United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON MOTION TO STAY
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
workforce training organization, Coastal Counties Workforce,
Inc. (CCWI), claims Maine Governor Paul R. LePage and the
Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL), John
Butera, (Defendants) failed to make funds available to it in
a manner and time frame that federal law requires. The Court
denied the Defendants' motion to dismiss and granted
CCWI's motion for a preliminary injunction. The
Defendants now move to stay the Court's injunction
pending an interlocutory appeal. Concluding that the
Defendants' likelihood of success on appeal is modest and
that the likely harm to CCWI outweighs the likely harm to the
Defendants, the Court denies the Defendants' motion for
stay pending appeal.
passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in
2014. Pub. L. No. 113-128, 128 Stat. 1425 (2014) codified at
29 U.S.C. 3101 et seq. The Act authorizes
appropriations of federal funds for state workforce
development systems. Id. §§ 3101, 3275. In
order to receive the federal funds, a state's governor
creates a state workforce development board and adopts a
state plan. Id. §§ 3111-12. A governor
must designate local areas within the state, managed by local
workforce development boards pursuant to a local plan, which
then oversee the operation of centers and enroll participants
in training programs. Id. § 3121-23. CCWI is
the entity designated to oversee the workforce training
system in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo, and
Knox Counties. Stipulations of Facts ¶¶
9-13 (ECF No. 32) (Stipulations).
statute requires the “prompt allocation of funds”
at each level of administration. Id. § 3242.
All funds the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor
allots to the states “shall be allotted within 45 days
after the date of enactment of the Act appropriating the
funds.” Id. § 3242(c). The funds a
governor is required to allot to the local area “shall
be made available . . . for a local area not later than 30
days after the date the funds are made available” to
the governor “or 7 days after the date the local plan
for the area is approved, whichever is later.”
Id. § 3242(e).
filed this lawsuit based on a conflict with the Defendants,
in which the Defendants conditioned the Program Year 2017
(PY17) funds on CCWI's submitting a budget that would
meet a new sixty-percent training expenditure requirement.
Stipulations ¶ 25-26.
October 24, 2017, CCWI filed a complaint and a motion for
temporary restraining order (TRO). Compl. (ECF No.
1); Pl.'s Mot. for a TRO (ECF No. 3). On October
30 and November 9, 2017, the Court held telephone status
conferences with the parties. Min. Entry for Telephone
Conference (ECF No. 7); Min. Entry for Telephone
Conference (ECF No. 12). The Defendants agreed to make
certain funds available to CCWI for Program Year 2016 (PY16),
but the parties did not fully resolve the lawsuit, with funds
for Program Year 2017 (PY17) still contested. With some of
the urgency removed, counsel for CCWI agreed to pursue a
preliminary injunction, rather than a TRO. Accordingly, the
Court dismissed CCWI's motion for a TRO without prejudice
on the same day. Order (ECF No. 13).
November 17, 2017, CCWI filed a motion for a preliminary
injunction. Pl.'s Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (ECF No.
16). Defendants responded on December 6, 2017, and CCWI
replied on December 14, 2017. Defs. Paul R. Lepage and
John Butera's Mem. of Law in Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot.
for a Prelim. Inj. (ECF No. 24); Pl.'s Reply
Mem. of Law in Support of Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (ECF No.
35). Also on November 17, 2017, the Defendants filed a motion
to dismiss. Defs. Paul R. LePage and John Butera's
Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 17). CCWI responded on November
29, 2017, and the Defendants replied on December 4, 2017.
Pl.'s Opp'n to Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss
(ECF No. 20); Defs. Paul R. LePage and John Butera's
Reply Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 23). On
December 18, 2017, the Court held an evidentiary hearing and
heard oral arguments at the close of the hearing. Min.
Entry for Hr'g (ECF No. 39).
January 3, 2018, the Court issued an order denying
Defendant's motion to dismiss and indicating that it
intended to grant CCWI's motion for a preliminary
injunction. Order on Mot. to Dismiss and Mot. for Prel.
Inj. (ECF No. 42). The Court instructed the parties to
submit proposed language for an injunction order.
Id. at 63-64. On January 10, 2018, the Court held a
telephone conference with counsel to discuss their proposed
language. Min. Entry for Telephone Conference (ECF
January 11, 2018, the Court issued the preliminary
injunction. Order on Pl.'s Req. for Injunctive
Relief (ECF No. 45) (Prelim. Inj.). Later that
same day, the Defendants filed a notice of interlocutory
appeal and a motion to stay the preliminary injunction
pending the outcome of that appeal. Notice of Appeal
(ECF No. 46); Defs.' Paul R. LePage and John
Butera's Mot. for Stay Pending Appeal (ECF No. 47)
(Defs.' Mot.). On January 18, 2018, CCWI filed
its response in opposition. Pl.'s Opp'n to
Defs.' Mot. for Stay Pending Appeal (ECF No. 51)
(Pl.'s Opp'n). On January 22, 2018, the
Defendants filed their reply. Defs.' Paul R. LePage
and John Butera's Reply Mem. in Supp. of Mot. for Stay
Pending Appeal (ECF No. 52) (Defs.' Reply).
62(a) clarifies that unless a court orders otherwise, an
interlocutory injunction is not stayed pending appeal.