Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) and Preliminary Injunctions

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An injunction is a legal remedy which restrains one party from acting in a certain way. This form of relief is generally only available when there are no other solutions available and irreparable harm will result without the injunction.

Injunctions can be granted in cases involving employment, trade secret, breach of fiduciary duty, and other cases.

Courts grant injunctions to prevent one party from taking a certain action, when monetary damages would not be enough to compensate for a plaintiff’s injuries. A court can grant injunctive relief before a case is decided with a temporary restraining order (TRO) or preliminary injunction (PI). Often the time between filing a motion and the court hearing for a preliminary injunction is short, so it can be difficult prepare for.

Comparison Between TROs and PIs

Courts issue TROs to prevent irreparable harm to the plaintiff while the case is being decided. If there is no opposing party, a TRO can be issued ex parte, or in an emergency manner. TROs can be issued for up to 14 days in federal court, after which they can only be extended with good cause shown.

PIs are not normally as expedited, which gives parties more time to prepare for the hearing. A PI remains in effect while litigation is pending unless the court modifies the PI.

Motions for both TROs and PIs are generally evaluated the same way. While it may vary from one jurisdiction to the next, in most cases the person requesting a TRO or PI must prove the following four factors:

  1. They are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim.
  2. They will likely suffer irreparable harm without the TRO or PI.
  3. The balance of equities supports the plaintiff. This means that the harm that would be caused to the plaintiff without the injunction is greater than the harm that would be caused to the defendant if the injunction is granted.
  4. The TRO or PI serves the public interest.

Courts are more likely to closely scrutinize these factors in a PI case than in a TRO.

Conclusion

If you need to file an injunction – whether a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction – meet with your trusted Chugh, LLP legal professional to gain insight into your specific case.

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