United States District Court, D. Nebraska
JAMES E. BACHMAN, ADELLA A. BACHMAN, ERIC J. BACHMAN, RACHEL A. BACHMAN, and MATTHEW R. BACHMAN, Plaintiffs,
JOHN Q. BACHMAN, and LEAF SUPREME PRODUCTS, LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Smith Camp Senior United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on the Motion for Preliminary
Injunction, ECF No. 14, and Amended Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order, ECF No. 16, filed by Plaintiffs James,
Adella, Eric, Rachel, and Matthew Bachman. The motions are
Plaintiffs' fifth and sixth attempts to obtain
preliminary injunctive relief. The motions will be denied
because Plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a threat of
Court's Memorandum and Order (the “Previous
Order”) dated July 8, 2019, contains a full recitation
of the factual allegations and procedural history of this
case. The facts recited in the Previous Order are
incorporated into this Memorandum and Order and the Court
provides the following by way of review:
Supreme is a Nebraska limited liability company. Defendant
John Q. Bachman is a member and majority owner of Leaf
Supreme. Plaintiffs have been Leaf Supreme's only
employees. Plaintiffs assert that from October 1, 2016, to
present, they have not been paid any wages. Plaintiffs allege
that John Q. Bachman ordered that no wages would be paid
until Leaf Supreme had adequate cash flow. Plaintiffs claim
that during the relevant period, each of them worked over 50
hours per week.
January 17, 2019, the shareholders of Leaf Supreme entered
into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to sell Leaf Supreme
to Contractor Metals, LLC. Plaintiffs allege they own or are
closely associated with Contractor Metals. The sale was set
to close on February 28, 2019; however, the sale did not
close. In March 2019, John Q. Bachman informed Plaintiffs
that he intended to cease operations of Leaf Supreme.
Plaintiffs filed a wage and hour complaint with the United
States Department of Labor. From March 1, 2019, to July 3,
2019, Plaintiffs continued working at Leaf Supreme to prevent
it from closing because they had loaned more than $500, 000
to Leaf Supreme.
6, 2019, Leaf Supreme filed an action in the District Court
of Douglas County, Nebraska, No. CI 19-4497 (the “State
Court Action”). In the State Court Action, Leaf Supreme
asserted that James and Adella Bachman did not have
permission to continue to act as employees or managers in
Leaf Supreme's operations.
unsuccessfully attempting to remove the State Court Action to
this Court, Plaintiffs filed this action. Plaintiffs assert
wage violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29
U.S.C. §§ 206 and 215(a)(2), and allege the State
Court Action is a retaliatory action in violation of the
FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3). They seek back wages and
other damages for both FLSA claims.
29, 2019, the Douglas County District Court entered a
preliminary injunction in the State Court Litigation against
the Plaintiffs. The court enjoined Plaintiffs in this case
from conducting business, incurring debts, and using any
funds on behalf of Leaf Supreme. In granting Leaf
Supreme's motion for preliminary injunction, the court
reasoned that enforcement of the MOU posed a threat of
irreparable harm to Leaf Supreme, and that Plaintiffs'
potential remedies for breach of the MOU, if any, were
measurable as money damages. Plaintiffs again seek an order
from this Court overturning an order in the State Court
initially argued that the factors set forth in Dataphase
Sys., Inc. v. CL Sys., Inc., 640 F.2d 109, 114 (8th Cir.
1981) (en banc), do not apply to this case.
See Pl. Br. at 2, ECF No. 11 (“The
Dataphase Sys, Inc., case involved an anti-trust
violation. This four-factor test applies to an anti-trust
actions. It does not apply to a FSLA violation with
identifiable retaliation.”). Yet, in a later brief,
Plaintiffs recite the Dataphase factors in support
of their motion. See Pl. Br. at 5, ECF No. 15.
Regardless, when determining whether to issue a preliminary
injunction or temporary restraining order, the Court must
consider: “(1) the threat of irreparable harm to the
movant; (2) the state of balance between this harm and the
injury that granting the injunction will inflict on other
parties litigant; (3) the probability that movant will
succeed on the merits; and (4) the public interest.”
Dataphase Sys., Inc., 640 F.2d at 114.
same reasons stated in the Court's previous order,
Plaintiffs fail to identify a threat of irreparable harm
adequate to support a TRO or preliminary injunction.
Plaintiffs' only argument in support of their several
motions is that their FLSA claims somehow depend on the
enforceability of the MOU. Yet Plaintiffs' FLSA claims
arise, if at all, out of the employer/employee relationship
between Leaf Supreme and the Plaintiffs, not the
enforceability of the MOU. As the state court recognized,
their employment relationship is “in no way related to
the MOU.” State Court Order at 5, ECF No. 16-1.
Further, if Plaintiffs have asserted valid FLSA claims, those
claims are compensable with money damages. Accordingly, there
is no threat of irreparable harm and preliminary injunctive
relief is not warranted.