INJUNCTIONS AND TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS: HOW A COURT
TELLS SOMEONE TO “STOP.”
Illinois law recognizes three types of injunctive relief, 1) temporary restraining order, 2)
preliminary injunction, and 3) permanent injunction. County of Boone v. Plote Construction,
Inc., 2017 IL App (2d) 160184 at ¶ 27. Each have unique characteristics, but all are tools to
stop another party from either engaging in an activity, or preventing the other party from
starting an activity.
A temporary restraining order (“TRO”) is the path toward the most immediate, albeit
possibly temporary, relief. Courts can issue a TRO with, or without, notice. 735 ILCS
5/11-101. A TRO entered without notice expires in 10 days in order to maintain due process.
If a TRO is entered with notice, the 10 day expiration date under 735 ILCS 5/11-101 does not
apply. Id. However, a hearing on the validity of the TRO must be held within 10 days.
Plote Construction, 2019 IL App (2d) at ¶ 27. This provides the other party a fair
opportunity to present its side of the story. Id.
A party considering a TRO must raise a fair question about the existence of its rights that
entitle it to relief, and that the court should preserve the status quo until the matter is decided
on the merits. County of DuPage v. Gavrilos, 359 Ill.App.3d 629 (2nd Dist. 2005). Whether
the party is entitled to relief requires a likelihood of success on the merits. Id. at 634-35.
Courts can review evidence and affidavits when considering a party’s likelihood of success.
A TRO issued with notice and for an unlimited duration is the same type of relief as a
preliminary injunction. In re Estate of Wilson, 373 Ill. App. 3d 1066, 1075 (1st Dist. 2007).
However, a TRO that expires requires the prevailing party to seek a preliminary injunction.
A preliminary injunction is granted when the party demonstrates a clear ascertainable right in
need of protection, irreparable harm to the party without an injunction, no adequate remedy
at law for the party’s injury, and that the party has a substantial likelihood of success on the
merits in the underlying action. Franz v. Calaco Development Corp., 322 Ill.App.3d 941,
946 (2nd Dist. 2001). If granted, the preliminary injunction lasts throughout the duration of
the case. Id.
A party with a preliminary injunction that ultimately prevails on the merits of the underlying
case may be entitled to a permanent injunction. Sparks v. Gray, 334 Ill.App.3d 390 (5th Dist.
2002). Permanent injunctions establish the status quo indefinitely. Id. A permanent
injunction is granted when a party has shown irreparable harm, it has no adequate remedy at
law, and the court essentially decides the merits of the case in the party’s favor. Id.
A TRO or preliminary injunction can be a useful tool to stop another’s activity temporarily.
However, a party must ultimately prevail on the underlying merits of the case if it wants
another’s activity ended indefinitely.
For additional reading on injunctions see:
In re Estate of Wilson, 373 Ill.App.3d 1066 (1st Dist. 2007) (temporary restraining orders);
Murphy v. Advocate Health and Hospitals Corp., 2017 IL App (4th) 160513 (preliminary
McDevitt-Follis v. Schenck, 2013 IL App (3d) 110734-U (permanent injunctions).
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