An interim injunction, also known as a preliminary injunction, temporary injunction or interlocutory injunction, is a court order issued during the course of a legal proceeding that temporarily restrains a party from taking certain actions or compels them to perform specific actions until a final judgment is reached in the case. It serves as a provisional or temporary remedy to address urgent and potentially irreparable harm that may occur before the case is fully adjudicated. Because it would be unjust to the defendant who suffers judicial punishment before the conclusion of his case where he may win, interim injunctions are only granted when certain conditions are met.
Likelihood of success: The party seeking the interim injunction (the plaintiff or petitioner) must demonstrate to the court that they have a strong likelihood of succeeding on the merits of their case when it goes to trial. In other words, they need to show that their legal claims are likely to be valid.
Irreparable harm: The party seeking the injunction must prove that they will suffer irreparable harm if the court does not grant the injunction. Irreparable harm means that the damage cannot be adequately compensated with monetary damages, and it cannot be remedied if the injunction is granted after a final judgment.
Balance of harms: The court will weigh the potential harm that the party seeking the injunction would face if the injunction is not granted against the potential harm that the opposing party would face if it is granted. The court will consider the equities and fairness of the situation.
Public interest: The court may also consider the public interest when deciding whether to grant an interim injunction. In some cases, the public interest may be a factor that tips the balance in favour of or against the injunction.
Interim injunctions can be used in a wide range of legal disputes, including those involving contract disputes, intellectual property rights, property rights, personal safety, trade secrets, and more. They are often sought when there is a need for immediate relief or when waiting for a final judgment would be impractical or result in significant harm.
Interim injunctions are temporary in nature and are intended to maintain the status quo or provide temporary relief until the legal case is fully adjudicated. Once a final judgment is reached, the court's decision will supersede the interim injunction. Violating an interim injunction can result in legal consequences, including contempt of court charges.