A permanent injunction represents a significant legal victory: It’s an order from the court that indicates that the complaining party has proven their assertion that another person or entity’s actions are causing either injustice or irreparable harm and that the defendant must cease whatever action they were threatening or pursuing.

A business can pursue injunctive relief for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • Trade secrets having been stolen or misappropriated
  • A non-compete agreement being violated
  • Business partner or employee misusing company assets or stealing from the company or clients
  • Breach of a licensing agreement
  • Breach of contract
  • A minority shareholder in a closely-held family business being terminated or excluded from business decisions.

To decide in favor of a permanent injunction, a court has to agree that the complaining party, or plaintiff, has established four elements: that irreparable injury has occurred; that monetary damages are inadequate to compensate the plaintiff for the injury; that an injunction is appropriate when balancing the hardships between the plaintiff and the defendant; and that the public interest would not be harmed as a result of issuing the permanent injunction.

If the court agrees that a permanent injunction is in order, there are two kinds of relief available: prohibitory and mandatory injunctions. While a prohibitory injunction orders the offending party to stop acting in a certain manner, a mandatory injunction directs them to pursue an action.

Once an injunction is in place, the question remains as to how it can be enforced. What actually stops the defendant from continuing to pursue harmful actions?

The courts offer a variety of consequences and solutions to intransigence once the permanent injunction has been issued and the enjoined party has been served with a copy of the ruling.  If the court or the party that obtained the injunction finds that the enjoined party is failing to comply, the court may hold them in contempt, which can then result in penalties, fines, and even imprisonment depending upon the situation.

Other options available in case of non-compliance with a permanent injunction are the seizure of the perpetrator’s assets or property, as well as taking further legal action with more significant remedies as a consequence of the contempt being shown.

If you need assistance with any aspect of seeking or enforcing an injunction, we can help. Contact us today to set up a time for us to talk.