Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Temporary Injunction – When can the trial court judge grant immediate injunctive relief?

   
TEMPORARY INJUNCTION REQUIREMENTS 
 
Elements of claim for temporary injunctive relief A trial court has broad discretion in deciding whether to deny a temporary injunction. Butnaru v. Ford Motor Co., 84 S.W.3d 198, 204 (Tex. 2002). We review the denial of a temporary injunction for a clear abuse of discretion without addressing the merits of the underlying case. Walling v. Metcalfe, 863 S.W.2d 56, 58 (Tex. 1993). We will uphold the trial court’s determination against issuing injunctive relief unless the trial court’s action was so arbitrary that it exceeded the bounds of reasonable discretion. Butnaru, 84 S.W.3d at 204. In reviewing the trial court’s exercise of discretion, the appellate court must draw all legitimate inferences from the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court’s decision. EMS USA, Inc. v. Shary, 309 S.W.3d 653, 657 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, no pet.). When, as here, no findings of fact or conclusions of law are filed, the trial court’s determination of whether to grant or deny a temporary injunction must be upheld on any legal theory supported by the record. Id. An applicant for a temporary injunction seeks extraordinary relief. In re Tex. Natural Res. Conservation Comm’n, 85 S.W.3d 201, 204 (Tex. 2002). The sole issue before the trial court in a temporary injunction hearing is whether the applicant may preserve the status quo of the litigation’s subject matter pending trial on the merits. Davis v. Huey, 571 S.W.2d 859, 862 (Tex. 1978). The status quo is the last actual, peaceable, noncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. RP & R, Inc. v. Territo, 32 S.W.3d 396, 402 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2000, no pet.) What must the applicant for temporary injunctive relief show? To obtain a temporary injunction, the applicant must plead a cause of action against the defendant and show both a probable right to recover on that cause of action and a probable, imminent, and irreparable injury in the interim. EMS USA, Inc. v. Shary, 309 S.W.3d 653, 657 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, no pet.) (citing Butnaru, 84 S.W.3d at 204). To show a probable right of recovery, the applicant must plead and present evidence to sustain the pleaded cause of action. Id. An injury is irreparable when the injured party cannot be adequately compensated in damages or if damages cannot be measured by any certain pecuniary standard. Id. An existing legal remedy is adequate if it is as complete, practical, and efficient to the ends of justice and its prompt administration as is equitable relief. Hilb, Rogal & Hamilton Co. of Texas v. Wurzman, 861 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Tex. App.—Dallas 1993, no writ.). There is no adequate remedy at law if the plaintiff cannot calculate damages or if a defendant is incapable of responding in damages. Id. The party applying for a temporary injunction has the burden of production, which is the burden of offering some evidence that establishes a probable right to recover and a probable interim injury. Dallas Anesthesiology Associates, P.A. v. Texas Anesthesia Group, P.A., 190 S.W.3d 891, 897 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2006, no pet.). If an applicant does not discharge its burden, it is not entitled to injunctive relief. Id. The applicant for a temporary injunction bears the burden to present evidence sufficient to demonstrate a probable, imminent, and irreparable injury. The harm is irreparable when the injured party cannot be adequately compensated in damages or if the damages cannot be measured by any certain pecuniary standard. EMS USA, 309 S.W.3d at 657. Based on the evidence in the appellate record, the trial court could have reasonably concluded that monetary damages would adequately compensate appellant for any alleged loss of investment if it prevailed at trial. Daily Int’l Sales Corp. v. Eastman Whipstock, Inc., 662 S.W.2d 60, 64 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1983, no writ). An applicant for a temporary injunction has the burden to establish all of the requirements for a temporary injunction. A trial court has broad discretion to determine whether the applicant met that burden. Hilb, Rogal & Hamilton Co. of Texas, 861 S.W.2d at 33. [The appellate court concludes] that, when viewed in the light most favorable to the trial court’s order, the evidence supports the trial court’s refusal to grant injunctive relief. Therefore, [the reviewing court ] concludes the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying appellant’s application for a temporary injunction.

 SOURCE: Houston Court of Appeals - 14-10-00992-CV – 6/9/11
 
RELATED LEGAL TERMS: temporary injunction, restraining order, TRO, permanent injunction, injunctive relief


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