Temporary Restraining Orders, Preliminary Injunctions, and Personal Injury Law
Temporary restraining orders or TRO’s are defined as short-term pre-trial temporary injunctions. An injunction is a court order that requires a person to do or cease doing a specific action. Temporary restraining orders state that the recipient must refrain from certain activities or stay away from a location or person. Temporary restraining orders can be used in personal injury law to prevent the defendant from doing something that could cause irreparable harm if the court does not immediately issue the order.
In personal injury law, temporary restraining orders are only active until a preliminary injunction hearing can be held. A preliminary injunction is an order that prohibits an action to preserve the status quo until final judgment.
For example, in personal injury law, temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are usually filed to prevent a defendant from selling off, transferring or destroying assets, which plaintiffs may receive a judgment on if damages exceed insurance policy limits.
Temporary restraining orders expire after 14 days and can be renewed if deemed necessary but preliminary injunctions are held up until final judgment.
What Needs to Be Present to File a Temporary Restraining Order
It is important to note that temporary restraining order rules can vary from state to state. Federal courts are governed by Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which is referenced in this blog.
To obtain a temporary restraining order, a judge must be convinced that immediate and irreparable injury will occur if the order is not issued. Temporary restraining orders can be issued without notice to the other party if:
- Specific facts in an affidavit or a verified complaint clearly show that irreparable injury, loss or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition; and
- The movant’s attorney certifies in writing that any efforts made to give notice and the reasons why it should not be required.
Temporary restraining orders issued without notice must be promptly filed in the clerk’s office and state:
- The date and hour the order was issued;
- The injury and why it’s irreparable; and
- Why the order was issued without notice.
After the temporary restraining order has been granted, a hearing for preliminary injunction must be set as soon as possible. A preliminary injunction hearing will take precedence over all other matters in a case, unless there are hearings on older matters of the same degree.
Preliminary injunctions may be granted if the movant can show a likelihood of success on the merits and a reasonable probability that a great harm will occur for which compensatory damages would be inadequate. Much like temporary restraining orders, the prerequisites required for the issuance of a preliminary injunction vary by state. But in federal courts, preliminary injunctions are also governed by Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
According to Rule 65, every injunction and restraining order granted must contain:
- The reason why the order was issued, its specific terms, and describe in reasonable detail the acts restrained or required.
- The persons bound by the order.
If you have questions about a personal injury case, contact a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and personal injury law law firm, like The law office of Eglet Adams, for answers and the next steps.