The classical notion of lawsuits and litigation is that the defendant has to pay money (damages) to the innocent party as a court-ordered remedy. To be sure, this is the most common remedy, but there are instances in which other remedies are more appropriate. In business litigation–and, specifically, breach of contract claims–injunctive relief is sometimes needed. This blog will provide an overview of injunctive relief and its place in business litigation.
What is Injunctive Relief?
Simply put, injunctive relief is a court-ordered remedy that either compels a party to start doing something or stop doing something. It is sometimes referred to as “remedy in equity.” Injunctive relief is not used very often by courts, but it is appropriate in situations where monetary compensation alone would not be enough to cover a business’s losses.
Breach of Contract
Most businesses are heavily dependent on the contracts they are party to. One party not living up to its side of the contract usually creates big problems for the other side, which is why dropping the hammer of litigation is often necessary. Again, the normal course of action for a successful breach of contract claim is to award monetary damages to the innocent party.
Sometimes, the best way for a business to be remedied in a breach of contract claim is for the court to order an injunction. There are generally two ways that injunctive relief are awarded in a breach of contract claim:
- Specific performance: in this case, the court orders the offending party to perform according to its contractual obligations. Specific performance is commonly awarded in cases where the goods or services to be performed are unique and cannot be replaced by monetary compensation.
- Cancellation: this type of injunctive relief is almost exactly what it sounds like: releasing parties from a specific contract or agreement.
What Needs to Be Shown for a Successful Injunctive Relief Claim?
Courts are usually wary of resorting to entertaining an injunctive relief claim. Generally, the claimant needs to show that “irreparable harm” would result without the injunctive relief. This means, essentially, that monetary damages are insufficient to redress the “substantial and imminent” harm. Other considerations that must be addressed in an injunctive relief claim are whether or not the remedy would present a hardship to the adverse party or advance the public interest.
Temporary Restraining Orders
Sometimes, any delay in issuing an injunction would cause irreparable harm to the innocent party. In these cases, a temporary restraining order to preserve the status quo is necessary to prevent the adverse party from doing irreparable harm. Another temporary remedy is a preliminary injunction, which compels the adverse party to either start or stop something while the case is awaiting resolution.
Injunctive relief for breach of contract or any other reason is an urgent matter. Successfully litigating such a claim is not easy, though, and always requires competent legal counsel. Trembly Law Firm is well-equipped to help you reach a solution in any commercial dispute; reach out to us through our website or call us at 305-431-5678 to get started.