12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728- 2 -a warrant, police entered plaintiffs’ residence, after which plaintiff Michael Salman wascharged with seven building code violations. Plaintiffs allege that defendants’ enforcementof its codes violates plaintiffs’ rights under the Religious Land Use and InstitutionalizedPersons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc, et seq., the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, Article 2, Sections 4, 5, and 6 of the Arizona Constitution,and the Arizona Free Exercise of Religion Act, A.R.S. § 41-1493 et seq. Plaintiffs further claim that the City of Phoenix Sign Ordinance and Assembly Ordinance and Codes areunconstitutionally vague. Plaintiffs ask us to enjoin the pending state criminal proceedingsagainst them.To obtain a temporary restraining order, plaintiffs must show: (1) a likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a likelihood of irreparable harm if defendants are not enjoined; (3)that the balance of equities tips in their favor; and (4) that a restraining order is in the publicinterest. Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, ___, 129 S. Ct. 365, 374(2008).
Plaintiffs’ likelihood of success on the merits is quite low. We are very likely todismiss this action on abstention grounds. Under principles of comity and federalism, theavailability of injunctive relief against state criminal proceedings is very narrow. Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 53, 91 S.Ct. 746, 755 (1971). We do not “restrain a criminal prosecution, when the moving party has an adequate remedy at law and will not suffer irreparable injury if denied equitable relief.” Id., 401 at 43–44, 91 S.Ct. at 750. The allegedinjury must go beyond that which is “incidental to every criminal proceeding broughtlawfully and in good faith,” and the possible unconstitutionality of a statute on its face doesnot in itself justify an injunction against good-faith attempts to enforce it. Younger, 407 U.S.at 49, 56, 46 S.Ct. at 754, 755. “The accused should first set up and rely upon his defensein the state courts, even though this involves a challenge of the validity of some statute,unless it plainly appears that this course would not afford adequate protection.” Fenner v.
Case 2:11-cv-00646-FJM Document 5 Filed 04/08/11 Page 2 of 4