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What Is an Injunction?

An injunction is a court order asking someone to do something or forbidding some act.  Common examples of injunctions include:

  • Prohibitions against creating nuisances
  • Preventing a factory from polluting a stream
  • Prohibiting the cutting of trees
  • Stopping a company from infringing upon a patent or copyright

What Are the Main Types of Injunctions?

The three main types of injunctions are:

What Is a Temporary Restraining Order?

A temporary restraining order (a.k.a. TRO) is a short-term injunction issued before a formal court hearing.  A TRO is issued when there is a danger that a delay in issuing an injunction will cause irreparable harm.  The common features associated with a TRO are:

  • It may be granted without a hearing
  • It is of limited duration, usually 10 days
  • It is issued at the beginning of litigation

What Is a Preliminary Injunction?

A preliminary injunction is a court order issued early in a lawsuit, prohibiting a party from doing that which is in dispute until there is a final court judgment.  The factors that affect whether a preliminary injunction is issued are:

  • The likelihood of success for the plaintiffs
  • The public interest must be considered
  • A balancing of the hardships in favor of the plaintiffs
  • Potential irreparable harm to the plaintiff unless the injunction is issued
  • The status quo must be maintained

What Is a Permanent Injunction?

A permanent injunction is a final court order that a party cease certain activities permanently or perform certain acts.  In order for a permanent injunction to be issued, the plaintiff must show evidence of an underlying harm.  Elements that must be proved by a plaintiff to earn a permanent injunction include:

  • That money or other legal damages are inadequate
  • That an important property interest is involved
  • That it is practical for the court to oversee that its decree is followed
  • That there is an evenhanded balancing of hardships in the eyes of the law
  • That no defenses are applicable to the situation at hand

Should I Consult an Attorney about My Injunction Issue?

If you seek an injunction, it is important that you hire a lawyer focusing on the particular area of law where your injunction would be relevant.  For example, if you wish to obtain an injunction against your neighbor for creating a noise nuisance, a property attorney can assist you with that injunction.  Experienced business attorneys can also help to nullify or modify an existing unfair injunction on record against you. 

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 03-05-2018 09:31 PM PST

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