United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Anna Plowman, brings this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1983 against defendants, Tanya Huff, Chuck Nyby, and Fariborz
Pakserist, all officials working for the Oregon Department of
Human Services ("D.H.S."). Plaintiffs complaint
alleges constitutional violations of the 14th Amendment on
substantive and due process grounds and seeks damages as well
as equitable, declaratory, and injunctive relief.
the complaint it appears that plaintiff is the custodial
parent of the minor children V.'L.P. and L.F.B. and was
awarded custody and the majority of parenting time in Lane
County Circuit Court on January 15, 2019. Pi's. Comp.
¶7. Plaintiffs complaint centers on a dependency
petition filed by Huff, acting in her official capacity for
DHS, on January 16, 2019, to remove V.L.P. and L.F.B. from
plaintiffs care. Id. at ¶ 8. The petition was
allegedly based upon a report of abuse from an unrevealed
source. Id. Plaintiff complains that Huff refused to
disclose the name of the reporter at an initial hearing held
in Lane County Circuit Court on January 18, 2019. Plaintiff
argues that by failing "to provide the identity of the
report part or the initial investigative report,"
defendants have made it "all but [.., ] impossible"
for her investigate the allegations and present an adequate
defense. Id. at ¶ 10.
AM on April 23, 2019, plaintiff filed a Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order ("TRO"). (doc. 12) Therein,
plaintiff requests that defendants be enjoined from
"withholding the identities and investigative reports of
Plaintiffs accusers" and further that the Court enjoin
the "dependency cases involving Plaintiff from moving
forward until such time as Plaintiffs right of due process
denying Plaintiff meaningful discovery that comports with
federal due process are remedied." PI's Mot for TRO
same general legal standards govern temporary restraining
orders and preliminary injunctions. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65; New
Motor Vehicle Bd. of Cal. v. Orrin W. Fox Co., 434 U.S.
1345, 1347 n.2 (1977). A plaintiff seeking such relief must
establish (1) a likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a
likelihood of irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary
relief; (3) the balance of equities tips in the plaintiffs
favor; and (4) a preliminary injunction is in the public
interest. Winter v. Nat'l Resources Def Council,
555 U.S. 7, 21 (2008). A court may not enter a preliminary
injunction without first affording the adverse party notice
and an opportunity to be heard. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(1)(2);
People of State of Cal, ex rel. Van DeKamp v, Tahoe
Regional Planning Agency, 766 F.2d 1319, 1322 (9th Cir.
1985). By contrast, in an emergency temporary restraining
order may be entered without notice. See Fed R. Civ.
P. 65(b)(1)(A) (restricting availability of ex parte
temporary restraining orders to situations in which
"immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will
result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in
Court declines to grant a temporary restraining order in this
case without reaching consideration of the Winter
factors. The Anti-Injunction Act prohibits a federal court
from granting "an injunction to stay proceedings in a
State court." 28 U.S.C. § 2283. Plaintiffs motion
clearly requests the Court to enjoin state proceedings which
are on-going and began prior to the filing of this suit.
While the motion is directed at defendants rather than the
Lane County Circuit Court, the Ninth Circuit has been clear
that the § 2283's prohibition "cannot be evaded
by addressing [an] order to the parties or prohibiting
utilization of the results of a completed state
proceeding." Seawater Seafoods Co. v. Dulcich,
2018 WL 1461500, at *7 (D. Or. Mar. 23, 2018) (citing
Atl. Coast Line R.R. Co. v. Bhd. of Locomotive
Eng'rs, 398 U.S. 281, 287 (1970)). Here, enjoining
defendants from pursuing the dependency proceeding would
necessarily have the same effect of staying the action
currently in state court. See Los Angeles Mem'l
Coliseum Com'n v. City of Oakland, 717 F.2d 470, 473
(9th Cir. 1983).
the request that the Court order defendants to disclose
information in the dependency action would still require this
Court to unnecessarily interfere in the state proceeding and
possibly conflict with rulings which may be best left to the
presiding judge in the state case. Indeed, the Supreme Court
has cautioned that "any doubts as to the propriety of a
federal injunction against state court proceedings should be
resolved in favor of permitting the state courts to
proceed." Ail Coast Line R.R. Co., 398 U.S. at
287 (1970); see also Roberts v. Heim, 81 F.3d 169,
at *2 ("The fact that an injunction may be issued [...]
does not mean that such an injunction must be issued. Rather,
the decision is committed to the discretion of the district
court.") (internal citations omitted)
statute is qualified by three narrow exceptions, which allow
a federal court to intervene in state court proceedings when
"expressly authorized by act of Congress, or where
necessary in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or
effectuate its judgments." 28 U.S.C. § 2283; see
also Atl. Coast Line R.R Co., 398 U.S. at 287
("[T]he exceptions should not be enlarged by loose
statutory construction.") Here, the Court finds that
none of the narrow exceptions apply to the relief requested
in plaintiffs motion. Therefore, plaintiffs Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (doc.
12) is DENIED.
 The Court is not opining on whether it
would or would not be able to compel production of such
information during ...