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Burrell v. Carlisle

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

March 20, 2019

THOMAS BURRELL, PLAINTIFF
v.
WAYNE CARLISLE, Individually; WAYNE CARLISLE FARMS; and DEER CREEK FARM, INC. DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          DEBRA M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are several motions for injunctive relief filed by Thomas Burrell. Docs. #21, #43, #47, #54.

         I. Procedural History

         On December 4, 2017, Thomas Burrell filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, naming as defendants Wayne Carlisle, Wayne Carlisle Farms (collectively, “Carlisle”), and Deer Creek[1] Farm, Inc. Doc. #1. On January 11, 2018, Burrell filed an amended complaint against the same defendants regarding his sublease of three tracts of farm land, alleging claims for breach of contract, tortious breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation (fraud), promissory estoppel, equitable estoppel and detrimental reliance, civil conspiracy, and race discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Doc. #2.

         On February 6, 2018, Carlisle filed an answer[2] to the amended complaint and counterclaims for breach of contract, costs of enforcement, trespass, and fraud. Doc. #4. Eight days later, Deer Creek filed an answer to the amended complaint.[3] Doc. #10.

         On April 9, 2018, Burrell filed a “Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction” (“TRO Motion”) seeking to enjoin the defendants from removing him from “farmland on which he currently has crops, and from banning him from reentry to continue farming operations and to harvest crops.”[4] Doc. #21 at 3. Four days later, this Court held a telephonic status conference with the parties regarding, among other things, the TRO Motion. Doc. #27.

         On June 7, 2018, Burrell filed an “Emergency Motion for Authority to Access Land and Harvest Crops and Interim Relief” (“Emergency Motion”) seeking “to access Tracts [to] harvest wheat crops that are his property but are currently in the possession and control of … Carlisle” and to “enjoin[] … Carlisle from harvesting the wheat crops” pending the Emergency Motion's resolution. Doc. #43 at 1-2. Four days later, on June 11, 2018, Burrell filed an “Amended Emergency Motion for Authority to Access Land and Harvest Crops and Interim Relief” (“Amended Emergency Motion”) seeking the same relief to access and harvest as in the Emergency Motion plus “interim relief, including authority to take possession of any harvested wheat crop and the imposition of an escrow and an accounting of any proceeds from any sale of the wheat crop by … Carlisle.” Doc. #47 at 1. That day, the Court held a telephonic status conference with the parties and set a hearing on the Amended Emergency Motion for June 13, 2018. Docs. #49, #51. The next day, Burrell filed a “Second Amended Emergency Motion for Authority to Access Land and Harvest Crops and Interim Relief” (“Second Emergency Motion”) seeking the same relief as that in the Amended Emergency Motion. Doc. #54.

         On June 13, 2018, the Court held a hearing on the Amended Emergency Motion.[5] Doc. #58. At the hearing, Burrell withdrew the Emergency Motion.[6] Also at the hearing, Carlisle's counsel represented that the crop had been harvested and stored by Carlisle in a grain elevator and then sold, and that the proceeds of the sale would be set aside and an accounting made.[7]

         II Analysis

         In light of Burrell's withdrawal of the Emergency Motion, the Emergency Motion will be terminated.

         The TRO Motion, the Amended Emergency Motion, and the Second Emergency Motion will be denied for other reasons. As represented at the June 13 hearing, without dispute by Burrell, the crop at issue has been harvested and stored by Carlisle, with Carlisle pledging to set aside and account for the proceeds. So, to the extent Burrell's motions seek injunctive relief related to access and possession of the crop, [8] they are moot. See Wilson v. Birnberg, 667 F.3d 591, 595 (5th Cir. 2012) (“Generally, a request for an injunction is moot upon the happening of the event sought to be enjoined.”) (internal quotation marks omitted). Additionally, because the Court concludes that the remaining question of which party is entitled to the crop proceeds does not warrant emergency relief under the circumstances, [9] the TRO Motion, the Amended Emergency Motion, and the Second Emergency Motion will be denied.

         III Conclusion

         The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to terminate the withdrawn Emergency Motion [43]. Burrell's remaining motions for ...


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