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Rosero v. Baltimore Co.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 19, 2018

JOHN C. ROSERO, Plaintiff,
v.
BALTIMORE CO. et al, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          Ellen Lipton Hollander United States District Judge.

         Self-represented plaintiff John C. Rosero filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Baltimore County (the “County”); Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; Arnold Jabolon, the County's “Director of Permits Approvals and Inspections;” Robyn Clark, a County Code Enforcement Inspection Supervisor; and Paul Cohen, a Code Enforcement Officer. ECF 1 (Complaint).[1] The 35-page Complaint details Mr. Rosero's repeated encounters with various defendants in their attempts to inspect Mr. Rosero's property for violations of the Baltimore County Zoning Regulations (the “Regulations”). Id. Further, he alleges that he “has been victimized continually” since March 2014, and has been subject to “Racial and National Origin discrimination because he is Hispanic.” He also contends that he has been subjected to excessive fines. Id.

         In his suit, Mr. Rosero alleges seven causes of action. Each is a constitutional challenge to the Regulations and its enforcement, based on Mr. Rosero's Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Id.

         Along with the Complaint, plaintiff filed a combined Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. ECF 2. The motion is accompanied by a memorandum of law (ECF 2-1) (collectively, “Motion”), and a copy of the Code Enforcement & Inspection Citation issued February 14, 2018, and reflecting a civil penalty of $23, 700. ECF 2-2. The subject of the Motion concerns Mr. Rosero's most recent interaction with certain defendants, who issued a citation to Mr. Rosero in February 2018 for a violation of Section 428 of the Baltimore County Municipal Code: “Outside Storage of Unlicensed or Inoperative Motor Vehicles on Residential Property.” ECF 2-2 (Code Enforcement & Inspection Citation, or “Citation”).

         As noted, the Citation reflects a fine of $23, 700. Id. at 1. Plaintiff seeks, ECF 2 at 1:

[A] temporary restraining order enjoining enforcement of the unconstitutional Baltimore County Zoning Code insofar as it (1) mandates warrantless home inspections without probable cause; (2) criminally and financially punishes homeowners who assert their Fourth Amendment rights to be free from such searches; (3) fails to amount to a regulatory scheme sufficient to permit the attainment of a warrant.

         I interpret this as a request to enjoin enforcement of the Citation, and related sections of the Regulations, against Mr. Rosero.

         Mr. Rosero states that he served the Motion on Baltimore County, “through email to Baltimore County on the date of its filing.” ECF 2-1 at 25. However, none of the defendants has responded to the suit or the Motion, nor have they contacted the Court to indicate that the Motion has been received.

         Plaintiff requests “waiver of the requirement to give security pursuant to Rule 103(4).” Presumably, plaintiff is referring to Local Rule 103.4, which provides that a defendant may “file a motion requesting that [a plaintiff] give security for costs if [the plaintiff] is not a resident of this District.” That rule does not presently apply. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(c) does apply, however. It provides that a “court may issue a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order only if the movant gives security in an amount that the court considers proper to pay the costs and damages sustained by any party found to have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained.”

         No hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. See Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I shall deny the Motion.

         Discussion

         A. Injunctive Relief

         The same analysis governs both a motion for preliminary injunction and a request for temporary restraining order. See Hoechst Diafoil Co. v. Nan Ya Plastics Corp., 174 F.3d 411, 422 (4th Cir. 1999).

         “A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008) (citing Munaf v. Geren.553 U.S. 674, 689-90 (2008)); Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Fed. Election Comm'n, 575 F.3d 342, 345 (4th Cir.2009), vacated on other grounds and remanded, 130 S.Ct. 2371 (2010), reaff'd in part and remanded, 607 F.3d 355 (4th Cir. 2010). A preliminary injunction is a remedy that is “'granted only sparingly and in limited circumstances.'” Micro Strategy, ...


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