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Schiavo ex rel. Schindler v. Schiavo - 403 F.3d 1223 (11th Cir. 2005)


There are four factors to be considered in determining whether temporary restraining or preliminary injunctive relief is to be granted, which are whether the movant has established: (1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) that irreparable injury will be suffered if the relief is not granted; (3) that the threatened injury outweighs the harm the relief would inflict on the non-movant; and (4) that entry of the relief would serve the public interest. 


A  state court judge directed the removal of nutrition and hydration from the daughter. Her parents, moved for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, seeking to require reestablishment of nutrition and hydration to their incapacitated daughter. The district court denied the motion.


Did the district court err in denying the parents' motion for a TRO?




The district court's denial of the parents' motion for a TRO was affirmed. The court of appeals found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the parents had failed to show a substantial case on the merits and were therefore not entitled to a TRO. The parents argued that Pub. L. No. 109-3 required that injunctive relief be granted in order to allow them to have a full trial on the merits of their claims, but that Act did not change the law concerning issuance of temporary or preliminary relief. In fact, Congress specifically rejected provisions that would have mandated the grant of a pretrial stay. The court of appeals refused relief under the All Writs Act, which was not available where the relief sought was in essence a preliminary injunction. The parents could not use the All Writs Act to circumvent the requirements for preliminary injunctions.

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