United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is plaintiff Nevada Partners, Inc.'s
(“Nevada Partners”) motion for temporary
restraining order. (ECF No. 24).
before the court is Nevada Partners' motion for
preliminary injunction. (ECF No. 25). Defendants Workforce
Connections and Jaime Cruz filed a response (ECF No. 30), to
which Nevada Partners replied (ECF No. 31).
action arises from a dispute regarding Workforce
Connections' award of federal grants in the amount of
$10, 000, 000 to ResCare Workforce Services
(“ResCare”), which is an organization that
matches job applicants with employers. (ECF Nos. 1, 24-9).
Connections is Southern Nevada's local workforce
development board. (ECF No. 24). Among its various duties,
Workforce Connections distributes federal grants for the
improvement of employment services pursuant to the Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act (“WIOA”), 29
U.S.C. § 3102 et seq. Id. Local boards award
WIOA grants on a competitive basis, in which the applicants
with the best performance are more likely to receive funds.
See (ECF Nos. 24, 30); 29 U.S.C. §
1322(d)(10)(B)(i); NRS 232.935(4)(d)(1).
2015 to 2019, Workforce Connections distributed over $13,
000, 000 to Nevada Partners. (ECF No. 24-1). Nevada Partners
used those funds to assist thousands of residents with job
readiness services and provide federal tax return assistance.
Id. Workforce Connections also awarded ResCare
millions of dollars in grants during this time period. (ECF
No. 24-9). The record before the court does not
indicate to the total amount of those grants.
2018, Workforce Connections began a new round of requests for
proposals to fund WIOA programs from July 2019 to June 2022.
(ECF Nos. 24, 30). The new application process had two
substantial changes: (1) past performance evaluations were
moved from the initial technical review stage to the ad hoc
selection panel's ranking of programs and (2) the
precondition that grantees cover their rent costs was
replaced with a “cash match” requirement. (ECF
Nos. 24-13, 30, 30-1, 30-2, 30-3). The “cash
match” provision required applicants to match two
percent of their requested grant amount in cash resources.
(ECF Nos. 24-13, 24-45).
March 13, 2019, Workforce Connections convened a meeting in
which it planned to award $10, 000, 000 to ResCare and no
WIOA funding to Nevada Partners, consistent with the ad hoc
selection panel's recommendation. (ECF Nos. 24-21,
24-27). Various individuals at the meeting raised concerns
regarding Workforce Connections' plan. (ECF No. 24-27).
The primary points of contention were that the programs
committee relied on inaccurate materials and that ResCare
allegedly performed worse than other applicants that the ad
hoc selection panel did not recommend for funding. (ECF Nos.
24-22, 24-27). In response, Workforce Connections continued
the meeting to May 9, 2019. (ECF No. 24-27).
same day that Workforce Connections reconvened, Governor
Steve Sisolak sent a letter to the board stating that the
executive director of the Governor's Office of Workforce
Innovation found that the new grant distribution process
“does not appear to violate any rules, policies, or
laws.” (ECF No. 24-25). The governor also expressed
concern that awarding “the bulk of the available funds
to one entity may have created a perception of favoritism . .
.” Id. At the meeting, Workforce Connections
considered the letter and awarded $10, 000, 000 to ResCare.
(ECF No. 24-30). The WIOA grants begin disbursing on July 1,
2019. (ECF No. 24-22).
3, 2019, Nevada Partners initiated this action, asserting
eight causes of action: (1) violation of procedural due
process; (2) violation of substantive due process; (3)
violation of equal protection; (4) violation of Nevada's
open meeting law, NRS 241.020; (5) violation of WIOA's
competitive process requirement, 29 U.S.C. § 3122 et
seq.; (6) violation of WIOA's performance
accountability measures requirement, 29 U.S.C. § 3141
et seq.; (7) violation of WIOA's conflict of
interest provision, 29 U.S.C. § 3122(h) et
seq.; and (8) injunctive relief. (ECF No. 1).
Nevada Partners has filed a motion for preliminary injunction
requesting that the court enjoin the disbursement of $10,
000, 000 in WIOA grants to ResCare and require Workforce
Connections to continue disbursing funds consistent with its
2015-2019 grant allocation scheme until the resolution of
this litigation. (ECF No. 25).
Rule of Civil Procedure 65 provides that the court may issue
a preliminary injunction on notice to the adverse party.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a)(1). A preliminary injunction seeks to
preserve the status quo and prevent irreparable harm from
occurring before a judgment is issued. Textile Unlimited
Inc. v. BMH & Co., 240 F.3d 781, 786 (9th Cir.
Supreme Court held that courts must consider the following
elements in determining whether to issue a preliminary
injunction: (1) likelihood of success on the merits; (2)
likelihood of irreparable injury if preliminary relief is not
granted; (3) balance of hardships; and (4) advancement of the
public interest. Winter v. N.R.D.C., 555 U.S. 7, 20
(2008). The test is conjunctive, meaning the party seeking
the injunction must satisfy each element.
post-Winter, the Ninth Circuit has maintained its
serious question and sliding scale tests. See Alliance
for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131
(9th Cir. 2011). “Under this approach, the elements of
the preliminary injunction test are balanced, so that a
stronger showing of one element may offset a weaker showing
of another.” Id.
questions going to the merits and a balance of hardships that
tips sharply towards the plaintiff can support issuance of a
preliminary injunction, so long as the plaintiff also shows
that there is a likelihood of irreparable injury and that the
injunction is in the public interest.” Id. at
seeking a preliminary injunction have a burden to satisfy the
four elements above. See Winter, 555 U.S. at 20. The
court will address each element to determine whether Nevada
Partners' request for a preliminary injunction has merit.
Likelihood of ...