alleged deprivation of constitutional procedural due process rights.
b. Extraordinary circumstances
The plaintiff argues in the alternative that he has suffered irreparable harm based on his extraordinary family circumstances. In support of his position, Pinckney contends that he is his family's "primary breadwinner" responsible for supporting his two sons in college and that he is prohibited from seeking alternative employment as a result of his suspension. The Court disagrees.
Absent extraordinary circumstances, irreparable harm is not established by loss of income or the inability to find other employment. See Holt v. Continental Group, Inc., 708 F.2d 87, 90-91 (2d Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1030, 79 L. Ed. 2d 695, 104 S. Ct. 1294 (1984). Extraordinary circumstances can only be established by a clear demonstration that the plaintiff (1) has little chance of securing future employment; (2) has no personal or family resources; (3) has no private unemployment insurance; (4) is unable to finance a loan privately; (5) is ineligible for public assistance; and (6) there are no other compelling circumstances weighing heavily in favor of interim relief. See Williams v. State Univ. of N.Y., 635 F. Supp. 1243, 1248 (E.D.N.Y. 1986). "In essence, the plaintiff must quite literally find [himself] being forced into the streets or facing the spectre of bankruptcy before a court can enter a finding of irreparable harm." Id. at 1248.
Applying these standards, the Court finds that the plaintiff has not established extraordinary circumstances. Although he contends that he is precluded from seeking other employment while under the terms of his employment contract, the Court finds that his suspension, which is not expressly covered by the terms of the Contract, would obviate any such a restriction. In addition, while the plaintiff contends that his unemployment would put a financial strain on his family resources, he does not argue that he is on the verge of bankruptcy or that he is "being forced out into the street." Accordingly, the Court concludes that Pinckney has failed to establish the requisite extraordinary circumstances required to support a claim of irreparable harm.
The cases cited by the plaintiff in his memoranda of law do not alter this conclusion as they are all distinguishable. For example, in Jessen v. Village of Lyndon Station, 519 F. Supp. 1183, 1189 (W.D. Wisc. 1981), the plaintiff was facing termination, rather than a suspension with a termination hearing pending. In that case, the court noted that "without preliminary relief, plaintiff will be terminated immediately . . . without the procedural protections mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment. . . ." Id. at 1189. However, in this case, Pinckney will be given a hearing regarding his suspension and termination within the next thirty days. In addition, the Jessen court recognized that when the injunctive relief sought is to maintain the status quo, unlike the injunction sought by Pinckney, the standard for such relief is lower. Id.
In Payne v. Housing Auth. of the City of Evansville, 821 F. Supp. 559, 560 (S.D. Ind. 1992), and Hilf v. New York City Housing Auth., 550 F. Supp. 1000 (S.D.N.Y. 1982), the plaintiffs were "suspended indefinitely" without a hearing. In Hilf the plaintiff was informed that formal disciplinary charges would be served "in due course." Hilf, 550 F. Supp. at 1001. In this case, the plaintiff was suspended without pay pending a hearing and formal charges were served on him within days of his suspension. In addition, although three months have elapsed since the charges were served, and no hearing has taken place, there is no evidence that the defendants are solely at fault for the delay.
In Rubino v. City of Mount Vernon, 563 F. Supp. 907, 909 (S.D.N.Y. 1982), the defendant refused to abide by a state adjudicatory board order directing reinstatement of the plaintiff following an article 78 proceeding refusing to set the order aside. While the plaintiff correctly quotes the decision, which found irreparable harm "given the uniqueness of the post [of a city assessor], the publicity given the dispute [his termination], the limited term of the employment, and the element of public trust that is involved," Rubino, 563 F. Supp. at 909, the facts underlying this decision demonstrate that since the plaintiff had exhausted his state court options, his only recourse was injunctive relief in federal court. As discussed above, Pinckney, unlike the plaintiff in Rubino will not be irreparably harmed because he may still obtain the relief he seeks in the state proceedings and because this Court has not abstained with respect to any claim for monetary relief.
3. Likelihood of success
The second step of the inquiry requires that the movant demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits. However, before engaging in this analysis, the Court would ordinarily be required to determine whether the plaintiff is required to make an ordinary showing of likelihood of success, or meet the more stringent standard of "substantial" likelihood of success required when the movant seeks a mandatory injunction.
However, the Court need not undertake such an analysis. As stated above, the plaintiff is unable to establish irreparable harm. Accordingly, he is not entitled to equitable relief no matter how likely his chances of success on the merits and his motion for a preliminary injunction is denied.
After reviewing the parties' submissions, and hearing oral argument, and for the reasons set forth above, it is hereby
ORDERED, that the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65 is denied; it is further
ORDERED, that a hearing officer be selected and that the hearing begin within thirty days from March 22, 1996; and it is further
ORDERED, that this case is stayed pursuant to the doctrine of Younger abstention until the related state proceedings have concluded or it becomes necessary for this Court to act in the event that a hearing has not commenced within thirty days from March 22, 1996.
Dated: Uniondale, New York
April 1, 1996
Hon. Arthur D. Spatt
United States District Judge
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