United States District Court, N.D. New York
October 8, 2004.
ORISKA INSURANCE COMPANY and U.S. MANAGEMENT, INC., Plaintiffs,
THE POWER P.E.O., INC., et al, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOWARD MUNSON, Senior District Judge
Plaintiff, Oriska Insurance Company ("Oriska") made application
pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, for a Temporary
Restraining Order seeking to enjoin defendant, Power P.E.O., Inc. ("Power") from further participation in an action
currently pending in California state court. Oriska argues that
the California action involves the same substantive issues before
this court and that its continued pendency will interfere with
previously authorized settlements between Oriska and certain
defendants as well as settlements that the parties continue to
Under the All Writs Act, federal courts may "issue all writs
necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions
and agreeable to the usages and principles of law."
28 U.S.C. § 1651. Courts, however, have narrowly construed this seemingly
broad phrase such that it should be understood to imply
"something similar to the concept of injunctions to `protect or
effectuate' judgments." Atl. Coast Line R.R. Co. v. Bhd. of
Locomotive Eng'rs, 398 U.S. 281, 295, 90 S.Ct. 1739,
26 L.Ed.2d 234 (1970); see the Anti-Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2283. The
Anti-Injunction Act is "an absolute prohibition against enjoining
state court proceedings, unless the injunction falls within one
of three specifically defined exceptions." Id. 398 U.S. at 286,
90 S.Ct. at ____. The Anti-Injunction Act limits a district court's
authority under the All Writs Act such that it may not grant an
injunction to stay state court proceedings except where
"necessary in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or
effectuate its judgments." 28 U.S.C. § 2283. An injunction is
necessary in aid of a court's jurisdiction only if "some federal
injunctive relief may be necessary to prevent a state court from
so interfering with a federal court's consideration or
disposition of a case as to seriously impair the federal court's
flexibility and authority to decide that case." Atl. Cost Line
R.R., 398 U.S. at 295, 90 S.Ct. at ____; see also Pa. Bureau of
Corr. v. United States Marshals Serv., 474 U.S. 34, 40,
106 S.Ct. 355, 88 L.Ed.2d 189 (1985) (The Writs Act "authorize[s] a
federal court to issue such commands . . . as may be necessary or
appropriate to effectuate and prevent the frustration of orders
it has previously issued in its exercise of jurisdiction
otherwise obtained.") (internal quotations and citations
omitted); In re Baldwin-United Corp., 770 F.2d 328, 335 (2d
Cir. 1985) (The All Writs Act authorizes a district court "to
enjoin actions in state courts where necessary to prevent
relitigation of an existing federal judgment.").
Here, the court cannot say that Power's continued participation
in the California state action would so interfere with its
consideration and/or disposition of the case so as to render its
authority and flexibility mute and tethered, respectively, to
decide the federal action. Moreover, there is no federal judgment
the court needs to protect against relitigation. Therefore,
Oriska's motion for a temporary restraining order seeking to
enjoin Power from further participation in an action currently
pending in California state court is DENIED.
WHEREFORE, after careful consideration of the file in this
matter including the parties' submissions, the parties'
conference with the court, and the applicable law, the court
ORDERS that Oriska's motion for a temporary restraining order
seeking to enjoin Power from further participation in an action
currently pending in California state court is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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