Docket No. 23-474








WILLIAM S. PREZYBYSZ, MD, Health Officer for the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department,











Charleston, Kanawha County

Docket No. 23-474


Circuit Court of Ohio County

Case No. CC-35-2023-C-96



                                                                                    ARVAND PATEL

16 Renaissance Way,

Wheeling, WV 26003

[Insert Phone Number]

[Insert Email]



16 Rennaisance Way,

Wheeling, WV 26003

[Insert Phone Number]

[Insert Email]


Petitioners in pro per




Respondent filed a Petition for a Permanent Injunction against Petitioners on 06/27/2023 in the trial court. Respondent alleged that Petitioners were feeding racoons on their property. He alleged that as a result of Petitioners rearing racoons, public health has been put at risk. Respondent asked the trial court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting Petitioners from feeding and rearing racoons in their property.

On 07/18/2023, Petitioners filed an Answer to Respondent’s petition. They denied all allegations brought by Respondent.

On 06/29/2023, the trial court agreed with Respondent and issued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction restraining Petitioners from ground feeding of wildlife and racoons, and compelling them to clean up and remove all food provisions on their property that have been previously used for wildlife. The trial court also stated that Petitioners would be liable to pay fines or other sanctions.

Petitioners have filed this appeal to request this court to overturn the trial court’s order issued on 06/29/2023.



Respondent alleged that the Wheeling-Ohio County Department of Health (hereinafter referred to as the “Department”) received multiple complaints over the last 12 years over Petitioners feeding racoons in their neighborhood.

Respondent alleged that the Department investigated the complaints and found it to be true that Petitioners were feeding racoons in their neighborhood.

Respondent alleged that after every complaint and investigation, the Department reached out to Petitioners and asked them to stop feeding the wildlife and racoons because Petitioners’ actions allegedly created a public health risk.

Respondent alleged that despite multiple warnings with the threat of litigation, Petitioners did not stop feeding the racoons on their property.

Respondent alleged that wildlife such as racoons carry diseases such as rabies, distemper, and Baylisascaris procyonis.

Respondent alleged that the Department confirmed cases of rabies in both wild and domesticated animals.

Respondent stated that the Village of Bethlehem is not within the limits of the City of Wheeling.



W.Va. R. Civ. P. 65 states in relevant part as follows:

“(a) Preliminary injunction.

  • Notice – No preliminary injunction shall be issued without notice to the adverse party.
  • Consolidation of hearing with trial on merits – Before or after commencement of the hearing of an application for a preliminary injunction, the court may order the trial of the action on the merits to be advanced and consolidated with the hearing of the application. Even when this consolidation is not ordered, any evidence received upon an application for a preliminary injunction which would be admissible upon the trial on the merits becomes part of the record on the trial and need not be repeated upon the trial. This subdivision (a)(2) shall be construed and applied as to save the parties any rights they may have to trial by jury.

(b) Temporary restraining order; notice; hearing; duration – A temporary restraining order may be granted without written or oral notice to the adverse party or that party’s attorney only if (1) it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the applicant before the adverse party or that party’s attorney can be heard in opposition, and (2) the applicant’s attorney certified to the court in writing the efforts, if any, which have been made to give the notice and the reasons supporting the claim that notice should not be required.”



  1. Respondent Has No Standing to Seek Equitable Relief Against Petitioners


Standing serves as a critical threshold that necessitates parties bringing a claim before a court to demonstrate a substantial and direct interest in the subject matter. This principle ensures that legal proceedings are anchored in tangible grievances rather than speculative concerns.

The present case revolves around allegations raised by the Respondent regarding the Wheeling-Ohio County Department of Health’s interactions with the Petitioners. The contention centers on the Petitioners’ purported act of feeding raccoons within their neighborhood, prompting multiple complaints and subsequent investigations by the Department. The crux of the issue lies in the establishment of the Respondent’s standing to seek equitable relief, and this necessitates a comprehensive evaluation.

A critical consideration when assessing standing is the principle of causation. The essence of standing is that a party’s legal interest must have suffered a direct and palpable injury as a result of the actions of the opposing party.

In this context, the Respondent, acting as the Department, has contended that the actions of the Petitioners, specifically their feeding of raccoons, create a public health risk due to the potential transmission of diseases such as rabies, distemper, and Baylisascaris procyonis.

It is paramount to ascertain the direct link between these concerns and the Respondent’s standing to seek equitable relief. It is crucial to emphasize that the Department’s jurisdiction primarily encompasses matters of public health and safety. However, the mere existence of complaints and investigations, while indicative of concerns raised by the community, does not necessarily equate to the Respondent’s standing to seek equitable relief.

For the Respondent to establish standing, a demonstrable connection must be established between the alleged harm caused by the Petitioners’ actions and the Respondent’s legal authority and role. Respondent has failed to establish this connection.

Granting standing based solely on general concerns over public health could potentially open the floodgates for a wide array of claims, often rooted in speculative fears rather than concrete harm. The principle of standing seeks to maintain a delicate balance between protecting legitimate legal interests and preventing frivolous or baseless litigation.




  1. Respondent Has Not Provided Any Proof of His Allegations

The core contention centers around the Respondent’s failure to proffer tangible and irrefutable proof in support of their allegations, thus casting an inherent shadow of doubt upon the veracity and reliability of their claims.

At the heart of this matter, the Respondent alleges a series of assertions that encompass complaints received, investigations conducted, and the subsequent public health risks attributed to the Petitioners’ actions of feeding raccoons and wildlife. The issue that surfaces is the absence of incontrovertible proof that bolsters the veracity of these claims.

The Respondent, in this instance, presents allegations that are intrinsically consequential—pertaining to both public health and potential legal ramifications. However, the absence of concrete evidence to corroborate these claims casts an unavoidable doubt over his assertions.

A paramount concern here is the lack of empirical data or tangible documentation that directly links the Petitioners’ actions to the alleged public health risks. Assertions without corroborative evidence stand in tension with the norms of legal proceedings, where factual substantiation is the foundation upon which decisions are rendered. This lack of evidence, particularly in the context of the allegations made, diminishes the weight of the Respondent’s position.

The absence of such evidence introduces skepticism about the robustness of the Respondent’s claims, potentially raising doubts about whether these allegations are grounded in objective reality or speculation.

To summarize, the core contention underscores the Respondent’s inability to provide compelling and concrete evidence in substantiation of their allegations. The burden of proof demands the production of reliable evidence to prove one’s claims. The absence of such substantiation impels a discerning inquiry into the foundations upon which the Respondent’s position rests.


  • Petitioners are Exceedingly Likely to Prevail on Appeal

A pivotal facet of this evaluation revolves around the evidentiary basis that substantiates the Respondent’s claims. The Petitioners can plausibly contend that the lacuna in data representation significantly weakens the veracity of the Respondent’s assertions. This chasm in the data framework, particularly the absence of a comprehensive dataset encompassing both the temporal dimensions before and after 2012, leaves ample room for skepticism.        The critical role of a comprehensive dataset is paramount in establishing a clear and incontrovertible linkage between the Petitioners’ conduct—feeding raccoons—and the alleged surge in diseases.

The Respondent’s jurisdiction and the harm alleged aren’t convincingly correlated. The absence of a demonstrably direct and immediate threat stemming directly from the Petitioners’ actions cast a shadow on the Respondent’s standing. The Respondent has failed to fulfil the elemental requirement of establishing an unequivocal nexus between the Respondent’s authority and the harm articulated.

Equitable relief, a legal doctrine invoked when legal remedies are inadequate, comes under scrutiny in this context. The Petitioners state that the Respondent’s plea for intervention lacks a robust underpinning of concrete evidence.

The absence of a clearly delineated causal connection between the Petitioners’ actions and the alleged public health risks weakens the Respondent’s bid for equitable relief. Equitable relief necessitates an imminent and substantiated threat, which should be discernible through a coherent and direct linkage.

The likelihood of the Petitioners’ success on appeal is evident from the convergence of these vulnerabilities present in the Respondent’s case. Legal assertions, to gain credence, necessitate a solid evidentiary foundation.


  1. Respondent is Not Likely to Succeed on the Merits

At the heart of this matter is the Respondent’s contention that the Petitioners’ actions of feeding raccoons and wildlife have given rise to an elevated risk of disease transmission, particularly diseases such as rabies, distemper, and Baylisascaris procyonis. A rigorous examination necessitates a scrutiny of the alignment between the claims and the legal standards that govern the issue.

One of the important elements that warrants consideration is the establishment of causation. The Respondent asserts that there exists a direct causal link between the Petitioners’ actions and the alleged increase in diseases.

However, demonstrating a direct and incontrovertible nexus between the actions of feeding raccoons and the subsequent rise in diseases demands a level of empirical evidence that underscores a seamless connective tissue between the actions in question and the outcomes being alleged.

Moreover, the absence of comprehensive data spanning the periods before 2012 and after raises concerns about the foundation upon which the Respondent’s claims are constructed. The temporal dynamics play a significant role in establishing a correlation between the alleged increase in diseases and the Petitioners’ actions.

Furthermore, the Respondent’s assertion hinges on the assumption that the alleged increase in diseases is exclusively attributable to the actions of the Petitioners. However, the emergence of diseases is often multifactorial, influenced by various variables such as environmental conditions, animal behavior, and interactions. Correlating these complex dynamics solely to the Petitioners’ actions demands a rigorous scrutiny of empirical evidence that establishes a direct and irrefutable link.

The Respondent’s likelihood of success is contingent upon demonstrating that his claim align with established legal standards and can withstand the scrutiny of a legal proceeding. This necessitates a robust evidentiary foundation, encompassing not only causation but also the broader context of the legal framework governing public health concerns.

In conclusion, while the Respondent’s concerns over public health risks emanating from feeding raccoons and wildlife are valid, the likelihood of success on the merits rests on the demonstration of a compelling alignment between their claims and the legal standards governing the matter. The establishment of causation, the presence of comprehensive and unbiased data, and a nuanced understanding of the multifactorial dynamics at play are indispensable facets that impact the probability of prevailing on the merits. None of these factors lies in favor of the Respondent.





REASONS WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Petitioners respectfully request this Honorable Court to reverse the Order issued by the Circuit Court of Ohio County and remand the matter back to the circuit court for further proceedings.



Dated this ____ day of August, 2023.



Respectfully Submitted,





Arvand Patel





Bharati Patel,

Petitioners in pro per


At Legal writing experts, we would be happy to assist in preparing any legal document you need. We are international lawyers and attorneys with significant experience in legal drafting, Commercial-Corporate practice and consulting. In the last few years, we have successfully undertaken similar assignments for clients from different jurisdictions. If given this opportunity, The LegalPen will be able to prepare the legal document within the shortest time possible. You can send us your quick enquiry ( here )