What is an Injunction?

Businesses often consult with attorneys on when and how an injunction is appropriately sought.   An injunction is a legal remedy granted by a court that prohibits an individual or entity from engaging in certain harmful conduct. In the context of business, injunctions are a powerful tool that can prevent a business from being damaged while a legal matter is pending before the court on its full merits. The injunction’s effect and purpose is to keep the status quo until a trial will occur.

For a recent excellent example, the rooftop owners near Wrigley Field filed an action seeking an injunction against the beloved Chicago Cubs. The purpose of the injunction was to halt construction on Wrigley Field, including the addition of scoreboards that would impede rooftop views into the stadium. The basis of the rooftop owners’ legal argument was premised upon a breach of a contract entered into by the collective rooftop owners and the Cubs. However, the rooftop owners would have been irreparably harmed if construction on the Field began while the breach of contract lawsuit sat in the courts for years until the matter was ready for trial.

In Illinois, to obtain an injunction the petitioner must demonstrate that: (1) there is an ascertainable legal claim; (2) there is a likelihood the petitioner will be successful in bringing their claim; (3) the petitioner will be irreparably harmed if an injunction is not granted before a trial on the merits can occur; and (4) there is no adequate remedy at law – meaning, there is no legal or equitable remedy at law which will make the petitioner whole after a trial.

Situations Where An Injunction Should Be Considered:

  • Sale or Destruction of Property
  • Misappropriation of Intellectual Property
  • Breaches of Non-Competes
  • A Shareholder Who Desires to Prevent Waste of Corporate Assets