Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms
Injunction relief—also known as injunctive relief or simply as an injunction—is a court order that prohibits an organization or an individual from taking a specific action. Conversely, an injunction may also require an entity to take a certain action.
The main intent behind injunction relief is to limit or prevent actions that could cause irreparable damage to another person or entity. It’s often used when monetary compensation is not considered enough to right the wrongdoing of the entity receiving the injunction.
Injunctions are categorized by two different variables: the effect they have and their level of permanency.
Mandatory Injunctions: This effect requires a party to take specific action as their form of reparation.
Prohibitory Injunctions: This requires individuals or companies to cease a certain action.
Permanent Injunctions: These injunctions are made at the end of the trial and do not have a set duration.
Preliminary/Temporary Injunctions: Preliminary injunctions are made at the beginning of a trial to prevent the defending party from taking further actions that may harm the prosecuting party during the trial’s proceedings.
Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs): TROs are injunctions that only last for a short amount of time. For example, a TRO may only last a maximum of two weeks (although it can be renewed if the court so orders).
There are many scenarios when injunction relief will most likely be used to settle a legal dispute. Here are some of the most common examples:
Theft of Clients: If a former employee poaches a company’s clients, the innocent party may try to stop the former client from causing further damage. While the severity of this penalty depends on a few variables, a TRO can put client theft to a necessary stop. Then, the two parties can work out an agreement on how to address the issue.
Breach of Contract: Injunctive relief is an effective way to stop an offending party from continuing to breach a contract. This can help realign their performance to work under the contract’s parameters.
Bankruptcy: When a company or person declares bankruptcy, they forfeit their assets to help pay off their debts. During this time, an injunction may be placed on creditors to keep them from collecting debts while this procedure continues.
Intellectual Property Infringement: When an unauthorized party uses the likeness of licensed intellectual property, the owner of the property can request injunction relief to limit the misuse of their property. Most often, this kind of injunction is permanent.
Injunctions can offer relief where monetary compensation does not suffice or is not appropriate. For example, in the case of bankruptcy, it is more appropriate to ask debt collectors to halt their collection efforts than to request financial rewards.
Another way injunctions can offer relief is by limiting further damage that an entity may cause. In the case of intellectual property infringement, allowing the offending party to continue can seriously harm the licensed property; halting the infringement is the most fiscally responsible tactic.
The primary purpose of injunction relief is to prevent future harm from occurring. If the offending entity continues to operate in lieu of the injunction, they may receive jail time or be charged further fees.