United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
STEVEN B. AUBREY and BRIAN E. VODICKA, Plaintiffs,
D MAGAZINE PARTNERS, L.P.; ALLISON MEDIA, INC.; JAMIE L. THOMPSON; ROBERT L. ERMATINGER, JR. SCOTT ROBERT SAYERS; ERIC VAUGHN MOYE; CITY OF DALLAS; DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS; and DOES 1-20, all whose true names are unknown, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiffs' Application for Temporary and
Permanent Injunction (Doc, 17, the “Motion”)
against Defendant, the City of Dallas (the
“City”). For the reasons stated below, the Motion
is DENIED without prejudice to refile.
in this case bring a variety of federal- and state-law claims
against various defendants based on events surrounding the
death of Ira E. Tobolowsky. This Motion seeks to enjoin the
City from complying with a state-court order to turn over
Dallas Police Department's homicide file on Ira
Tobolowsky's death to a private citizen, namely
Tobolowsky's son. Doc. 17, Mot., 2, 10; Doc. 45,
Pls.' Reply, 4. Plaintiffs were at one point suspects in
that case, and during the investigation the City allegedly
compiled personal information on Plaintiffs, including
records of their medical, cell phone, email, and credit card
history, as well as photographs and videotapes of a strip
search that was performed. Doc. 17, Mot., 4. Plaintiffs
assert that all of the information in that file was
improperly obtained, is private, and should not be publicized
to anyone, much less Tobolowsky's son. Doc. 45, Pls.'
were never parties to the state-court suit that issued the
order for the City to disclose the homicide file, although a
different state-court judge previously quashed a subpoena
Tobolowsky's son issued for some of Plaintiffs'
confidential information. Id. Ex. A. Plaintiffs
state that they first learned of this state-court order on or
about February 28, 2019. Id. Ex. D, ¶ 4 (Aubrey
Declaration); Id. Ex. E, ¶ 4 (Vodicka
their Motion, Plaintiffs raise several merits arguments as to
why the state-court order was improperly issued: (1) that
Tobolowsky's son violated the notice requirements of
Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202.2(f) in failing to give
interested persons like Plaintiffs notice of his attempts to
obtain the homicide file; (2) the law enforcement privilege
should have barred Tobolowsky's son's request; and
(3) the order would violate Plaintiffs' right to privacy.
Doc. 17, Mot. 3-7; Doc. 45, Pls.' Reply, 3.
City itself opposes the state-court order, albeit on the
grounds of law-enforcement privilege and undue burden, not on
the Plaintiffs' privacy rights. See Doc. 41,
Def.'s Resp., 2; Doc. 45, Pls.' Reply, Ex. C
(City's response in opposition to Tobolowsky's
son's Rule 202 petition). The City has appealed the
state-court order, and litigation is ongoing in the Fifth
Court of Appeals, Dallas, Texas. Doc. 41, Def.'s Resp.,
2. Until the appeal is resolved, the order is suspended.
See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 6.002(b);
short, Plaintiffs argue that this Court should enjoin the
City from complying with the state-court order. The City
responds: (1) Plaintiffs fail to establish jurisdiction; (2)
the Court should decline to exercise jurisdiction; (3)
Plaintiffs lack standing; and (4) Plaintiffs fail to meet
their burden to show injunctive relief is warranted. See
generally, Doc. 41, Def.'s Resp. As all briefing has
been received, the Court considers the Motion.
are four prerequisites for the extraordinary relief of a
preliminary injunction. A court may grant such relief only
when the movant establishes that:
(1) there is a substantial likelihood that the movant will
prevail on the merits; (2) there is a substantial threat that
irreparable harm will result if the injunction is not
granted; (3) the threatened injury [to the movant] outweighs
the threatened harm to the defendant; and (4) the granting of
the preliminary injunction will not disserve the public
Clark v. Prichard, 812 F.2d 991, 993 (5th Cir.
1987); Canal Auth. of the State of Florida v.
Callaway, 489 F.2d 567, 572 (5th Cir. 1974) (en banc).
The party seeking such relief must satisfy a cumulative
burden of proving each of the four elements enumerated before
a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction can
be granted. Mississippi Power & Light Co. v. United
Gas Pipeline, 760 F.2d 618, 621 (5th Cir. 1985);
Clark, 812 F.2d at 993. Otherwise stated, if a ...