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What Is A Preliminary Injunction (Explained: All You Need To Know)

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What is a preliminary injunction?

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What Is A Preliminary Injunction

A preliminary injunction is a type of injunction that is granted by the court at the start of legal proceedings or during the trial with the primary objective of maintaining the status quo between the parties.

In other words, a preliminary judgment is granted to avoid a party from suffering irreparable harm while the matter is heard by the court on its merits.

When a court renders a preliminary injunction, the court’s decision is classified as a type of interlocutory order.

If a party wishes to challenge the court’s interlocutory order, it can file an interlocutory appeal by following the court rules of procedure.

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Preliminary Injunction Legal Definition

The legal definition of a preliminary injunction can vary depending on the jurisdiction.

However, the following is a broader definition of a preliminary injunction that can apply to most jurisdictions:

A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary type of remedy ordered by the court ordering a party to perform or refrain from performing a particular act, conduct, or activity before the final judgment on the merits of the case is issued
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As you can see from this definition, the court’s objective is to keep the parties in the same state (the status quo) during the time the lawsuit is pending before the courts.

How To Obtain A Preliminary Injunction

Although the specific rules can vary depending on the applicable court rules, you must demonstrate a few key elements to get a preliminary injunction awarded.

The first element you must prove is that you will suffer irreparable harm if the court does not grant you the preliminary injunction.

Irreparable harm is a type of prejudice or damage that even the court’s judgment on the merits of the case can no longer remedy.

For example, a company is sued for infringing another company’s trademark.

The plaintiff will seek a preliminary injunction, so the court orders the infringing party to cease the illegal use of the trademark until the matter is heard on its merits.

In addition to the irreparable harm, the court will consider each party’s likelihood of winning the case and the public or private interests at play.

Filing

The preliminary injunction is filed before the same court where a new lawsuit is initiated, or a lawsuit is pending.

It’s important to remember that when you file a preliminary injunction request at the beginning of a lawsuit, you should ensure that you properly lay out the facts on the case’s merits.

The court will assess whether or not your complaint has a reasonable chance of success in its evaluation of granting a preliminary injunction.

Notice 

You are required to give notice to the adverse party before presenting your motion for a preliminary injunction to the court.

Without notice, the court will not hear your request.

If the matter is subject to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the notice must be given in accordance with Rule 5.

Bond

If you obtain a preliminary injunction, you should remember that you may be required to post a bond.

The amount and nature of the bond will be determined by the court based on the court’s assessment of the case.

This bond will compensate the adverse party in case you wrongfully obtained a preliminary injunctive relief against it.

Hearing

Typically, any judge within the proper jurisdiction and venue can hear the case to the extent they are authorized to hear in-chamber matters.

After the hearing, the court will grant or deny the moving party’s motion.

The court can also render an order that it considers appropriate in the circumstances.

Preliminary Injunction Laws

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the United States, preliminary injunctions are governed by Rule 65.

Under Rule 65, a party is required to issue a notice to the adverse party.

A temporary restraining order can also be issued without notice based on the filing of specific facts outlined in the party’s affidavit along with the moving party’s certification that efforts have been made to give the adverse party notice.

On the other hand, the rules governing preliminary injunctions further to state laws vary from one state to another.

It’s important that you review the state laws to grasp the requirements of a preliminary injunction correctly.

For example, in California, Section 527 of the California Code of Civil Procedure states that “a preliminary injunction may be granted at any time before judgment upon a verified complaint, or upon affidavits if the complaint in the one case, or the affidavits in the other, show satisfactorily that sufficient grounds exist therefor”.

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Preliminary Injunction vs Temporary Injunction 

What is the difference between a preliminary injunction and temporary injunction?

A preliminary injunction typically occurs at the beginning of a lawsuit where one party seeks that the court order the other party to do or refrain from doing something.

Since the case is just starting and the parties have not gathered all the evidence on the merits, the court will only issue a preliminary injunction based on serious facts.

To award this extraordinary remedy, the court will consider the extent of the moving party’s irreparable harm along with the party’s overall chance of success in the case.

Also, what’s particular with preliminary injunctions is that the courts will issue such orders only after the adverse party has received a notice for the hearing.

On the other hand, a temporary injunction is similar to a preliminary injunction with the main difference that the court issues the order without notice to the adverse party.

Typically, there must be a higher level of urgency and prejudice that can be caused to the moving party for the court to award a temporary injunction.

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Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What does a preliminary injunction mean?

In a nutshell, a preliminary injunction is a type of court order in which a party asks that the court order another party to do or stop doing something damaging to the moving party.

In many jurisdictions, preliminary injunctions are considered extraordinary relief granted by the courts.

Typically, the court will grant the preliminary injunction when the moving party shows that it could suffer irreparable harm and has a good potential of succeeding on the merits of the case.

The court rules can vary depending on the nature of the lawsuit and where the preliminary injunction is sought.

If you have received a preliminary injunction or want to file one, consult a litigation attorney to advise you on the best course of action.

Now that you know the meaning of a preliminary injunction and how it works, good luck with your research!

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Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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