United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
Reidinger, United States District Judge.
MATTER comes before the Court upon the
Plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief [Doc. 4].
12, 2017, the Plaintiff Gregory Armento initiated this action
against the Defendant Asheville Buncombe Community Christian
Ministry, Inc. (“ABCCM”), asserting claims for
various violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the
North Carolina Wage and Hour Act; retaliation and wrongful
termination; “duress, undue influence, and illegal
contracts”; intentional infliction of emotional
distress; and claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and
1985 for violations of his rights under the First and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
[Doc. 1]. Along with his Complaint, the Plaintiff filed the
present Motion for Injunctive Relief. [Doc. 4]. On August 14,
2017, ABCCM filed its Answer and a Response to the
Plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief. [Docs. 18, 19].
been fully briefed, this matter is now ripe for disposition.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must demonstrate
that (1) he is likely to succeed on the merits, (2) he is
likely to suffer irreparable harm absent injunctive relief,
(3) the balance of equities tips in his favor, and (4) the
injunction would be in the public interest. Winter v.
Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008).
“A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy
never awarded as of right.” Id. at 24. Thus,
in each case the Court “must balance the competing
claims of injury and must consider the effect on each party
of the granting or withholding of the requested
relief.” Amoco Prod. Co. v. Village of
Gambell, 480 U.S. 531, 542 (1987). Ultimately, a
plaintiff's entitlement to preliminary injunctive relief
is a matter of discretion with the Court. See
Metropolitan Reg'l Info. Sys., Inc. v. American Home
Realty Network, Inc., 722 F.3d 591, 595 (4th Cir. 2013).
Plaintiff currently resides at the Veterans Restoration
Quarters (“VRQ”), a homeless shelter for veterans
owned and operated by ABCCM. [Doc. 1 at ¶ 7]. As a
condition of residing at the VRQ, the Plaintiff is required
to work a number of “service hours” contributing
to the operation of the facility. [Id. at ¶
17]. In addition, the Plaintiff alleges that he was employed
on a part-time basis by ABCCM to serve as the Front Desk
Manager of the VRQ. [Id. at 18]. The Plaintiff
alleges that he is entitled to unpaid wages and overtime
compensation as a result of work performed both as
“service hours” and in his capacity as a
part-time employee. [Id. at ¶¶ 17, 19].
Motion for Injunctive Relief, the Plaintiff asks the Court to
order ABCCM to continue housing him at the VRQ and to bar
ABCCM from expelling him. [Doc. 4 at 1]. For the following
reasons, the Plaintiff's motion must be denied.
action, the Plaintiff seeks to recover unpaid wages and
overtime compensation under the FLSA, and he asserts claims
for retaliation (i.e., wrongful termination of
employment) and intentional infliction of emotional distress
related to the nonpayment of wages. [See Doc. 1].
Through his preliminary injunction motion, however, the
Plaintiff asks the Court to require ABCCM to continuing
housing him at the VRQ. The Plaintiff has presented no
evidence showing that his entitlement to reside at the VRQ is
in any way related to the claims he asserts in this lawsuit,
which are claims for monetary damages arising from the
Defendants' alleged failure to pay the Plaintiff proper
wages. A preliminary injunction cannot issue for matters
“lying wholly outside the issues in the suit.”
De Beers Consol. Mines v. United States, 325 U.S.
212, 220 (1945). As the Plaintiff's request for
injunctive relief is not sufficiently related to the claims
asserted in this lawsuit, his motion must be denied.
assuming for the sake of argument that the Plaintiff's
motion for a preliminary injunction were sufficiently related
to the claims asserted in this action, the Court would still
deny the requested relief. First, the Plaintiff will not
suffer irreparable harm if the requested relief is denied. As
set forth in Plaintiff's Complaint, ABCCM is a provider
of supportive housing to homeless veterans. [Doc. 1 at ¶
14]. ABCCM receives grant money from the U.S. Department of
Veterans' Affairs through a grant per diem program to
cover the cost of housing homeless veterans. [Affidavit of
Tim McElyea (“McElyea Aff.”), Doc. 19-1 at ¶
3]. The evidence before the Court shows that homeless
veterans participating in the grant per diem program are
ordinarily entitled to only 24 months of funding.
[Id. at ¶ 4]. At the conclusion of the 24-month
period, the veteran is expected to have obtained employment
and to be able to transition to permanent housing.
Affidavit of Tim McElyea, which was submitted by the
Defendant in support of its response to the Plaintiff's
motion, establishes that the Plaintiff began receiving
assistance under the grant per diem program on September 5,
2015. [Id. at ¶ 7]. Thus it is undisputed that
the Plaintiff will no longer be eligible to receive grant per
diem funds on September 5, 2017. [Id.]. Thus,
requiring ABCCM to continue to house the Plaintiff beyond
September 5, 2017, is simply not a benefit to which the
Plaintiff is entitled.
if ABCCM were required to continue to house the Plaintiff
beyond September 5, 2017, it would cause substantial harm to
ABCCM, as it would be forced to utilize private resources to
cover the cost of the Plaintiff's living expenses.
[Id. at ¶ 10]. ABCCM also would have to deny
benefits to another veteran, and there are at least 34
homeless veterans in Western North Carolina on the waiting
list for the VRQ. [Id. at ¶¶ 9, 10]. Given
the likelihood of substantial harm to ABCCM and to the local
community of homeless veterans, the Court finds that ...