United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order, [Doc. No. 2]. Defendant opposes
Plaintiffs' Motion. On January, 242019, a hearing was
held on this matter, at which both parties were represented
by counsel and arguments were presented. For the reasons set
forth below, Plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary
Restraining Order is denied.
Michael Butler (“Butler”) was newly elected as
the Recorder of Deeds for the City of St. Louis in 2018.
Plaintiffs Georgie Simmons (“Simmons”), Johnetta
Sherrod (“Sherrod”), and Robert Dillard
“Plaintiffs”) were employees of the City of St.
Louis Recorder of Deeds Office until their termination on
January 2, 2019, Butler's first day in office. Plaintiffs
filed a verified Complaint in this court on January 3, 2019
alleging that they were wrongfully terminated in violation of
the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments as retaliation
for not supporting Butler in his political campaign for the
office of Recorder of Deeds. Plaintiffs allege that their
former positions were filled with unqualified persons who had
contributed to Butler's political campaign.
filed this Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order seeking
to be reinstated to their previous positions.
must establish the following to obtain a temporary
restraining order: (1) the threat of irreparable harm to the
Plaintiff; (2) the potential harm to Defendant should an
injunction issue; (3) the probability of success on the
merits; and (4) the public interest. Dataphase Sys., Inc.
v. C L Sys., Inc., 640 F.2d 109, 113 (8th Cir. 1981).
injunctive relief functions to “preserve the status quo
until, upon final hearing, a court may grant full, effective
relief.” Kansas City Southern Trans Co., Inc. v.
Teamsters Local Union # 41, 126 F.3d 1059, 1065 (8th
Cir. 1997). “The burden of establishing that
preliminary relief is warranted is on the party seeking the
injunction.” U.S. Bank Nat. Ass'n v.
Meyer, No. 407CV00068 ERW, 2007 WL 188406, at *1 (E.D.
Mo. Jan. 23, 2007).
plaintiff seeking preliminary injunctive relief must
establish it “is likely to suffer irreparable harm in
the absence of preliminary relief.” Alpha Plastics,
Inc. v. Corthell, No. 4:14CV1467 HEA, 2014 WL 4207004,
at *1 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 25, 2014) (quoting Winter v. Natural
Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 129 S.Ct. 365, 374
(2008)). Failure to show irreparable harm is an independently
sufficient ground upon which to deny a temporary restraining
order. Watkins v. Lewis, 346 F.3d 841, 844 (8th Cir.
harm must be certain and imminent such that there is a clear
and present need for equitable relief. Iowa Utils. Bd. v.
F.C.C, 109 F.3d 418, 425 (8th Cir.1996).
“Irreparable harm occurs when a party has no adequate
remedy at law, typically because its injuries cannot be fully
compensated through an award of damages.” Gen.
Motors Corp. v. Harry Brown's, LLC, 563 F.3d 312,
319 (8th Cir. 2009).
claimed irreparable harm is their loss of employment.
Additionally, Plaintiffs Simmons and Sherrod allege
irreparable reputational harm in that that they have applied
for other jobs with St. Louis City government but have been
turned down due to their termination from, and inability to
get a recommendation from, the Recorder of Deeds Office.
Simmons and Sherrod claim that because their 20-plus-year
careers have been in City government, this reputational harm
makes finding new jobs in their career fields impossible.
Plaintiffs have certainly alleged harm, they have not shown
that they are faced with irreparable harm. The Supreme Court
expressly disagreed with the notion that “loss of
earnings or damage to reputation might afford a basis for a
finding of irreparable injury and provide a basis for
temporary injunctive relief.” Sampson v.
Murray,415 U.S. 61, 89, 94 S.Ct. 937, 952 (1974).
Should Plaintiffs succeed in their claims, they will be
compensated for back pay, an adequate remedy at law, and will
be entitled to equitable relief, namely reinstatement to
their previous positions at the ...