An injunction prevents or compels a particular act by court order. An injunction may either be prohibitory or mandatory. A prohibitory injunction prevents action, leaving the parties in the same position as they were prior to the injunction. Conversely, a mandatory injunction compels an affirmative act, causing a change in the position of the parties. The latter type is harder to obtain.

Before a case is heard, courts will generally consider four factors when determining whether to grant a preliminary injunction:

  1. Whether the movant will be irreparably injured if the injunction is denied
  2. Whether the movant is likely to prevail on the merits
  3. The balance of harms between the movant and respondent if the injunction is granted
  4. The public interest

After a case has been tried, the plaintiff may move for a permanent injunction.

Mr. Patterson wrote the book on preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders in business disputes: Handling the Business Emergency: Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions (ABA 2009). Michael Haeberle is now preparing a second edition at the request of the American Bar Association. For a copy of the book, click here.


If you are seeking an injunction or need assistance in defending against an injunction, get in touch with us at (312) 223-1699 or email Thomas E. Patterson at or Michael Haeberle at

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