INJUNCTIONS: ANOTHER TOOL A COURT CAN USE TO SOLVE A PROBLEM.
In its most basic terms, an Injunction is an order from a Court that forces an individual to either do something, or stop doing something. A Court may issue an Injunction after a plaintiff files a lawsuit that requests one of three types: 1) a Temporary Restraining Order, 2) a Preliminary Injunction, or 3) a Permanent Injunction.
Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions share much in common. Both are granted only for a specific length of time. In addition, five factors are considered by the Court in its decision to grant a Temporary Restraining Order or a Preliminary Injunction.
To obtain a Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction, the plaintiff must have a right in need of protection. Second, the plaintiff must be likely to eventually succeed in obtaining a Permanent Injunction. Third, the plaintiff must face harm without the Injunction (this could be to plaintiff’s person, property, or other type of harm). Fourth, the plaintiff must not have another way to obtain relief from the other party’s actions. Finally, the Court must balance the hardship on the plaintiff if the Injunction were not granted, against the hardship placed on the other party is an Injunction is ordered.
Permanent Injunctions are similar to Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunction, but a Permanent Injunction lasts for an indefinite period of time.
Before the Court will grant a Permanent Injunction, a plaintiff must demonstrate at trial that 1) plaintiff has a right in need of protection, 2) plaintiff will be harmed without the Injunction, and 3) an Injunction is plaintiff’s only way to obtain relief from the other party’s actions.
For example, assume that your neighbor constructs a large television satellite on his roof. The neighbor will not remove the satellite and part of the satellite hangs off the neighbor’s house over your property.
A Temporary Restraining Order will not help at this point – the satellite was already built. A Preliminary Injunction is similarly problematic because you want the satellite removed permanently.
As a result, you seek a Permanent Injunction. You have a right in need of protection, namely the right to not have your property encroached upon by your neighbor’s satellite. You suffered harm due to the satellite because of its encroachment and possible loss to your property’s value. Finally, a Permanent Injunction is the only way you can obtain relief from the Court. There are likely no money damages you incurred yet, and the effect on your property’s value is difficult to measure.
You may be entitled to a Permanent Injunction where the Court orders your neighbor to remove the satellite and not have it re-constructed.
Having a good attorney can help understanding how Injunctions may affect you or your property in a situation where money damages may not be available.