What is a preliminary injunction?
What are the factors that a court must consider when deciding whether to grant a preliminary injunction?
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1. What is a preliminary injunction?
A preliminary injunction is a temporary court order commanding or preventing a specific action. Unlike a permanent injunction, which is issued at the end of trial as part of the court's final decision, a preliminary injunction is issued before or during trial. The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to prevent major injury or damage from occurring while the court is deciding the case. (See also "Injunction"). (1)
It is a court order made in the early stages of a lawsuit or petition which prohibits the parties from doing an act which is in dispute, thereby maintaining the status quo until there is a final judgment after trial. (2)
Examples of injunctions include prohibitions against cutting trees, creating nuisances, picketing which goes beyond the bounds of free speech and assembly, or removing funds from a bank account pending determination of ownership. (4)
2. What are the factors that a court must consider when deciding whether to grant a preliminary injunction?
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION - A preliminary injunction is appropriate if the moving party demonstrates either (1) a probability of success on the merits and a possibility of irreparable injury, or (2) serious questions going to the merits and the balance of hardships tipping sharply in his favor. Chalk v. United States Dist. Ct., 840 F.2d 701, 704 (9th Cir. 1988). These are not discrete tests, but are instead "outer reaches 'of a single continuum.' " Id. (citations omitted).
"The grant or denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction lies within the discretion of the district court, and its order will be reversed only if the court relied on an erroneous legal premise or otherwise abused its discretion." Id. An "abuse of discretion" occurs if the district court misapprehends the applicable legal issues or rests its conclusions on clearly erroneous findings of fact. Id. (3)
Let's look at an example, which explains it in further detail.
Injunctions in Patent Infringement Cases
David V. Radack
One of the remedies available to a patent owner ...
By definition and examples, this solution discusses preliminary injunction and then identifies the factors that a court must consider when deciding whether to grant a preliminary injunction.