2d 952, 954 (9th Cir. 1983). At this
stage of the litigation, the Court cannot find that Plaintiff
is entitled to appointment of counsel. It does not yet appear
that any exceptional circumstances exist, and there is no
record before the Court that would allow the Court to examine
whether Plaintiff's claims appear to have merit.
November 27, 2017, Plaintiff was directed to file a Second
Amended Complaint within 21 days of the Court's Order to
remedy certain jurisdictional deficiencies. Plaintiff failed
to file such a complaint. Nothing in the current record
demonstrates proper jurisdiction in this Court. Accordingly,
the Court DISMISSES Plaintiff's claims without prejudice,
and this case is now CLOSED.
Clerk shall send a copy of this Order to Mr. Peden at 1425