Injunctive relief may be appropriate when a party needs immediate relief and cannot wait until the case is over (i.e. after trial) to obtain the relief it is seeking.  Civil lawsuits can take upwards of months or years to resolve, depending on the complexity of the matter. Injunctive relief is available if a party may incur irreparable harm if the relief is not granted at the beginning of the case.

Injunctive relief may be appropriate to maintain the status quo or prohibit a party from acting. For example, a party may seek injunctive relief to stop a former employee from removing items from his employer, stop a partner from removing funds from a bank account after the break-up of a partnership, prohibit a party from acting under a power of attorney that has been rescinded, or to prohibit the sale of assets which would should be used to pay a judgment against the party. 

A party can seek a temporary restraining order (“TRO”), which is initially granted ex-parte, without the other party or its legal counsel being present.  If the court grants the TRO, it lasts up to 14 days or until a full hearing on the preliminary injunction, which includes all the parties to the case. 

The court will look at the following factors in determining whether to grant the party’s request for an injunction: is there substantial likelihood of success that the party seeking the injunction will prevail on the merits? Is there irreparable injury if the injunctive relief is not granted? Is there an unjustifiable harm to the third party? Would the injunction serve the public interest? If the party obtains the preliminary injunction and is successful on its claims in the underlying lawsuit, it can ask the court to issue a permanent injunction that will extend the relief for finite period of time.

Dworken & Bernstein has experience seeking and defending requests for injunctions for its clients.  The discussions regarding the cost/ benefit analysis is especially important in this context because seeking an injunction is a time and resource intense endeavor.  The party can depend on us to provide a succinct analysis of the issues and a road map of the options.

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