United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART
PETITIONER'S EMERGENCY MOTION FOR STAY
MATTER comes before the Court upon Petitioner's Emergency
Motion for Stay Pending Appeal, filed September 27, 2018
(Doc. 3). A hearing was held on the
emergency motion on September 28, 2018. For the reasons
stated on the record at the hearing and herein, the Court
finds that Petitioner's Motion is well-taken and,
therefore, is GRANTED IN PART.
Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education, appeals the New
Mexico Public Education Department's decision mandating
that Petitioner divert 15% of its federal special education
money into early intervening services. Respondent concluded
that the percentage of African Americans in special education
services was “Significantly Disproportionate” to
the students from the percentage of students from other
races, apparently pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1418(d) and 34
CFR § 300.646.
received Respondent's final decision on September 18,
2018, providing that its “determination of Significant
Disproportionality… was issued in accordance with
federal law.” Ex. 2. Petitioner filed
an appeal of that ruling, and emergency motion for stay, on
September 20, 2018, in the First Judicial District Court,
County of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
matter was removed on September 26, 2018, and the emergency
motion was refiled on September 27, 2018. In the emergency
motion, Petitioner seeks a stay or injunction of the
Respondent's decision requiring them to transfer 15% of
the special education budget to early intervention programs,
effectively maintaining the status quo.
Emergency Motion was apparently set for hearing in state
court on October 1, 2018. That hearing was canceled after the
case was removed. Petitioner subsequently refiled this
Emergency Motion yesterday. Based on Petitioner's
representation that the fund transfer had to occur by
September 28, 2018 and could not be reversed, the Court held
a hearing on the emergency motion on short notice on
September 28, 2018. Respondent therefore did not have time to
file a response.
hearing from both sides, and based on the record before the
Court, the Court ruled that Petitioner had satisfied the
preliminary injunction standards pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65.
The Court concluded that an injunction should be entered for
a limited duration in order to maintain the status quo, at
least until subject matter jurisdiction was decided or the
Emergency Motion was fully briefed and heard at an
the Court notes that Petitioner sought a stay, either as a
stay of appeal under Fed.R.Civ.P. 62(d), or as a stay under
New Mexico Rules 1.074(Q). The Court concludes that the
appropriate procedural method is a preliminary injunction
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 65. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 81(c)
(federal rules of civil procedure apply in removed action).
In any event, the federal preliminary injunction standard
appears to be substantially similar to the New Mexico stay
standard under NMRA 1.074(Q).
obtain a preliminary injunction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 65, the
moving party must demonstrate: (1) a likelihood of success on
the merits; (2) a likelihood that the movant will suffer
irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief; (3)
that the balance of equities tips in the movant's favor;
and (4) that the injunction is in the public interest.
Attorney Gen. of Okla. V. Tyson Foods, Inc., 565
F.3d 769, 776 (10th Cir. 2009) (quotation omitted).
main purpose of a preliminary injunction is simply to
preserve the status quo pending the outcome of the case.
Penn v. San Juan Hospital, Inc., 528 F.2d 1181, 1185
(10th Cir. 1975). In issuing a preliminary injunction, a
court is primarily attempting to preserve the power to render
a meaningful decision on the merits. Compact Van
Equipment Co. v. Leggett & Platt, Inc., 566 F.2d
952, 954 (5th Cir. 1978).
on the record before the Court at this time, the Court
concludes that Petitioner has satisfied the preliminary