How to Obtain a Temporary (Preliminary) Injunction in Florida

Rule 1.610 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure governs requests for temporary injunctions. A temporary injunction is sought to stop a party from engaging in certain conduct or to require a party to engage in certain conduct until a final decision may be made concerning the merits of the dispute. Typically, a final decision concerning whether a temporary injunction should be permanent is made by a judge or jury after a trial on the merits.

In order to obtain a temporary injunction, a party must prove:

  1. It will suffer irreparable harm if an injunction is not granted.
  2. The unavailability of an adequate remedy at law.  In other words, money damages will not right the wrong.
  3. A substantial likelihood of success on the merits at trial.; and
  4. The injunction will serve the public interest.

Naegele Outdoor Advert. Co. v. City of Jacksonville, 659 So. 2d 1046, 1047 (Fla. 1995).  A court may also consider the following factors when deciding whether to grant an injunction:  "(a) the nature of the interest to be protected, (b) the relative adequacy to the plaintiff of [an] injunction and of other remedies, (c) any unreasonable delay by the plaintiff in bringing suit, (d) any related misconduct on the part of the plaintiff, (e) the relative hardship likely to result to [the] defendant if an injunction is granted and to [the] plaintiff if it is denied, (f) the interests of third persons and of the public, and (g) the practicability of framing and enforcing the order or judgment."  Davis v. Joyner, 409 So. 2d 1193, 1195 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982).

In addition to proving the foregoing elements, Rule 1.610(b) requires the party seeking a temporary injunction to post a bond "in an amount the court deems proper, conditioned for the payment of costs and damages sustained by the adverse party if the adverse party is wrongfully enjoined."  This bond should be of an “appropriate amount … consistent with the [Court]'s findings based on the evidence.”  Fla. Ga. Grove, LLP v. Collier Cty., 95 So. 3d 948, 950 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012).  The Court has the discretion to consider a variety of factors when fashioning a bond amount.  Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. v. Cozart, 561 So. 2d 368, 371 (Fla.  2d DCA 1990).

Under Rule 1.610(a)(1), a temporary injunction may be sought without notice to the adverse party but only if  "(A) it appears from the specific facts shown by affidavit or verified pleading that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition; and (B) the movant's attorney certifies in writing any efforts that have been made to give notice and the reasons why notice should not be required."

Note that a plaintiff cannot obtain a temporary injunction in order to enforce a money judgment or to prevent a defendant from dispersing assets pending litigation.  Proctor v. Eason, 651 So. 2d 1301, 1301 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995).

Joel Ewusiak frequently represents parties in lawsuits involving requests for injunctive relief. Please contact Joel for legal assistance with your particular matter.