Understanding Injunctions in Business Disputes
An injunction is an order from a court that requires someone to either do something or to refrain from doing something. It is used in business disputes to prevent one side from getting an unfair advantage over the other, or to prevent further harm from being caused to either party. If one side violates the injunction, they can be held in contempt of court.
Injunctions can be granted as either temporary or permanent, although most are temporary. A temporary injunction is usually used to ensure the status quo is maintained while a dispute is ongoing, while a permanent injunction generally serves to stop the same action from taking place in perpetuity. Injunctions are usually one-sided, so they are normally only issued against one party, although in some cases two parties may agree to abide by an injunction.
Different Types of Injunctions and Their Use
Injunctions can be categorized broadly into two main types: prohibitory injunctions and mandatory injunctions. A prohibitory injunction is used to order someone to stop performing an illegal or wrongful act. An example of this could be an injunction issued to prevent a business from infringing on another company’s intellectual property. On the other hand, a mandatory injunction is used to compel someone to perform a certain act, such as to repay a debt.
Injunctions can also be differentiated by their scope. A dissolutory injunction is typically used to enforce a contract or to settle an existing dispute, while a perpetual injunction is used to prevent further harm being caused.
The Process of Obtaining an Injunction
The process of obtaining an injunction begins with filing for one in court. When filing for an injunction, you must provide evidence to the court to show that an imminent and irreparable harm could be caused if the injunction is not granted. Such evidence often includes sworn testimony, affidavits from experts, and other documents to support your claim. The court will then decide whether to grant the injunction based on the evidence presented.
To obtain a temporary injunction, you must prove not only that a harm could be imminent, but also that it is likely. If the court determines that the harm is not likely, it will likely deny the temporary injunction. You must also specify the length of time for which the injunction should remain in force. Courts have the discretionary power to grant permanent injunctions, but this is usually only done if there is evidence to indicate that permanent protection is necessary in order to prevent further harm.