United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Martinsburg
CAMP TALL TIMBERS, INC. Plaintiff,
ECHO VALLEY TRAINING CENTER, LLC, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR A PRELIIMINARY INJUNCTION
M. GROH CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
30, 2019, the parties in the above-styled civil action
appeared before the Court for a hearing on the
Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF No.
30]. Edward I. Levicoff appeared on behalf of the Plaintiff,
Camp Tall Timbers, Inc. (“Camp Tall Timbers”).
Kathy M. Santa Barbara appeared on behalf of the Defendant,
Echo Valley Training Center, LLC (“EVTC”). After
reviewing the parties' briefs, considering the evidence
presented and carefully analyzing the controlling law, the
Court DENIES the motion for a preliminary
injunction for the reasons provided herein.
civil action arises from an incident that occurred on August
4, 2018, where a bullet went through a window of a Camp Tall
Timbers' cabin and struck a staff member's leg. Camp
Tall Timbers alleges the bullet came from EVTC's
facility. The background of that dispute is as follows.
Tall Timbers has been operating as a summer camp for children
between the ages of seven and seventeen since 1970. On the
property adjacent to Camp Tall Timbers, EVTC has a firearm
training facility which it has been operating since 2011. The
facility is a private, by contract only, training facility
utilized by federal Department of Defense personnel, special
operations and elite task forces, federal, state and local
law enforcement agencies, gun manufacturers and other private
and government groups.
property was purchased by Crooked Creek Investments, LLC in
2006. Between 2007 and 2008, three lower ranges were
constructed on the property and in the Spring of 2015 an
upper range was constructed. EVTC's upper range is
approximately 400 to 500 yards from Camp Tall Timbers. The
shooting direction on the upper range is in the opposite
direction of Camp Tall Timbers. EVTC's three lower ranges
are nine-tenths of a mile from Camp Tall Timbers. The
shooting direction on the three lower ranges points in the
direction of Camp Tall Timbers.
August 4, 2018, a bullet went through the window of a Camp
Tall Timbers' cabin and struck a staff member's leg.
At 2:45 p.m., Brooke Burnside, who worked at Camp Tall
Timbers, called 911 to report the incident. On the date of
the incident, two of the three lower ranges were leased for
use to Andrews International, a government contractor, for
training exercises. Leslie Winner, a certified NRA firearms
instructor, and a friend were using the upper range on the
date of the incident. Mr. Winner was using the range between
the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
October 24, 2018, Camp Tall Timbers filed this action seeking
to enjoin EVTC from operating its firearm training facility
or to enjoin EVTC from operating its facility until it can
certify that it does not present any risk of harm to Camp
Tall Timbers' campers, visitors, staff members or
property. ECF No. 1. On May 10, 2019, Camp Tall Timbers filed
a motion for a preliminary injunction. ECF No. 30. The Court
held a hearing on Camp Tall Timbers' motion on May 30,
2019. The Court heard evidence from both parties and reserved
issuing a decision until after receiving the parties'
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never
awarded as of right.” Winter v. Nat. Res. Def.
Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008) (citing
Munaf, 553 U.S. 674, 689-90 (2008)). To succeed on a
motion for a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff must make
a “clear showing” that “he is likely to
succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer
irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that
the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an
injunction is in the public interest.” Winter,
555 U.S. at 20, 22. “All four requirements must be
satisfied.” Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Fed.
Elec. Comm'n, 575 F.3d 342, 346 (4th Cir. 2009)
(vacated and remanded on other grounds).
court grants a motion for a preliminary injunction it must:
(1) state the reasons why the injunction was issued; (2)
state the injunction's terms specifically; and (3)
describe in reasonable detail the act or acts restrained or
required. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(d)(1). Additionally, the court may
grant a preliminary injunction “only if the movant
gives security in an amount that the court considers proper
to pay the costs and damages sustained by any party found to
have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(c). In the Fourth Circuit, “this rule
is mandatory and unambiguous.” Hoechst Diafoil Co.
v. Nan Ya Plastics Corp., 174 F.3d 411, 421 (4th Cir.
1999). “Although the district court has discretion to
set bond amount in such sum as the court deems proper, it is
not free to disregard the bond requirement altogether.”
Id. “[F]ailure to require bond upon issuing
injunctive relief is reversible error.” Id.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
Court finds that an injunction is not warranted in this
matter because Camp Tall Timbers has not made a clear showing
(1) it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims; (2)
it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief; (3) the balance of equities tips in its
favor; and (4) an injunction is in the public interest.
Camp Tall Timbers has not made a clear showing that it is
likely to ...