United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
RIVER SERVICES CO. LLC ET AL.
STEPHEN PEER ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
TRICHE MILAZZO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiffs Motion for Preliminary Injunction
(Doc. 2). For the following reasons, the Motion is GRANTED.
March 30, 2017, Plaintiffs River Services Co. LLC, Budwine
& Associates, LLC, Neptune Diving, LLC, and Natures
Escape, LLC moved for a temporary restraining order against
Defendants Stephen Peer and Peer Partners Interactive, LLC.
Plaintiffs allege that Defendants, their former website
support company and its owner, have refused to turn over
control of certain domain names, websites, social media
accounts, and email services associated with Plaintiffs
(collectively, “websites”) after Plaintiffs
decided to terminate Defendants' services. Defendants
purportedly claimed that they are owed an additional amount
for their services and refused to turn over the information
required to transfer control of the websites until such was
paid. Defendants also threatened to terminate Plaintiffs'
website services on March 31, 2017 at midnight.
March 31, this Court entered a temporary restraining order
prohibiting Defendants from changing, terminating, or
otherwise interfering with the service of Plaintiffs'
websites. A preliminary injunction hearing was held on April
19 during which Plaintiffs sought an order requiring
Defendants to transfer control over its websites and take all
necessary actions required to effectuate such a transfer
without interruption to Plaintiffs' services.
preliminary injunction hearing, however, it was revealed to
the Court that Defendants have not yet been served.
Plaintiffs contend that service was attempted on
Defendants' known addresses on three different occasions
to no avail. They also contend that this Court's orders
were emailed and texted to Defendants both by Plaintiffs and
by the Clerk of Court. Plaintiffs argue that Defendants have
received adequate notice of their motion for preliminary
injunction and the hearing date and have chosen not to
respond or participate. Plaintiffs contend that despite the
lack of service they are entitled to a preliminary injunction
either because (1) adequate notice was received, or (2) the
Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act authorizes an in
rem civil action against a domain name when a defendant
cannot be found. Because this Court ultimately holds that
Defendants received actual notice, it need not address
Plaintiffs' second argument.
applicant for preliminary injunctive relief must show: (1) a
substantial likelihood that he will prevail on the merits;
(2) a substantial threat that he will suffer irreparable harm
if the injunction is not granted; (3) his threatened injury
outweighs the threatened harm to the party whom he seeks to
enjoin; and (4) granting the preliminary injunction will not
disserve the public interest. A preliminary injunction is an
extraordinary remedy. Accordingly, a preliminary injunction
should only be granted when the party seeking it has clearly
carried the burden of persuasion on all four
requirements. In the end, a preliminary injunction is
treated as an exception rather than the rule.
Notice Required for Issuance of Preliminary
Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a) requires that “[t]he
court may issue a preliminary injunction only on notice to
the adverse party.” Plaintiffs argue that
“notice” does not require service of process.
This Court agrees. “Rule 65(a) does not specify the
particular type of notice required in order properly to bring
defendants in an injunction proceeding before the trial
court.” The Fifth Circuit has held that
“[t]he Rule's notice requirement necessarily
requires that the party opposing the preliminary injunction
has the opportunity to be heard and to present
evidence.” “The sufficiency of the written and
actual notice is a matter for the trial court's
present evidence showing that Defendants received actual
notice of the Complaint, Temporary Restraining Order, Motion
for Preliminary Injunction, and hearing date. Plaintiffs show
that as recently as March 30, 2017, Defendants used the email
address email@example.com to communicate with
Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs sent copies of its pleadings and the
orders of the Court to this address from March 30 to April 5.
Counsel for Plaintiffs received notification that his emails
were received. On April 4, 2017, the Clerk of Court also used
this email address to provide Defendants with notice of this
Court's order setting a preliminary injunction hearing.
also show that they have attempted to call and text
Defendants to no avail. Plaintiffs show that while Defendant
failed to respond to a picture of the temporary restraining
order that was texted to him, he ...