United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (DOC.
C. Hall United States District Judge.
Jeffrey Miller (“Mr. Miller”) brings this action
pro se against defendant Adrienne Miller (“Ms.
Miller”), his sister, alleging defamation, malicious
prosecution, infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful
death. See generally Complaint
(“Compl.”) (Doc. No. 1). Pending before the court
is Mr. Miller's Motion for Preliminary Injunction
(“Pl.'s Mot.”) (Doc. No. 2), which seeks to
enjoin Ms. Miller from making defamatory statements about
following reasons, this Motion is denied.
case arises out of a family dispute between Mr. Miller and
his sister, Ms. Miller. See Plaintiff's
Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Preliminary
Injunction (“Pl.'s Mem.”) (Doc. No. 2-1) at
1. According to the Complaint, Ms. Miller reconnected with
Mr. Miller and their mother in January 2013, after being
estranged from the family for thirteen years. See
Compl. at ¶ 6. Soon after Ms. Miller's return, items
from the mother's home in Wilton, Connecticut, began
disappearing. Id. at ¶ 13. Mr. Miller suspected
his sister, who had “displayed bizarre behavior from
the moment she returned” and had been asking the family
for money. Id. at ¶¶ 9, 10, 11.
Mr. Miller confronted Ms. Miller about the missing items, Ms.
Miller allegedly began making false accusations against Mr.
Miller. Id. at ¶ 14. Specifically, the
Complaint asserts that Ms. Miller called state social
services in November 2015 and accused Mr. Miller of
neglecting and abusing their mother. Id. at ¶
15. In addition, Ms. Miller made ten false allegations about
Mr. Miller to the Wilton Police Department between 2015 and
May 2017, including allegations of assault, attempted
strangulation, attempted homicide, and theft. Id. at
¶ 20. In May 2016, the Wilton Police Department informed
Mr. Miller that his sister had accused him of harassment and
of stealing jewelry and silverware from his mother.
Id. at ¶ 17. According to Mr. Miller, the
police officer warned him that he would be arrested if he
returned to the Wilton home. Id. At the time, Mr.
Miller lived in Louisiana. Id.
November 9, 2016, Mr. Miller's mother died. Id.
at ¶ 28. Since February 17, 2017, Mr. Miller and Ms.
Miller have been involved in ongoing litigation over their
mother's will and the division of her estate. Affidavit
of Jeffrey Miller (“Mr. Miller's Aff.”) (Doc.
No. 2) at ¶ 2. In connection with that litigation, Mr.
Miller seeks to enter the family home in Wilton to take
inventory. Id. at ¶ 3. Ms. Miller has allegedly
attempted to delay Mr. Miller's visit by telling the
Estate Trustee and Estate Attorney that she “fears for
her life” and that Mr. Miller tried to kill her twice.
Id. at ¶ 4.
Miller filed a Complaint against Ms. Miller in this court on
June 22, 2018. See generally Compl. In the
Complaint, he brings claims for defamation, infliction of
emotional distress, malicious prosecution, and wrongful
death. Id. at ¶¶ 32-57. On the same day,
Mr. Miller filed this Motion for Preliminary Injunction,
which seeks to preliminarily enjoin Ms. Miller from making
false allegations about Mr. Miller. See generally
standard for preliminary injunctive relief is well
established in this Circuit. “Generally, a party
seeking a preliminary injunction must establish ‘(1)
irreparable harm and (2) either (a) a likelihood of success
on the merits, or (b) sufficiently serious questions going to
the merits of its claims to make them fair ground for
litigation, plus a balance of the hardships tipping decidedly
in favor of the moving party.'” Oneida Nation
of New York v. Cuomo, 645 F.3d 154, 164 (2d Cir. 2011)
(quoting Monserrate v. N.Y. State Senate, 599 F.3d
148, 154 (2d Cir. 2010)). “Additionally, the moving
party must show that a preliminary injunction is in the
public interest.” Id. (citing Winter v.
Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 19-20
showing of irreparable harm is ‘the single most
important prerequisite for the issuance of a preliminary
injunction.'” Faiveley Transp. Malmo AB v.
Wabtec Corp., 559 F.3d 110, 118 (2d Cir. 2009) (quoting
Rodriguez v. DeBuono, 175 F.3d 227, 234 (2d
Cir.1999)). “To satisfy the irreparable harm
requirement, Plaintiffs must demonstrate that absent a
preliminary injunction they will suffer an injury that is
neither remote nor speculative, but actual and imminent, and
one that cannot be remedied if a court waits until the end of
trial to resolve the harm.” Grand River Enter. Six
Nations, Ltd. v. Pryor, 481 F.3d 60, 66 (2d Cir. 2007)
(internal quotation marks omitted). “Where there is an
adequate remedy at law, such as an award of money damages,
injunctions are unavailable except in extraordinary
circumstances.” Faiveley, 559 F.3d at 118
(quoting Moore v. Consol. Edison Co. of N.Y., 409
F.3d 506, 510 (2d Cir.2005)).
court decides this Motion for a Preliminary Injunction
without conducting an evidentiary hearing. Mr. Miller has not
requested such a hearing. Furthermore, “there is no
hard and fast rule in this circuit that oral testimony must
be taken on a motion for a preliminary injunction or that the
court can in no circumstances dispose of the motion on the
papers before it.” Riddick v. Maurer, No.
17-1685, 2018 WL 1750582, at *3 (2d Cir. Apr. 12, 2018)
(quoting Md. Cas. Co. v. Realty Advisory Bd. on Labor
Relations, 107 F.3d 979, 984 (2d Cir. 1997)) (internal
alterations omitted). Instead, a district court may issue a
preliminary injunction without holding a hearing “when
the relevant facts either are not in dispute or have been
clearly demonstrated at prior stages of the case or when the
disputed facts are amenable to complete resolution on a paper