charged against some of Shuster's driving records, others showed no violations. The defendants assert that the existence of these multiple driving records, some but not all of which had violations charged against them, explain the DMV memoranda Shuster submitted showing that there were no violations on his driving record.
On March 16, 1994, the DMV merged all of the records containing variations on Shuster's name because each of these records reflected the same last name and date of birth. (Id. at P4(a)). This merger was conducted after the last date for which Shuster has submitted a memorandum from the DMV demonstrating that there were no violations on his driving record. Shuster's merged driving record demonstrates that he has 55 active suspensions for failure to answer summonses. (See Driving Record, attached as Exhibit A to Traschen Aff.). Moreover, Shuster has not had a valid drivers license for 27 years. (Traschen Aff. at P7).
"In general, the district court may grant a preliminary injunction if the moving party establishes (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." Plaza Health Laboratories, Inc. v. Perales, 878 F.2d 577, 580 (2d Cir. 1989) (citing Sperry International Trade, Inc. v. Government of Israel, 670 F.2d 8, 11 (2d Cir. 1982) and Jackson Dairy, Inc. v. H.P. Hood & Sons, Inc., 596 F.2d 70, 72 (2d Cir. 1979) (per curiam)). However, "where the moving party seeks to stay governmental action taken in the public interest pursuant to a statutory or regulatory scheme, the district court should not apply the less rigorous fair-ground-for-litigation standard and should not grant the injunction unless the moving party establishes, along with irreparable injury, a likelihood that he will succeed on the merits of his claim." Plaza Health Laboratories, 878 F.2d at 580 (citing United Carbide Agricultural Products Co. v. Costle, 632 F.2d 1014, 1018 (2d Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 450 U.S. 996, 68 L. Ed. 2d 196, 101 S. Ct. 1698 (1981) and Medical Society of the State of New York v. Toia, 560 F.2d 535, 538 (2d Cir. 1977)).
In this case, Shuster is seeking to enjoin the defendants from enforcing the New York State motor vehicle laws. Such laws are part of a regulatory scheme and serve the public interest of ensuring public safety on the roads of New York State. Thus, to prevail on his motion, Shuster must demonstrate both irreparable harm and a likelihood of success on the merits.
"A preliminary injunction is considered an 'extraordinary remedy that should not be granted as a routine matter.'" Distribution Systems of America, Inc. v. Village of Old Westbury, 785 F. Supp. 347, 352 (E.D.N.Y. 1992) (quoting JSG Trading Corp. v. Tray-Wrap, Inc., 917 F.2d 75, 79 (2d Cir. 1990)). Therefore, the mere possibility of harm is insufficient to justify granting a preliminary injunction. See Borey v. National Union Fire Insurance Co., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 934 F.2d 30, 34 (2d Cir. 1991); Distribution Systems of America, Inc. 785 F. Supp. at 352; Costello v. McEnery, 767 F. Supp. 72, 76 (S.D.N.Y. 1991).
Shuster has not demonstrated anything more than the mere possibility of future harm. Shuster does not claim that he has been arrested or will for certain be arrested in the future. The mere assertion by Shuster that he might be arrested at some time in the future is highly speculative, and does not constitute actual irreparable harm.
Shuster has also failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim for false arrest. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(3)(a):
A person is guilty of the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree when such person . . . is operating a motor vehicle while such person has in effect ten or more suspensions, imposed on at least ten separate dates for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine, pursuant to . . . subdivision four-a of section five hundred ten of this chapter.