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A court order by which an individual is required to perform, or is restrained from performing, a particular act. A writ framed according to the circumstances of the individual case.
An injunction commands an act that the court regards as essential to justice, or it prohibits an act that is deemed to be contrary to good conscience. It is an extraordinary remedy, reserved for special circumstances in which the temporary preservation of the status quo is necessary.
An injunction is ordinarily and properly elicited from other proceedings. For example, a landlord might bring an action against a tenant for waste, in which the right to protect the land-lord's interest in the ownership of the premises is at issue. The landlord might apply to the court for an injunction against the tenant's continuing harmful use of the property. The injunction is an ancillary remedy in the action against the tenant.
Injunctive relief is not a matter of right, but its denial is within the discretion of the court. Whether or not an injunction will be granted varies with the facts of each case.
The courts exercise their power to issue injunctions judiciously, and only when necessity exists. An injunction is usually issued only in cases where irreparable injury to the rights of an individual would result otherwise. It must be readily apparent to the court that some act has been performed, or is threatened, that will produce irreparable injury to the party seeking the injunction. An injury is considered irreparable when it cannot be adequately compensated by an award of damages. The pecuniary damage that would be incurred from the threatened action need not be great, however. If a loss can be calculated in terms of money, there is no irreparable injury. The consequent refusal by a court to grant an injunction is, therefore, proper. Loss of profits alone is insufficient to establish irreparable injury. The potential destruction of property is sufficient.
Injunctive relief is not a remedy that is liberally granted, and, therefore, a court will always consider any hardship that the parties will sustain by the granting or refusal of an injunction. The court that issues an injunction may, in exercise of its discretion, modify or dissolve it at a later date if the circumstances so warrant.
Types of Injunction
Preliminary A preliminary or temporary injunction is a provisional remedy that is invoked to preserve the subject matter in its existing condition. Its purpose is to prevent dis-solution of the plaintiff's rights. The main reason for use of a preliminary injunction is the need for immediate relief.
Preliminary or temporary injunctions are not conclusive as to the rights of the parties, and they do not determine the merits of a case or decide issues in controversy. They seek to prevent threatened wrong, further injury, and irreparable harm or injustice until such time as the rights of the parties can be ultimately settled. Preliminary injunctive relief ensures the ability of the court to render a meaningful decision and serves to prevent a change of circumstances that would hamper or block the granting of proper relief following a trial on the merits of the case.
A motion for a preliminary injunction is never granted automatically. The discretion of the court should be exercised in favor of a temporary injunction, which maintains the status quo until the final trial. Such discretion should be exercised against a temporary injunction when its issuance would alter the status quo. For example, during the Florida presidential-election controversy in 2000, the campaign of george w. bush asked a federal appeals court for a preliminary injunction to halt the manual counting of ballots. It sought a preliminary injunction until the U.S. Supreme Court could decide on granting a permanent injunction. In that case, Siegel v. Lepore, 234 F.3d 1163 (11th Cir. 2000). the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit refused to grant the injunction, stating that the Bush campaign had not "shown the kind of serious and immediate injury that demands the extraordinary relief of a preliminary injunction."
Preventive Injunctions An injunction directing an individual to refrain from doing an act is preventive, prohibitive, prohibitory, or negative. This type of injunction prevents a threatened injury, preserves the status quo, or restrains the continued commission of an ongoing wrong, but it cannot be used to redress a consummated wrong or to undo that which has already been done.
The Florida vote count in the presidential election of 2000 again serves as a good example. There, the Bush campaign sought preventive injunctions to restrain various counties from performing recounts after the Florida results had been certified. The Bush campaign did not attempt to overturn results already arrived at, but rather attempted to stop new results from coming in. In turn, the Gore campaign attempted to obtain a preventive injunction to prevent Florida's secretary of state from certifying the election results.
Mandatory Injunctions Although the court is vested with wide discretion to fashion injunctive relief, it is also restricted to restraint of a contemplated or threatened action. It also might compel Specific Performance of an act. In such a case, it issues a mandatory injunction, commanding the performance of a positive act. Because mandatory injunctions are harsh, courts do not favor them, and they rarely grant them. Such injunctions have been issued to compel the removal of buildings or other structures wrongfully placed upon the land of another.
Permanent Injunctions A permanent or perpetual injunction is one that is granted by the judgment that ultimately disposes of the injunction suit, ordered at the time of final judgment. This type of injunction must be final relief. Permanent injunctions are perpetual, provided that the conditions that produced them remain permanent. They have been granted to prevent blasting upon neighboring premises, to enjoin the dumping of earth or other material upon land, and to prevent Pollution of a water supply.
An individual who has been licensed by the state to practice a profession may properly demand that others in the same profession sub-scribe to the ethical standards and laws that govern it. An injunction is a proper remedy to prevent the illegal practice of a profession, and the relief may be sought by either licensed practitioners or a professional association. The illegal Practice of Law, medicine, dentistry, and architecture has been stopped by the issuance of injunctions.
Acts that are injurious to the public health or safety may be enjoined as well. For example, injunctions have been issued to enforce laws providing for the eradication of diseases in animals raised for food.
The government has the authority to protect citizens from damage by violence and from fear through threats and intimidation. In some states, an injunction is the proper remedy to bar the use of violence against those asserting their rights under the law.
Acts committed without Just Cause that interfere with the carrying on of a business may be enjoined if no other adequate remedy exists. A Trade Secret, for example, may be protected by injunction. An individual's right of personal privacy may be protected by an injunction if there is no other adequate remedy, or where a specific statutory provision for injunctive relief exists. An individual whose name or picture is used for advertising purposes without the individual's consent may enjoin its use. The theory is that injunctive relief is proper because of a celebrity's unique property interest in the commercial use of his or her name and likeness (i.e., their right of publicity).
Restraining Orders A Restraining Order is granted to preserve the status quo of the subject of the controversy until the hearing on an application for a temporary injunction. A Temporary Restraining Order is an extraordinary remedy of short duration that is issued to prevent unnecessary and irreparable injury. Essentially, such an order suspends proceedings until an opportunity arises to inquire whether an injunction should be granted. Unless extended by the court, a temporary restraining order ceases to operate upon the expiration of the time set by its terms.
An individual who violates an injunction may be punished for Contempt of court. A person is not guilty of contempt, however, unless he or she can be charged with knowledge of the injunction. Generally, an individual who is charged with contempt is entitled to a trial or a hearing. The penalty imposed is within the discretion of the court. Ordinarily, punishment is by fine, imprisonment, or both.
Suro, Robert and Jo Becker. 2000. "Florida Legislature Ready to Intervene; Special Session on Electors to Convene on Friday" Washington Post (December 7).
n. a writ (order) issued by a court ordering someone to do something or prohibiting some act after a court hearing. The procedure is for someone who has been or is in danger of being harmed, or needs some help (relief) or his/her attorney, to a) petition for the injunction to protect his/her rights; to b) get an "order to show cause" from the judge telling the other party to show why the injunction should not be issued; c) serve (deliver or have delivered) the order to show cause on the party whom he/she wishes to have ordered to act or be restrained ("enjoined"); d) appear at a scheduled hearing in which both sides attempt to convince the judge why the injunction should or should not be granted. If there is danger of immediate irreparable harm at the time the petition is filed, a judge may issue a temporary injunction which goes into affect upon it being served (deliver or have delivered) to the other party. This temporary injunction will stay in force until the hearing or sometimes until the outcome of a lawsuit is decided in which an injunction is one of the parts of the plaintiff's demands (in the "prayer"). A final and continuing injunction is called a permanent injunction. Examples of injunctions include prohibitions against cutting trees, creating nuisances, polluting a stream, picketing which goes beyond the bounds of free speech and assembly, or removing funds from a bank account pending determination of ownership. So-called "mandatory" injunctions which require acts to be performed, may include return of property, keeping a gate to a road unlocked, clearing off tree limbs from a right-of-way, turning on electricity or heat in an apartment building, or depositing disputed funds with the court. (See: injunctive relief, writ)
injunctionan order of the court preventing someone from doing something. It is a contempt of court to disobey. In certain circumstances damages maybe awarded in place of an injunction. There are various types:
- (1) prohibitory;
- (2) mandatory, which prohibits an omission by ordering a positive act;
- (3) interlocutory, to maintain position until a full hearing;
- (4) perpetual, granted after a full hearing;
- (5) ex parte, granted in emergency after hearing only one party;
- (6) interim, granted and lasting only until a given date;
- (7) quia timet, ‘because he fears’; such an application is made in respect of a wrong apprehended or threatened but not committed. The applicant must show a fear of an imminent grave danger.
See also FREEZING INJUNCTION.
INJUNCTION, remedies, chancery, practice. An injunction is a prohibitory
writ, specially prayed for by a bill, in which the plaintiff's title is set
forth, restraining a person from committing or doing an act (other than
criminal acts) which appear to be against equity and conscience. Mitf. Pl.
124; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 126.
2. Injunctions are of two kinds, the one called the writ remedial, and the other the judicial writ.
3.-1st. The former kind of injunction, or remedial writ, is in the nature of a prohibition, directed to, and controlling, not the inferior court, but the party. It is granted, when a party is doing or is about to do an act against equity or good conscience, or litigious or vexatious; in these cases, the court will not leave the party to feel the mischief or inconvenience of the wrong, and look to the courts of common law for redress, but will interpose its authority to restrain such unjustifiable proceedings.
4. Remedial injunctions are of two kinds common or special. 1. It is common when it prays to stay proceedings at law, and will be granted, of course; as, upon an attachment for want of an appearance, or of an answer; or upon a dedimus obtained by the defendant to take his answer in the country; or upon his praying for time to answer, &c. Newl. Pr. 92; 13 Ves, 323. 2. A special injunction is obtained only on motion or petition, with notice to the other party, and is applied for, sometimes on affidavit before answer, but more frequently upon the merits disclosed in the defendant's answer. Injunctions before answer are granted in cases of waste and other injuries of so urgent a nature, that mischief would ensue if the plaintiff were to wait until the answer were put in; but the court will not grant an injunction during the pendency of a plea or demurrer to the bill, for until that be argued, it does not appear whether or not the court has jurisdiction of the cause. The injunction granted in this stage of the suit, is to continue till answer or further order; the injunction obtained upon the merits confessed in the answer, continues generally till the hearing of the cause.
5. An injunction is generally granted for the purpose of preventing a wrong, or preserving property in dispute pending a suit. Its effect, in general, is only in personam, that is, to attach and punish the party if disobedient in violating the injunction. Ed. Inj. 363; Harr. Ch. Pr. 552.
6. The principal injuries which may be prevented by injunction, relate to the person, to personal property, or to real property. These will be separately considered.
7.-1. With respect to the person, the chancellor may prevent a breach of the peace, by requiring sureties of the peace. A court of chancery has also summary and extensive jurisdiction for the protection of the relative rights of persons, as between husband and wife, parent and child, and guardian and ward; and in these cases, on a proper state of facts, an injunction will be granted. For example, an injunction may be obtained by a parent to prevent the marriage of his infant son. 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 348; Ed. Inj. 297; 14 Ves. 206; 19 Ves. 282; 1 Chitty. Pr. 702.
8.-2. Injunctions respecting personal property, are usually granted, 1st. To restrain a partner or agent from making or negotiating bills, notes or contracts, or doing other acts injurious to the partner or principal. 3 Ves. jr. 74; 3 Bro. C. C. 15; 2 Campb. 619; 1 Price, R. 503; 1 Mont. on Part. 93; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 160; Chit. Bills, 58, 61; 1 Hov. Supp. to Ves. jr. 335; Woodes. Lect. 416.
9.-2d. To restrain the negotiation of bills or notes obtained by fraud, or without consideration. 8 Price, R. 631; Chit. Bills, 31 to 41; Ed. Inj. 210; Blake's Ch. Pr. 838; 2 Anst. 519; 3 Anst. 851; 2 Ves. jr. 493; 1 Fonb. Eq. 43; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 154. 3d. To deliver up void or satisfied deeds. 1 V. & B. 244; 11 Ves. 535; 17 Ves. 111. 4th. To enter into and deliver a proper security. 1 Anst, 49. 5th. To prevent breaches of covenant or contract, and enjoin the performance of others. Ed. Inj. 308. 6th. To prevent a breach of confidence or good faith, or to prevent other loss as, for example, to restrain the disclosure of secrets, which came to the defendant's knowledge in the course of any confidential employment. 1 Sim. R. 483 and see 1 Jac. & W. 394. An injunction will be granted to prevent the publication of private letters without the authors consent. Curt. on Copyr. 90; 2 Atk. 342; Ambl. 137; 2 Swanst. 402, 427; 1 Ball & Beat. 207; 2 Ves. & B. 19; 1 Mart. Lo. R. 297; Bac. Ab. Injunction A. But the publication will be allowed when necessary to the defence of the character of the party who received them. 2 Ves. & B. 19. 7th. To prevent improper sales, payments, or conveyances. Chit. Eq. Dig. tit. Practice, xlvii. 8th. To prevent loss or inconvenience; this can be obtained on filing a bill quia timet. (q. v.) 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 218 to 225. 9th. To prevent waste of property by an executor or administrator. Ed. Inj. 300; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr.; 160, 224. 10th. To restrain the infringement of patents; Ed. Inj. ch. 12; 14 Ves. 130; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 137; or of copyrights; Ed. Inj. c. 13; 8 Ares. 225; 17 Ves. 424. 11th. To stay proceedings in a court of law. These proceedings will be stayed when justice cannot be done in consequence of accident; 1 John. Cas. 417: 4 John. Ch. R. 287,194; Latch, 24, 146, 148; 1 Vern. 180, 247; 1 Ch. C. 77, 120; 1 Eq. Cas. Ab. 92; or mistake; 1 John. Ch. R. 119, 607; 2 John. Ch. R. 585; 4 John. Ch. R. 85; Id. 144; 2 Munf. 187; 1 Day's Cas. Err. 139; 3 Ch. R. 55; Finch., 413; 2 Freem. 16; Fitzg. 118; or fraud. 1 John. Ch. R. 402; 2 John. Ch. R. 512; 4 John. Ch. R. 65. But no injunction will be granted to stay proceedings in a criminal case. 2 John. Ch. R. 387; 6 Mod. 12; 2 Ves. 396.
9.-3. Injunctions respecting real property, may be obtained, 1st. To prevent wasteful trespasses or irreparable damages, although the owner may be entitled to retake possession, if he can do so, without a breach of the peace. 1 Chit. Pr. 722. 2d. To compel the performance of lawful works in the least, injurious manner. 1 Turn. & Myl. 181. 3d. To prevent waste. 3 Tho. Co. Litt. 241, M; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 138; Ed. Inj. ch. 8, 9, and 10; 1 John. Ch. R. 11; 2 Atk. 183. 4th. To prevent the creation of a nuisance, either private or public. 1. Private nuisance; for example, to restrain the owner of a house from making any erections or improvements, so as materially to darken or obstruct the ancient lights and windows of an adjoining house. 2 Russ. R. 121. 2. Public nuisances. Though usual to prosecute the parties who create nuisances, by indictment, yet, in some cases, an injunction may be had to prevent the creating of such nuisance. 5 Ves. 129; 1 Mad. Ch. 156; Ed. Inj. ch. 11.
10.-2d An injunction of the second kind, called the judicial writ, issues subsequently to a decree. It is a direction to yield up, to quit, or to continue possession of lands, and is properly described as being in the nature of an execution. Ed. Inj. 2.
11. Injunctions are also divided into temporary and perpetual. 1. A temporary injunction is one which is granted until some stage of the suit shall be reached; as, until the defendant shall file his answer; until the bearing; and the like. 2. A perpetual injunction is one which is issued when, in the opinion of the court, at the hearing the plaintiff has established a case, which entitles him to an injunction; or when a bill, praying for an injunction, is taken pro confesso; in such cases a perpetual injunction will be decreed. Ed. Inj. 253.
12. The interdict (q. v.) of the Roman law resembles, in many respects, our injunction. It was used in three distinct, but cognate senses. 1. It was applied to signify the edicts made by the proctor, declaratory of his intention to give a remedy in certain cases, chiefly to preserve or to restore possession; this interdict was called edictal; edictale, quod praetoriis edictis proponitur, ut sciant omnes ea forma posse implorari. 2. It was used to signify his order or decree, applying the remedy in the given case before him, and then was called decretal; decretale, quod praetor re nata implorantibus decrevit. It is this which bears a strong resemblance to the injunction of a court of equity. 3. It was used, in the last place, to signify the very remedy sought in the suit commenced under the proctor's edict; and thus it became the denomination of the action itself. Livingston on the Batture case, 5, Am. Law Jour. 271; 2 Story, Eq. Jur. Sec. 865; Analyse des Pandectes de Pothier, h.t.; Dict. du Dig. h.t.; Clef des Lois Rom. h. t.; Heineccii, Elem. Pand. Ps. 6, Sec. 285, 28
Vide, generally, Eden on Injunctions; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 125 to 165; Blake's Ch. Pr. 330 to 344; 1 Chit. Pr. 701 to 731; Coop. Eq. Pl. Index, h. t.; Redesd. Pl. Index, h. t.; Smith's Ch. Pr. h. t.; 14 Vin. Ab. 442; 2 Hov. Supp. to Ves. jr. 173, 434, 442; Com. Dig. Chancery, D 8; Newl. Pr. o. 4, s. 7; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.