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Lundahl v. Gross

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division

August 14, 2019

HOLLI LUNDAHL, Plaintiff,
v.
JULIE GROSS, IN HER OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL CAPACITIES AS DIRECTOR FOR THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA OFFICE OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT; STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA OFFICE OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT, CRAIG STEINLEY, LANCE LOCKWOOD, IN HIS OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL CAPACITIES AS A LOAN SPECIALIST FOR THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA OFFICE OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT; Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

          Lawrence L. Piersol, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, Holli Lundahl is a pro se litigant and has alleged claims under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Federal Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the "[E]qual [Protection [A]ct under the class theory pursuant to Village of Willowbrook v. Olech," and Ex Parte Young. Docket 1 at 1. Lundahl filed three separate "emergency" motions for "permanent injunction." Dockets 4, 9, and 17. These motions (Dockets 4, 9, and 17) are denied for the reasons stated below.

         Legal Background

         "A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy." Roudachevski v. All-American Care Ctrs., Inc., 648 F.3d 701, 705 (8th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted); see also Hughbanks v. Dooley, 788 F.Supp.2d 988, 992 (D.S.D. 2011). "The burden of proving that a preliminary injunction should be issued rests entirely with the movant." Goff v. Harper, 60 F.3d 518, 520 (8th Cir. 1995). "The burden on the movant 'is a heavy one, where, as here, granting the preliminary injunction will give [the movant] substantially the relief it would obtain after a trial on the merits.'" College Craft Cos. v. Perry, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19732, at *25 (D. Minn. 1995) (quoting Sanborn Mfg. v. Campbell Hausfeld/Scott Fetzer Co., 997 F.2d 484, 486 (8th Cir. 1993)).

         "Whether a preliminary injunction should issue involves consideration of (1) the threat of irreparable harm to the movant; (2) the state of the balance between this harm and the injury that granting the injunction will inflict on other parties litigant; (3) the probability that movant will succeed on the merits; and (4) the public interest." Dataphase Sys., Inc. v. CL Sys., Inc., 640 F.2d 109, 113 (8th Cir. 1981) (en banc). The Eighth Circuit held that" 'the failure to show irreparable harm is, by itself, a sufficient ground upon which to deny a preliminary injunction.'" Adam-Mellang v. Apartment Search, Inc., 96 F.3d 297, 299 (8th Cir. 1996) (quoting Gelco Corp. v. Coniston Partners, 811 F.2d 414, 418 (8th Cir. 1987)).

         Moreover, "a party must show that the harm is certain and great and of such imminence that there is a clear and present need for equitable relief." Iowa Utils. Bd. v. Fed. Commc'ns Comm'n, 109 F.3d 418, 425 (8th Cir. 1996). Because Lundahl has filed pro se, the claims will be liberally construed. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Even with this construction, "a pro se complaint must contain specific facts supporting its conclusions." Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985); Ellis v. City of Minneapolis, 518 Fed.Appx. 502, 504 (8th Cir.2013).

         Analysis

         After reviewing Lundahl's motions for permanent injunction in Dockets 4 and 9 it is noted that these motions are virtually the same. The only differences in these 81 (Docket 9) and 82 (Docket 4) page motions are the titles, a different introduction paragraph in Docket 9, and an additional sentence in Docket 4. Furthermore, this Court notes that Dockets 4 and 9 mirror the "General Allegations and Argument" sections (a total of fourteen pages) of Lundahl's initial complaint. Compare Dockets 4 and 9 to Docket 1.

         Lundahl alleges in Dockets 4 and 9 that "SELLERS have now threatened to back out of this deal irrespective that Plaintiff has expended more than $10, 000 in improvements on the seller's property through third persons based on the fraudulent lulling and fid[u]ciary fraud of the Defendants." Dockets 4 at 13 and 9 at 14. Lundahl has not specifically addressed any of the factors set out by Dataphase. This Court cannot properly consider a preliminary/permanent injunction with the facts asserted in Dockets 4 and 9 because they simply mirror the initial complaint and do not articulate the Dataphase factors. Therefore, Lundahl's motions (Dockets 4 and 9) are denied.

         This Court must now address Lundahl's third motion for permanent injunction. Docket 17. In Docket 17, Lundahl moves for a permanent injunction because:

[d]efendants Julie Gross and the State of South Dakota Office of Rural Development have wholly failed to file any answer or otherwise respond in any manner to either Plaintiffs Complaint or Plaintiffs Motion for an Emergency Permanent Injunction. . .. THEREBY CONCEDING TO SAME AS A MATTER OF FACT AND LAW.

Docket 17 at 2. Lundahl alleges that "[a]n example of the urgency is shown by the Homestart Plus grant which program permanently expired on December 31, 2018 unless a reservation number was issued prior to that date and the reservation is utilized before February 12, 2019. See gmail attached hereto as exhibit 1." Docket 17, at 2. The attachment that Lundahl refers to does not show that the 'Homestart Plus program is permanently expired-none of the attachments r> entered with this motion show this.

         Arguably, the possibility of losing a loan may constitute irreparable harm however Lundahl fails to allege facts that show that this harm is certain (no facts showing that Lundahl will receive the loan as a number of party's are involved). Moreover, Lundahl fails to assert and support the Dataphase factors. Lundahl fails to: (1) balance the harm that not granting the preliminary injunction would cause to her and the injury of granting this would cause the defendants; (2) show the likelihood that Lundahl will succeed on the merits; and (3) the public's interest in granting a preliminary injunction. Although this Court will liberally construe Lundahl's filings, there must be present arguments to liberally construe.

         This Court, will not be issuing sanctions at this time, however, the Court would like to put Lundahl on notice that a mirror image of the initial complaint in further pleadings may be seen as an improper purpose and an unnecessary delay which could subject Lundahl to sanctions. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 "[o]n its own, the court; may order [a].. . party to show cause why conduct ...


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