United States District Court, D. Colorado
GILBERT T. TSO, a natural person and an American, Plaintiff,
REBECCA MURRAY, a/k/a Tso, individually, TANYA AKINS, individually, SHERR PUTTMANN AKINS LAMB PC, law firm, JEANNIE RIDINGS, individually, KILILIS RIDINGS & VANAU PC, a law firm, ELIZABETH A. STARRS, individually, CHARLES D. JOHNSON, individually, ROSS B.H. BUCHANAN, individually, DAVID H. GOLDBERG, individually, MONICA JACKSON, individual and official capacity, LARA DELKA, individual and official capacity, CHRISTIAN MADDY, individual and official capacity, JENNIFER ADELMANN, individual and official capacity, DON MARES, official capacity, BARRY PARDUS, official capacity, MICHAEL DIXON, official capacity, CYNTHIA COFFMAN, official capacity, and CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER, Defendants.
A. BRIMMER United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on plaintiff's Memorandum of
Law in Support of Order to Show Cause for Preliminary
Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order [Docket No. 49].
Plaintiff requests that the Court enter a temporary
restraining order and a preliminary injunction against
defendants “Cynthia Coffman, Barry Pardus, Michael
Dixon, Don Mares, Christian Maddy, Jennifer Adelmann, Lara
Delka, Monica Jackson, and the state agencies they represent
- COLORADO DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES, COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF
HUMAN SERVICES, and DENVER HUMAN SERVICES - CHILD SUPPORT
SERVICES” enjoining them from enforcing the suspension
of plaintiff's driver's license related to his unpaid
child support obligations. Docket No. 49 at 1-2, ¶ I. In
light of plaintiff's pro se status, the Court construes
his filings liberally. See Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d
1106, 1110 & n.3 (10th Cir. 1991).
case relates to the divorce and child support proceedings of
plaintiff Gilbert Tso and his former wife, defendant Rebecca
Murray. See Docket No. 11. Ms. Murray registered an
Illinois child support order in Colorado after she, Mr. Tso,
and their daughter relocated to Colorado. Id. at 26,
¶ 72 and at 52, ¶ 143. Mr. Tso unsuccessfully
challenged the child support order in Colorado state courts.
January 18, 2017, Denver County Child Support Enforcement
sent plaintiff a notice informing him that his driver's
license would be suspended if he did not begin paying his
monthly child support payment or enter into a payment plan.
Docket No. 54-1 at 1. On February 15, 2017, plaintiff
requested an administrative review of his child support
obligations. Docket No. 54-2. On March 30, 2017, Denver
County Child Support Services completed its review,
concluding that plaintiff owed $64, 820.63 in outstanding
child support obligations. Docket No. 54-3 at 2. Plaintiff
did not file a further appeal. On June 18, 2017, the Colorado
Division of Child Support Enforcement sent plaintiff a notice
that his driver's license would be suspended in 30 days
if he did not pay his child support obligations or enter into
a payment plan. Docket No. 54-4 at 2.On July 21, 2017, the
Colorado Department of Revenue suspended plaintiff's
driver's license. Docket No. 54-5.
the third lawsuit that plaintiff has initiated in this
district. The first case, Tso v. Murray et al., No.
15-cv-2398-REB-KLM, was removed by plaintiff on October 28,
2015 from the District Court for the City and County of
Denver, but was remanded on February 10, 2016. The second
case, Tso v. Murray et al., No. 16-cv-2480-WJM-STV
(“Tso II”), was filed on October 3,
2016. In that case, as in this one, plaintiff brings a
“wide range of claims against his former wife and
against a variety of other individual and official
defendants, all arising from Plaintiff's underlying
domestic relations case, including from one or more resulting
support orders.” Tso II, 2017 WL 3116338, at
*1 (D. Colo. July 21, 2017). Plaintiff sought injunctive
relief in that case to enjoin the suspension of his
driver's license. Id. On July 21, 2017, District
Judge William J. Martínez denied plaintiff injunctive
relief, finding, in relevant part, that plaintiff had not
shown irreparable harm because plaintiff had, “at most,
made allegations that he will suffer serious or substantial
harm in the form of economic loss” and that plaintiff
had not shown likelihood of success on the merits because it
was likely the court would have to abstain from granting
plaintiff relief on his claims. Id. at *2.
October 20, 2017, plaintiff filed his complaint in this case.
Docket No. 1. On February 6, 2018, plaintiff filed the
present motion for a temporary restraining order and a
preliminary injunction. Docket No. 49.
succeed on a motion for a injunctive relief, 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 U.S. 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 States ex rel. Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian
Tribe of Oklahoma v. Enter. Mgmt. Consultants, Inc., 883
F.2d 886, 888-89 (10th Cir. 1989), is “the exception
rather than the rule.” GTE Corp. v. Williams,
731 F.2d 676, 678 (10th Cir. 1984). “[W]hen district
courts are properly acting as courts of equity, they have
discretion unless a statute clearly provides
otherwise.” United States v. Oakland Cannabis
Buyers' Coop., 532 U.S. 483, 496 (2001).
Court will deny plaintiff's motion because plaintiff has
not made the necessary showing to warrant injunctive relief.
Plaintiff's present motion does not cure the two
infirmities identified by Judge Martínez. First,
“‘simple economic loss'” of the type
claimed by plaintiff “‘usually does not, in and
of itself, constitute irreparable harm.'” Tso
II, 2017 WL 3116338, at *2 (quoting Heideman v. S.
Salt Lake City, 348 F.3d 1182, 1189 (10th Cir. 2003)).
Plaintiff again makes only conclusory allegations regarding
potential insolvency and lost opportunities that cannot be
compensated. Docket No. 49 at 6-7, ¶¶ c.i, c.ii.
Second, plaintiff has not shown likelihood of success on the
merits because he does not address whether the Court will be
required to abstain from granting plaintiff the relief he
seeks as a “collateral attack on the lawfulness of
final state court judgments and orders.” Tso
II, 2017 WL 3116338, at *2; see also Lance v.
Dennis, 546 U.S. 459, 460 (2006) (The
Rooker-Feldman doctrine “prevents the lower
federal courts from exercising jurisdiction over cases
brought by state-court losers challenging state-court
judgments rendered before the district court proceedings
commenced.”); Docket Nos. 49, 57.
that plaintiff's Memorandum of Law In Support of Order to
Show Cause for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary