A temporary restraining order, sought by the Indiana Transportation Museum against the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, has been denied.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana turned away the request Thursday, saying ITM "has not made an adequate showing under applicable law that a temporary restraining order is warranted."
The court, presided over by Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson said that the ITM's request "completely ignores the standards and burdens that request entails."
A court may only issue a temporary restraining order without notice if the request meets certain key qualifications, namely, the plaintiff must show that "immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition."
Additionally, in order to get a temporary restringing order without notice, ITM's legal council had to justify why a notice to HHPA should not be required. The museum said in their request that they needed the RTO without notice to "prepare and operate its Fair Train on August 4, 2017," however the court said this justification was inadequate.
In the court's order, they called the ITM's suggestion that there wasn't enough time to give notice to the HHPA "ingenuous" and "invalid," saying that the ITM failed to present evidence for these claims.
"Further, ITM's argument that giving notice would be 'impractical or impossible' and 'there is no less drastic way to protect [ITM's] interests,' is not supported by the complaint," read the court order. "Thus, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has not met the requirements for it to issue a temporary restraining order without notice."
The request, filed July 10, if approved, would have given ITM full control of the railroad and prevented the HHPA from removing rail tracks, evicting the ITM from its site at Forest Park in Noblesville or designating a different operator.
In the request the museum suggested they would "suffer imminent and irreparable injury, financial loss, loss of goodwill, loss of exclusions, selection of operator and/or damage" if unable to operate the 2017 State Fair Train to the Indiana State Fair from Aug. 4-20.
David Shank, public relations contact for the railroad, said the hope was the restraining order might put a pause on the contentious process and give the parties a chance to work something out.
"We would hope it would give people a chance to stop to take a breath and to see all that the train does for this community both for the town and economically," said Shank.
The court order also suggests that the plaintiff's lawyer, Samuel Bolinger, failed to file a motion for a preliminary injunction, which they referred to in the request.
"ITM requests a preliminary injunction hearing in its Petition for a Temporary Restraining Order, the Court denies that request because ITM has not filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction."
Anne Poindexter, attorney for the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, and Rhonda Klopfenstein, HHPA representative both had no comment.
Samuel Bolinger, the Transportation Museum's attorney said he was not authorized to make a statement.