What Are Permanent Injunctions?
A permanent injunction is a final court order that a party ceases certain activities permanently or performs certain acts. In order for a permanent injunction to be issued, the plaintiff must show evidence of an underlying harm.
One of the elements needed for a court to issue a permanent injunction is that no applicable affirmative defense can be raised against the plaintiff who seeks the injunction. The affirmative defenses the defendant may raise include:
- In pari delicto
- Freedom of speech
- Criminal activity
Laches describes the situation where a party is barred from earning an injunction because there was either negligent and/or long, unreasonable delay on bringing the matter to the courts attention. This rule exists because the law does not wish to allow parties to bring about claims which are in effect a "legal ambush" because they are no longer relevant to the situation at hand. For example, someone who has a legitimate claim against his former employer for racial discrimination, but who waited five years to bring a suit, may loose their right to file for injunction because those who engaged in the discrimination have passed on or left the company.
In pari delicto is a Latin phrase meaning "in equal fault." This doctrine bars a plaintiff who has participated in wrongdoing from recovering damages for loss resulting from the wrongdoing.
The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression. A court cannot order anyone to refrain from saying or expressing something he or she is entitled to express. However, a person may possibly still be sued for any defamatory speech he or she engages in, even if an injunction cannot be ordered against them.
Generally, one cannot be refrained from engaging in criminal conduct or activities as criminal punishment is deemed to be sufficient punishment and deterrence from engaging in that behavior again. However, if a court deems criminal punishment to be insufficient or if defendant threatens to commit a crime then an injunction may be issued.
An experienced business attorney can help defend you against an impending injunction hearing. In addition, if you are unhappy with an injunction issued against you, an experienced attorney can help to bring a suit to nullify or modify the injunction.