United States District Court, D. Colorado
JIHAD MUHAISEN and MUHAISEN & MUHAISEN, LLC, a Colorado limited liability company, Plaintiffs,
JOHN AND JANE DOES 1 THROUGH 100, all whose true names are unknown, Defendants.
A. BRIMMER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on that portion of Plaintiffs'
Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary
Injunction [Docket No. 6] seeking a preliminary injunction.
The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Court held a hearing on plaintiffs' motion for a
preliminary injunction on October 10, 2017. Four days before
the hearing, plaintiffs sent notice of the hearing to the
following email addresses associated with defendants:
M2Lawyersllc@gmail.com. Docket No. 19 at 1. The
email notices sent to the first two email addresses were
returned as undeliverable. Docket No. 19-2 at 1-2. No
attorney or person appeared on behalf of defendants at the
hearing or otherwise contacted plaintiffs or the Court
regarding the hearing. The Court finds that defendants
received notice of the preliminary injunction hearing, but
chose not to appear.
Jihad Muhaisen (“Muhaisen”) is a licensed
attorney in the State of Colorado and a founding partner of
plaintiff Muhaisen & Muhaisen, LLC. Docket No. 1 at 3,
¶ 7. In their fourth claim for relief, libel per se,
plaintiffs allege that defendants, under the user name of
Enough 2M2, have posted four libelous YouTube videos
concerning them. Docket No. 6 at 4-5, ¶¶ 1-5. The
YouTube videos accuse Muhaisen of domestic violence, assault,
homicide, drug use, and fraudulent legal
practices. Id. at 6-7, ¶¶ 22, 24,
26, 28. At the hearing on the portion of the motion seeking a
temporary restraining order (“TRO”),
plaintiffs' counsel represented that the videos also
refer to Muhaisen & Muhaisen, LLC. Plaintiffs claim that
the statements contained in the YouTube videos are false.
Id., ¶¶ 23, 25, 27, 29.
have attempted to discover defendants' identities by
serving a subpoena on Google, id. at 5, ¶ 10,
which owns YouTube. The subpoena requested all identifying
information associated with the account that posted the
relevant YouTube videos. Id., ¶ 11. Plaintiffs
have been unable to identify defendants other than to
determine that Enough 2M2 uses the email address of
firstname.lastname@example.org and has an IP address of
18.104.22.168. Id. at 5-6, ¶¶ 14, 20. At
the preliminary injunction hearing, plaintiffs' counsel
represented that the email address
email@example.com has since been disabled.
Plaintiffs' counsel further informed the Court that on
September 17, 2017, defendants circulated an unknown number
of emails containing links to the YouTube videos and other
allegedly defamatory content using the email addresses
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com;
however, plaintiffs believe these are false email addresses.
Docket No. 20 at 2.
27, 2017, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit alleging six claims
for relief: (1) violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §
1125(a); (2) violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection
Act; (3) common law business disparagement under Colorado
law; (4) libel per se under Colorado law; (5) invasion of
privacy by intrusion under Colorado law; and (6) invasion of
privacy by appropriation under Colorado law. Docket No. 1 at
7-11, ¶¶ 40-73. On September 1, 2017, plaintiffs
filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary
restraining order based on the fourth claim for
relief. See Docket No. 6 at 10-12
(discussing plaintiffs' likelihood of success on the
libel per se claim). On September 12, 2017, the Court held a
hearing on that portion of the motion seeking a temporary
restraining order. Two days before the hearing, plaintiffs
sent notice of the hearing to firstname.lastname@example.org,
the only known means to contact defendants. Docket No. 12-1.
No attorney or person appeared on behalf of defendants at the
TRO hearing or otherwise contacted plaintiffs or the Court
regarding the hearing.
September 12, 2017, the Court entered an order temporarily
enjoining defendants from posting, publishing, or maintaining
the following YouTube videos:
Docket No. 14 at 6-7. On September 25, 2017, the Court
granted a 14-day extension of the temporary restraining order
due to ongoing violations by defendants. Docket No. 17 at 2.
support of their request for a preliminary injunction,
plaintiffs state that defendants have failed to comply with
this Court's TRO directing removal of the online libelous
content. Docket No. 20 at 1-2. Google has also declined to
remove the YouTube videos. Docket No. 16 at 2; Docket No.
16-2 at 1-3; Docket No. 20 at 3-4. Since entry of the TRO,
plaintiffs further claim they have become aware of a new
website created by defendants, www.JMuhaisen.com,
which contains four pages of similar, disparaging content and
links to two of the enjoined YouTube videos. Docket No. 16 at
Plaintiffs state that the new domain name was purchased from
www.1and1.com (“1&1 Internet”), a
site that offers services similar to
www.godaddy.com. Docket No. 16 at 2, ¶ 4. On
September 20, 2017, plaintiffs sent the Court's TRO to
1&1 Internet. Docket No. 16 at 3, ¶ 12. As of
October 9, 2017, however, 1&1 Internet had not responded
to plaintiffs regarding the order, and both the YouTube
videos and the new website remained available online. Docket
No. 20 at 4, ¶¶ 6-8.
succeed on a motion for a preliminary injunction, the moving
party must show (1) a likelihood of success on the merits;
(2) a likelihood that the movant will suffer irreparable harm
in the absence of preliminary relief; (3) that the balance of
equities tips in the movant's favor; and (4) that the
injunction is in the public interest. RoDa Drilling Co.
v. Siegal, 552 F.3d 1203, 1208 (10th Cir. 2009) (citing
Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.,
555 US. 7, 20 (2008)); see Little v. Jones, 607 F.3d
1245, 1251 (10th Cir. 2010)). “[B]ecause a preliminary
injunction is an extraordinary remedy, the right to relief
must be clear and unequivocal.” Beltronics USA,
Inc. v. Midwest Inventory Distribution, LLC, 562 F.3d
1067, 1070 (10th Cir. 2009) (quoting Greater Yellowstone
Coalition v. Flowers, 321 F.3d 1250, 1256 (10th Cir.
2003)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Granting such
“drastic relief, ” United ...