An injunction is an order from the court prohibiting the person or entity from doing an act, continuing the act, or mandating them to perform a specified act.
The person seeking an injunction, which most of the time is the Plaintiff, must show two things: (1) “irreparable harm” and (2) “lack of an adequate remedy at law”, i.e. money damages will not suffice.
There are several types of injunctions and each will be discussed below with examples to help illustrate the situations one would seek these types of injunctions.
A mandatory injunction is an order that requires a Defendant to perform a specified act. A mandatory injunction is known as an extraordinary remedy and is usually only granted in unusual situations.
A Court may grant a Mandatory injunction, if a Plaintiff shows:
A prohibitory injunction, as the name implies, prohibits a Defendant from performing an act. The purpose of a prohibitory injunction is either to maintain the status quo, restrain the on-going wrong, or to prevent the anticipated future wrongful act.
A court may have good cause to grant a Prohibitory Injunction, if a Defendant has a “reasonable cause to believe that the wrong [complained of] is one that would cause irreparable injury and the wrong is actually threatened or apprehended with reasonable probability.” See Cty. of Washington v. City of Bristol, 63 Va. Cir. 450 (2003) (citing WTAR Radio-TV Corp. v. City Council of City of Virginia Beach, 216 Va. 892, 894-95, 223 S.E.2d 895, 898 (1976)).
Temporary injunctions include temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions. A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a remedy where a court immediately orders the Defendant to perform or refrain from performing a specified act until the court can make a determination on a motion for a preliminary injunction. A preliminary injunction is a remedy where a court orders a someone to perform, or refrain from performing a specified act until the there is a judgment on the case.
Temporary injunctions are limited in their duration and their purpose is to stop the harmful act(s) or prevent them from happening while the case is being litigated.
A court may grant a Temporary Injunction if a Plaintiff demonstrates: (1) likelihood of success on the merits of their case and (2) that they will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted.
An ex-parte injunction is one that is issued without giving prior notice to the Defendant. These usually only occur in extreme circumstances of urgency. There must be an extreme pressing necessity for the injunction and the harm complained of must be imminent and irreparable should it occur.
Permanent injunctions are final and typically last for an indefinite period of time.
A court may grant a Permanent Injunction if the Plaintiff demonstrates the: (1) likelihood of success on the merits of their case and (2) that they will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted.