United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
K. Bredar, Chief Judge.
complaint in this case was filed March 8, 2019, alleging
violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §
3604(f)(1), by Defendants, Morgan Properties Management
Company, LLC, and Granite Run Apartments Owner, LLC, for
refusing to renew a lease on a property rented since 2013 to
Plaintiff, the Center for Social Change, Incorporated
("CSC"), which has two residential clients with
physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities
living in the unit, 2403 Bytham Court, Apartment 104, Windsor
Mill, Maryland 21244. (Compl. ¶¶ 10, 15, ECF No.
1.) Defendants have notified Plaintiff that its lease expires
today, March 11, 2019, and that CSC must vacate the property
today. (Id. ¶ 27.)
filed a motion for temporary restraining order
("TRO") and preliminary injunction to prevent
Defendants from forcing CSC's clients to vacate the place
they have lived for several years. (PL's Mot. TRO &
PI, ECF No. 3.) By way of exhibits to its motion, CSC has
provided evidence that Defendants' efforts to have
CSC's clients out of the property are motivated by
discriminatory animus, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
Further, CSC has made a showing that it will expend,
unnecessarily, substantial sums of money in finding a new
residence, obtaining licenses for it, and making necessary
modifications to it, a process that could take many months.
Finally, CSC has shown its residential clients will be harmed
by being uprooted from a stable housing situation and being
put in temporary housing while a search is made for more
permanent housing, where they will once again go through a
process of adjusting to new surroundings. By email, Plaintiff
has provided an attorney for Defendants with copies of
Plaintiffs filings in this case. (Let. Mar. 8, 2019,
Krevor-Weisbaum to Rollins, ECF No. 4.)
Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.,
555 U.S. 7 (2008), the Supreme Court set forth the following
standard for preliminary injunctive relief:
A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish
that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely
to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary
relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and
that an injunction is in the public interest.
Id. at 20. Injunctive relief is "an
extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear
showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief."
Id. at 22. Courts are called upon to balance a
plaintiffs claims of injury against the burdens to be imposed
upon the defendant, and they must "pay particular regard
for the public consequences in employing the extraordinary
remedy of injunction." Id. at 24. The same
standard applicable to preliminary injunctive relief is
applicable to the question of whether a TRO should issue.
Long v. Bd. of Educ, Dist. 128, 167 F.Supp.2d 988,
990 (N.D. 111. 2001); Perdue Farms, Inc. v. NLRB,
927 F.Supp. 897, 904 (E.D. N.C. 1996).
this standard, CSC has shown an entitlement to relief. CSC is
likely to succeed on the merits with evidence that Defendants
have violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against
CSC because of its association with individuals with
disabilities. Additionally, case law is clear that the
showing CSC has made establishes irreparable harm in the
absence of preliminary relief. See Pathways Psychosocial
v. Town of Leonardtown, 223 F.Supp.2d 699, 717 (D. Md.
2002) (irreparable harm presumed from violation of civil
rights statutes). See also Forest City Daly Housing, Inc.
v. Town of North Hempstead, 175 F.3d 144, 153 (2d Cir.
1999) ("[W]here a plaintiff demonstrates a likelihood of
success on the merits of a fair housing claim, irreparable
harm may be presumed.") (citations omitted); Gresham
v. Windrush Partners, Ltd., 730 F.2d 1417, 1423 (11th
Cir. 1984) ("We agree with the district court that
irreparable injury may be presumed from the fact of
discrimination and violations of fair housing
statutes."); Cousins v. Bray, 297 F.Supp.2d
1027, 1041 (S.D. Ohio 2003) ("Because the Fair Housing
Act provides that equitable relief is available where there
is a violation of the statute, 42 U.S.C. § 3613(c)(1),
the traditional showing of irreparable harm is not required
in order to grant a preliminary injunction in a Fair Housing
Act case."); North Shore-Chicago Rehabilitation,
Inc. v. Village of Skokie, 827 F.Supp. 497, 509 (N.D.
111. 1993) ("Where a plaintiff has shown a likelihood of
success in proving a violation of the Fair Housing Act,
irreparable injury is presumed. Furthermore, . . . where a
statute specifically provides for the grant of injunctive
relief, irreparable injury need not be shown." (citation
omitted)); Stewart B. McKinney Found., Inc. v. Town Plan
& Zoning Comm'n of Town of Fairfield, 790
F.Supp. 1197, 1208 (D. Conn. 1992) ("[I]rreparable harm
may be presumed in this case because ... the plaintiff has
presented sufficient evidence to establish that its rights
under the [Fair Housing] Act have been violated."). As
in these cited cases, this Court finds irreparable harm to
Plaintiff may be presumed and is, in fact, established based
on evidence Defendants have violated the Fair Housing Act.
balance of equities tips in Plaintiffs favor. Indeed, the
Court does not see any basis for finding the balance of
equities favors the Defendants; no irreparable harm to
Defendants can be found at all. Finally, the public interest
in penalizing and preventing discrimination against those
with disabilities and those associated with disabled
individuals in housing decisions necessitates the issuance of
temporary injunctive relief. 3
it is hereby ORDERED:
1. Plaintiffs motion (ECF No. 3) is GRANTED insofar as it
seeks a Temporary Restraining Order.
2. Defendants shall cease any and all efforts to remove
Plaintiff and its two clients who reside at 2403 Bytham
Court, Apartment 104, Windsor Mill, Maryland 21244, from that
unit, and rescind any current notices of eviction and/or
notices of non-renewal of the lease for that unit.
3. This Temporary Restraining Order SHALL REMAIN IN EFFECT
until 12:01 a.m., March 26, 2019. It is subject to extension
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b)(2). The Court
will hold a hearing on Plaintiffs motion for ...