United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. QUIST, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kari Thompson, sued Defendant Eenhoorn, LLC and other
entities alleging claims under the Fair Housing Act, the
Rehabilitation Act, and the Michigan Persons with
Disabilities Civil Rights Act, arising out of Thompson's
tenancy at The Lofts, an apartment complex that offers
low-income housing. In her complaint, Thompson alleges that
Defendants violated state and federal law by, among other
things, failing to accommodate Thompson's use of medical
marijuana. On March 29, 2017, Thompson filed a motion for a
temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
requesting that the Court enjoin Defendants from initiating
any eviction proceeding based on a Notice to Quit that
Defendants served on Thompson on or about March 15, 2017.
(ECF No. 17.) The Court referred the matter to Magistrate
Judge Ray Kent for a report and recommendation pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).
April 11, 2017, Magistrate Judge Kent issued a report and
recommendation (R & R) recommending that the Court deny
Thompson's motion. Magistrate Judge Kent observed that
Plaintiff's marijuana usage was one of the grounds
identified in the Notice to Quit for terminating
Plaintiff's tenancy-a violation of paragraph 26 of
Thompson's lease. (ECF No. 24 at pageID.595.) He further
noted that possession or use of marijuana is a federal crime
under the Controlled Substances Act and that a court should
not employ equitable relief to enjoin a landlord from
evicting a tenant who has engaged in criminal conduct.
has filed an Objection to the R & R, in which she argues
that the R & R errs in recommending that her motion be
denied because, by her request for injunctive relief, she is
not requesting the Court's aid or assistance in
committing criminal activity, but instead seeks only to
preserve the status quo.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), upon receiving an objection to a
report and recommendation, the district judge “shall
make a de novo determination of those portions of the report
or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which
objection is made.” After conducting a de novo
review of the R & R, Thompson's Objection, and the
pertinent portions of the record, the Court concludes that
the R & R should be adopted.
Thompson argues that she did not request a preliminary
injunction to facilitate her commission of criminal activity,
the magistrate judge actually stated that the Court should
not issue equitable relief to preclude a landlord from
evicting a tenant who violates federal criminal law. It is
undisputed that Thompson used marijuana on the property, that
the Lease prohibits the use of marijuana on the property and
is grounds for termination of the tenancy (ECF No. 1-1 at
PageID.33), and that possession or use of marijuana is a
the magistrate judge did not expressly consider and weigh the
preliminary injunction factors, the magistrate judge was not
necessarily required to do so in light of his conclusion that
injunctive relief should not issue to preclude a landlord
from evicting a tenant on the basis of criminal activity. In
any event, the Court concludes that preliminary injunction
the factors weigh against the requested relief. “A
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy which
should be granted only if the movant carries his or her
burden of proving that circumstances clearly demand
it.” Overstreet v. Lexington-Fayette Urban Cnty.
Gov't, 305 F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002). In ruling
on a motion for a preliminary injunction, a court considers
four factors: “(1) whether the plaintiffs are likely to
succeed on the merits; (2) whether the plaintiffs will suffer
irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction; (3) whether
granting the injunction will cause substantial harm to
others; and (4) whether the issuance of the injunction is in
the public interest.” Mich. State AFL-CIO v.
Miller, 103 F.3d 1240, 1249 (6th Cir. 1997).
the first factor, Thompson has not shown that she is likely
to succeed on the merits of her claims, at least with regard
to the accommodation claims based on use of marijuana.
See Forest City Residential Mgmt., Inc. v. Beasley,
71 F.Supp.3d 715, 727-31 (E.D. Mich. 2014) (concluding that
tenants of rental unit were not entitled to accommodation
under the Fair Housing Act and the Rehabilitation Act to use
medical marijuana in their rental units). Second, even if
Thompson is at risk of suffering irreparable harm if she is
evicted, Thompson is not at imminent risk of eviction because
it appears that Defendants have not actually initiated an
eviction proceeding at this point. Moreover, if Defendants do
file an eviction proceeding, Thompson will still be permitted
to present to the state court any argument she may have as to
why she should not be evicted. See Id. at 732
(“The state courts have jurisdiction to determine
whether, and under what circumstances,, a landlord may evict
a tenant for violation of lease provisions.”). Third,
granting an injunction may well cause harm to others,
including other tenants of the rental property who may object
to being exposed to marijuana smoke. Finally, the public
interest would not be served if the requested injunction is
granted because precluding a landlord from enforcing
restrictions on drug use on the rental premises would
undermine the public interest in maintaining drug-free
federal low-income housing.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendation issued April 11, 2017 (ECF No. 24) is
ADOPTED as the Opinion of the Court.
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunctive Relief (ECF No.
17) is DENIED.
Thompson's complaint includes four
other counts, including a request for a declaratory judgment,
a claim for breach of restrictive covenants, a request for a
permanent injunction, and a claim for violation ...