United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
E. WALKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
civil action, Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive
relief pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.
Plaintiff's action is directed at lobster fisheries off
the coast of Maine and, in particular, at regulations that
require the use of vertical buoy ropes. Plaintiff advocates a
“green fishery” open to the public that does not
permit the use of vertical buoy ropes that can entangle
endangered right whales and sea turtles. In addition to
filing a complaint, Plaintiff filed a motion captioned
“Application for Temporary Restraining Order And Then A
Preliminary Injunction Against Defendants” (ECF No. 5).
October 16, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. The matter is out for service on
Defendants and, consequently, Plaintiff's application for
a TRO is ripe.
relief] is an extraordinary and drastic remedy that is never
awarded as of right.” Peoples Fed. Sav. Bank v.
People's United Bank, 672 F.3d 1, 8-9 (1st Cir.
2012). To determine whether to issue a temporary restraining
order, the Court applies the same four-factor analysis used
to evaluate a motion for preliminary injunction. Monga v.
Nat'l Endowment for Arts, 323 F.Supp.3d 75,
82 (D. Me. 2018). Those factors are:
(1) the likelihood of success on the merits; (2) the
potential for irreparable harm [to the movant]; (3) the
balance of the relevant impositions, i.e., the hardship to
the nonmovant if enjoined as contrasted with the hardship to
the movant if no injunction issues; and (4) the effect (if
any) of the court's ruling on the public interest.
Esso Standard Oil Co. v. Monroig-Zayas, 445 F.3d 13,
17-18 (1st Cir. 2006) (quoting Bl(a)ck Tea Soc'y v.
City of Boston, 378 F.3d 8, 11 (1st Cir. 2004)). As the
party seeking injunctive relief, Plaintiff bears the burden
of establishing that the factors weigh in favor of his
request for emergency injunctive relief. Id. at 18;
Monga, 323 F.Supp.3d at 82.
generally understood that “[t]he sine qua non of this
four-part inquiry is likelihood of success on the merits,
” meaning that the Court should not address the
remaining factors if the movant makes a weak showing as to
the likelihood of success on the underlying claim(s).
Monga, 323 F.Supp.3d at 82 (citing New Comm.
Wireless Servs., Inc. v. SprintCom,
Inc., 287 F.3d 1, 9 (1st Cir. 2002). In some
contexts, other considerations may have equal sway when it
comes to preliminary remedies. Benisek v. Lamone,
138 S.Ct. 1942, 1943-44 (2018) (per curiam) (“As a
matter of equitable discretion, a preliminary injunction does
not follow as a matter of course from a plaintiff's
showing of a likelihood of success on the merits.”). In
the final analysis, “trial courts have wide discretion
in making judgments regarding the appropriateness of such
relief.” Francisco Sánchez v. Esso Standard
Oil Co., 572 F.3d 1, 14 (1st Cir. 2009)).
request for emergency relief pending a response from
Defendants is denied. The relief requested would,
effectively, ban the use of buoy lines in commercial lobster
fishing, which would have the practical effect of suspending
the existing fishery altogether. Such a drastic and immediate
remedy would overwhelmingly impose hardship on third-party
fishermen and women and effectively deprive Defendants of
their role as duly-appointed executive agents with regulatory
oversight of lobster fisheries and marine policy,
considerations that militate strongly against a temporary
restraining order. The Court will await a response from
Defendants before considering the matter of injunctive relief
further. Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief (ECF
No. 5) is DENIED IN PART. Plaintiff's request for a TRO
is DENIED and Plaintiff's request for preliminary
injunctive relief will be considered in light of
 A request for temporary restraining
order seeks injunctive relief on an emergency, ex parte
basis, meaning before the opposing party has the opportunity
to respond. Int'l Ass'n of Machinists &
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