Chapter 8-1 Temporary Injunction

JurisdictionUnited States

8-1 Temporary Injunction

8-1:1 Overview

The purpose of a temporary injunction is to maintain the status quo of the litigation's subject matter and to prevent probable, irreparable injury pending trial of the case on its merits. Injunctive relief may be based on the application of general equitable principles or on express authorization contained in statute. only after notice and a hearing may a temporary injunction be issued to maintain the status quo. A temporary injunction remains in force until, and expires upon, entry of final judgment if not previously dissolved by the court. In the context of business litigation, equitable relief is the usual remedy for the use or disclosure of trade secrets.

8-1:1.1 Related Causes of Action

Permanent Injunction, Temporary Restraining order, Breach of Covenant not to Compete, Misappropriation of trade Secrets, tortious Interference with Business Relations, Statutory Trademark Infringement


Butnaru v. Ford Motor Co., 84 S.W.3d 198 (Tex. 2002) (elements)

In re Texas Nat. Res. Conservation Comm'n, 85 S.W.3d 201 (Tex. 2002)

Walling v. Metcalfe, 863 S.W.2d 56 (Tex. 1993)

8-1:2 Elements

(1) A pleaded and proven cause of action against the defendant1:

• The applicant must plead and prove a cause of action against the defendant.2
• A trial court may grant a temporary injunction to preserve the status quo pending trial even though the applicant's prayer does not include a claim for equitable relief following determination of the merits.3

(2) A probable right to the relief sought4, and

• A probable right of recovery is shown by alleging a cause of action and presenting evidence tending to sustain it.5
• A party does not have to establish it will prevail on final trial, rather the court must decide whether the applicant is entitled to preservation of the status quo pending trial on the merits.6

(3) A probable, imminent, and irreparable injury in the interim7:

• Probable injury includes the elements of imminent harm, irreparable injury and no adequate remedy at law.8
• In equity, the general rule is that before injunctive relief can be obtained, it must appear that there does not exist an adequate remedy at law.9
• An adequate remedy is one that is as complete, practical, and efficient to the prompt administration of justice as is equitable relief.10
• An injury is irreparable if the injured party cannot be adequately compensated in damages, or if the damages cannot be measured by any certain pecuniary standard.11
• Disruption to a business can be irreparable harm.12
• A showing of irreparable injury is not required to obtain a temporary injunction to enforce a covenant not to compete.13
• The claimed injury cannot be merely speculative, as fear and apprehension of injury are not sufficient to support a temporary injunction.14

8-1:3 Damages and Remedies

8-1:3.1 Injunction Order

Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 683 and 684 set forth the specific requirements for every order granting an injunction:

• Set forth the reasons for its issuance;
• Be specific in terms;
• Describe in reasonable detail, and not by reference to the complaint or other document, the act or acts sought to be restrained; and
• Include an order setting the cause for trial on the merits with respect to the ultimate relief sought.

Further, in the order granting the temporary injunction, the court shall fix the amount of security to be given by the applicant; such an order is binding only upon the parties to the action, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and upon those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise.15

These procedural requirements are mandatory, and an order that does not meet them is subject to being declared void and dissolved.16

8-1:3.2 Scope of Injunction

The court must set out in the temporary injunction order the reasons it believes the applicant will suffer injury if it does not grant the injunction.17

The reasons must be specific and legally sufficient, not merely conclusory statements.18

An injunction should be broad enough to prevent a repetition of the wrong sought to be corrected, but not so broad that it enjoins a party from lawful activities.19

A temporary injunction operates until dissolved by an interlocutory order or until the final hearing of the case.20

8-1:4 Defenses

8-1:4.1 Unclean Hands

Courts recognize that one who comes seeking equity must come with clean hands.21

A party may not obtain injunctive relief if its own wrongful conduct injured the other party.22

The complaining party must have been the party harmed by the allegedly improper conduct.23

8-1:4.2 Laches

Delay, coupled with disadvantage to another, are the essential elements of laches.24

Latches does not bar recovery unless allowing the action would work a grave injustice. If a party, knowing its rights, takes no steps to enforce those rights, and the condition of the other party, in good faith, has become so changed that the other party cannot be resorted to its former state, laches may bar equitable relief.25

8-1:5 Procedural Implications

8-1:5.1 Jurisdiction

When an injunction is sought against a resident of this state, jurisdiction is proper in either a district or...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT