United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage
B. KUGLER United States District Judge
MATTER having come before the Court upon defendant
Edgewater Park Sewerage Authority's (“EPSA”)
motion for summary judgment, plaintiff Jeffrey Bello's
(“Bello”) cross-motion for summary judgment, and
Bello's motion seeking an emergency preliminary
injunction. For the reasons set forth in the opinion below,
EPSA's motion for summary judgment is
GRANTED, and Bello's cross-motion for
summary judgment and motion seeking an emergency preliminary
injunction are both DENIED.
September 9, 2015, Bello filed a complaint and motion for a
preliminary injunction against EPSA and the State of New
Jersey. (Doc. No. 1; Doc. No. 2). This was denied.
(Doc. No. 3). On September 29, 2015, Bellow filed a second
motion for a preliminary injunction. (Doc. No. 7). This court
heard argument on this motion on November 9, 2015 and it was
denied. (Doc. No. 19). Bello filed another motion for a
preliminary injunction on August 8, 2016. (Doc. No. 46). This
motion was denied on September 30, 2016. (Doc. No. 53). On
October 31, 2016, Bello filed an amended complaint. (Doc. No.
62). EPSA answered on November 22, 2016 and filed its motion
for summary judgment on May 1, 2017. (Doc. No. 62; Doc. No.
70). Bello replied and filed his own cross-motion for summary
judgment on May 19, 2017. (Doc. No. 71). He then filed a
motion for an emergency preliminary injunction on August 18,
2017. (Doc. No. 74).
issue are unpaid bills stemming from Bello's home's
connection to EPSA's public sewage line. See Am.
Compl. at 6 (Doc. No. 62). The subject property is located at 143
E. Warren St., Edgewater Park, New Jersey. Id. It is
classified by EPSA as a four unit home for sewage cost
assessment and billing purposes. Id. Bello disputes
EPSA's designation and billing practices as to the home;
he alleges that only three people have ever resided there at
one time. Id. Bello further alleges that he has been
charged “false connection fees, ” was provided
“false information” that led to the public sewer
line's initial installment, and that in 2010, an EPSA
representative admitted as much and declared that Bello was
this statement, Bello has refused to pay EPSA-asserting that
these bills are false taxes-and has instead tried to bill the
agency himself. He has not pursued available state remedies.
Instead, Bello says that he “requested help” from
every “feasible entity” in New Jersey but to no
avail. Pl. Mot. Prelim. Inj. at 7. Bello has not brought suit
in New Jersey Superior Court because he claims that he does
not have standing. Id. at 13. Bello now faces a tax
lien on his house which he asserts will force him into
bankruptcy. See Id. at 15 (Doc. No. 74).
Summary Judgment Standard
court should grant a motion for summary judgment when the
moving party “shows that there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). An
issue is “material” to the dispute if it could
alter the outcome, and a dispute of a material fact is
“genuine” if “a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the non-moving party.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249
(1986); Matsushida Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (“Where the record
taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the non-moving party, there is no ‘genuine
issue for trial.'”) (quoting First National
Bank of Arizona v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 289
(1968)). In deciding whether there is any genuine issue for
trial, the court is not to weigh evidence or decide issues of
fact. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Because fact and
credibility determinations are for the jury, the non-moving
party's evidence is to be believed and ambiguities
construed in her favor. Id. at 255;
Matsushida, 475 U.S. at 587.
the movant bears the burden of demonstrating that there is no
genuine issue of material fact, the non-movant likewise must
present more than mere allegations or denials to successfully
oppose summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256.
The nonmoving party must at least present probative evidence
from which jury might return a verdict in his favor.
Id. at 257. The movant is entitled to summary
judgment where the non-moving party fails to “make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
Temporary Restraining Order Standard
Civ. P. 65 governs injunctions and restraining orders. The
Third Circuit has repeatedly held that an injunction
“is an extraordinary remedy, which should be granted
only in limited circumstances.” Frank's GMC
Truck Ctr., Inc. v. Gen. Motors Corp., 847 F.2d 100, 102
(3d Cir. 1988) (citing United States v. City of
Philadelphia, 644 F.2d 187, 191 n.1 (3d Cir. ...