Seeking Injunctive Relief From the Court When a Lawsuit is About to Be Filed

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann, a Freehold, NJ Business & Corporate Litigation Law Firm

When seeking injunctive relief (an injunction means putting “a halt” to the claimed offensive conduct of the defendant), time is often limited and a strategic decision regarding the claims to be made have to be made quickly. The following guidelines should be considered when understanding the analysis.

  • The Chancery Division of the New Jersey Superior Court offers judges and court personnel highly experienced in handling complaints for injunctive relief.
  • The Chancery Division of each county has an assigned general equity judge thereby offering greater predictability with respect to judicial assignments.
  • In a recent case, the state’s Appellate Division lowered the standard for successfully seeking injunctive relief by ruling that it was reversible error to deny an application for injunctive relief when the plaintiffs failed to establish a likelihood of success “without consideration of the other factors which our courts have articulated over the decades as the basis for successfully obtaining injunctive relief.”
  • Unlike the Federal Courts which mandate the posting of security when moving for injunctive relief, there is no such requirement in NJ state court.

These procedural and statutory distinctions were discussed in detail in the April 2014 issue of New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, in an article titled “Injunction Practice in New Jersey State and Federal Courts”. Therefore, this article will focus on another important factor that guides both the federal and state courts in deciding whether to grant injunctive relief: irreparable harm.

Irreparable Harm in the Justifying an Injunction

State Court

The showing of irreparable harm is an essential element of obtaining injunctive relief in New Jersey. Indeed, the “object of an injunction is to prevent threatening consequences which should be averted until opportunity is offered for a full and deliberate investigation of the case”. Harm is generally considered irreparable if it cannot be redressed with monetary damages, which may be inadequate because of the nature of the injury and the right affected.

Standards of Irreparable Harm in the Federal District Court of New Jersey

Irreparable harm has been defined in the District of New Jersey as “potential harm which cannot be redressed by a legal or an equitable remedy following a trial.” The harm “must be of a peculiar nature, so that compensation in money cannot atone for it”.

“Establishing a risk of irreparable harm is not enough says the Federal bench. A party seeking a preliminary injunction must make a clear showing of immediate irreparable injury.” “Mere speculation as to an injury that will result, in the absence of any facts supporting such a claim, is insufficient to demonstrate irreparable harm”.

To discuss your injunctive relief or corporate litigation matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

 

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