What is Injunction?

Legal Definition
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that compels a party to do or refrain from specific acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties, including possible monetary sanctions and even imprisonment. They can also be charged with contempt of court. Counterinjunctions are injunctions that stop or reverse the enforcement of another injunction.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
An injunction is a court order requiring a person to do or cease doing a specific action. Temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are temporary injunctions. They are issued early in a lawsuit to maintain the status quo by preventing a defendant from becoming insolvent or to stop the defendant from continuing his or her allegedly harmful actions. Choosing whether to grant temporary injunctive relief is a discretionary power of the court. Permanent injunctions are issued as a final judgment in a case. Failure to comply with an injunction may result in being held in contempt of court. See, e.g., Roe v. Wade 410 US 113 (1973).
injunctions: an overview
An injunction is a court order requiring an individual to do or omit doing a specific action. It is an extraordinary remedy that courts utilize in special cases where preservation of the status quo or taking some specific action is required in order to prevent possible injustice. Injunctive relief is a discretionary power of the court in which the court, upon deciding that the plaintiff's rights are being violated, balances the irreparablility of injuries and inadequacy of damages if an injunction were not granted against the damages that granting an injunction would cause.

An individual who has been given adequate notice of an injunction but fails to follow the court's orders may be punished for contempt of court.

An injunction is an equity remedy and as such is available only in cases of in-personam jurisdiction (not in in-rem proceedings). Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure explains what injuctions are and the rules regarding them. Basically, there are two types of injunctions: a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order (TRO). The purpose of both is to maintain the status quo -- to insure a plaintiff that the defendant will not either make him or herself judgment-proof, or insolvent in some way, or to stop him or her from acting in the harmful, complained-of way until further judicial proceedings are available.

There is a balancing test that courts typically employ in determining whether to issue an injunction. The defendant's 5th Amendment due process rights are weighed (heavily) against the possibility of the defendant becoming judgment-proof, and the immediacy of the harm allegedly done to the plaintiff (i.e., how badly does the plaintiff need the injunction). When it is possible, the defendant must always be put on notice of the injunction hearing, and the duration of the injunction is typically as temporary as possible. Additionally, in many jurisdictions, plaintiffs demanding an injunction are required to post a bond.
Legal Definition
Remedies, chancery, practice. An injunction is a prohibitory writ, specially prayed for by a bill, in which the plaintiff's title is set forth, restraining a person from committing or doing an act (other than criminal acts) which appear to be against equity and conscience. Mitf. Pl. 124; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 126.

2. Injunctions are of two kinds, the one called the writ remedial, and the other the judicial writ.

3. - 1st. The former kind of injunction, or remedial writ, is in the nature of a prohibition, directed to, and controlling, not the inferior court, but the party. It is granted, when a party is doing or is about to do an act against equity or good conscience, or litigious or vexatious; in these cases, the court will not leave the party to feel the mischief or inconvenience of the wrong, and look to the courts of common law for redress, but will interpose its authority to restrain such unjustifiable proceedings.

4. Remedial injunctions are of two kinds common or special. 1. It is common when it prays to stay proceedings at law, and will be granted, of course; as, upon an attachment for want of an appearance, or of an answer; or upon a dedimus obtained by the defendant to take his answer in the country; or upon his praying for time to answer, &c. Newl. Pr. 92; 13 Ves, 323. 2. A special injunction is obtained only on motion or petition, with notice to the other party, and is applied for, sometimes on affidavit before answer, but more frequently upon the merits disclosed in the defendant's answer. Injunctions before answer are granted in cases of waste and other injuries of so urgent a nature, that mischief would ensue if the plaintiff were to wait until the answer were put in; but the court will not grant an injunction during the pen-dency of a plea or demurrer to the bill, for until that be argued, it does not appear whether or not the court has jurisdiction of the cause. The injunction granted in this stage of the suit, is to continue till answer or further order; the injunction obtained upon the merits confessed in the answer, continues generally till the hearing of the cause.

5. An injunction is generally granted for the purpose of preventing a wrong, or preserving property in dispute pending a suit. Its effect, in general, is only in personam, that is, to attach and punish the party if disobedient in violating the injunction. Ed. Inj. 363; Harr. Ch. Pr. 552.

6. The principal injuries which may be prevented by injunction, relate to the person, to personal property, or to real property. These will be separately considered.

7. - 1. With respect to the person, the chancellor may prevent a breach of the peace, by requiring sureties of the peace. A court of chancery has also summary and extensive jurisdiction for the protection of the relative rights of persons, as between husband and wife, parent and child, and guardian and ward; and in these cases, on a proper state of facts, an injunction will be granted. For example, an injunction may be obtained by a parent to prevent the marriage of his infant son. 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 348; Ed. Inj. 297; 14 Ves. 206; 19 Ves. 282; 1 Chitt. Pr. 702.

8. - 2. Injunctions respecting personal property, are usually granted, 1st. To restrain a partner or agent from making or negotiating bills, notes or contracts, or doing other acts injurious to the partner or principal. 3 Ves. jr. 74; 3 Bro. C. C. 15; 2 Campb. 619; 1 Price, R. 503; 1 Mont. on Part. 93; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 160; Chit. Bills, 58, 61; 1 Hov. Supp. to Ves. jr. *335; Woodd. Lect. 416.

9. - 2d. To restrain the negotiation of bills or notes obtained by fraud, or without consideration. 8 Price, R. 631; Chit. Bills, 31 to 41; Ed. Inj. 210; Blake's Ch. Pr. 838; 2 Anst. 519; 3 Anst. 851; 2 Ves. jr. 493; 1 Fonb. Eq. 43; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 154. 3d. To deliver up void or satisfied deeds. 1 V. & B. 244; 11 Ves. 535; 17 Ves. 111. 4th. To enter into and deliver a proper security. 1 Anst, 49. 5th. To prevent breaches of covenant or contract, and enjoin the performance of others. Ed. Inj. 308. 6th. To prevent a breach of confidence or good faith, or to prevent other loss as, for example, to restrain the disclosure of secrets, which came to the defendant's knowledge in the course of any confidential employment. 1 Sim. R. 483 and see 1 Jac. & W. 394. An injunction will be granted to prevent the publication of private letters without the authors consent. Curt. on Copyr. 90; 2 Atk. 342; Ambl. 137; 2 Swanst. 402, 427; 1 Ball & Beat. 207; 2 Ves. & B. 19; 1 Mart. Lo. R. 297; Bac. Ab. Injunction A. But the publication will be allowed when necessary to the defence of the character of the party who received them. 2 Ves. & B. 19. 7th. To prevent improper sales, payments, or conveyances. Chit. Eq. Dig. tit. Practice, xlvii. 8th. To prevent loss or inconvenience; this can be obtained on filing a bill quia timet. (q. v.) 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 218 to 225. 9th. To prevent waste of property by an executor or administrator. Ed. Inj. 300; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr.; 160, 224. 10th. To restrain the infringement of patents; Ed. Inj. ch. 12; 14 Ves. 130; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 137; or of copyrights; Ed. Inj. c. 13; 8 Ares. 225; 17 Ves. 424. 11th. To stay proceedings in a court of law. These proceedings will be stayed when justice cannot be done in consequence of accident; 1 John. Cas. 417: 4 John. Ch. R. 287,194; Latch, 24, 146, 148; 1 Vern. 180, 247; 1 Ch. C. 77, 120; 1 Eq. Cas. Ab. 92; or mistake; 1 John. Ch. R. 119, 607; 2 John. Ch. R. 585; 4 John. Ch. R. 85; Id. 144; 2 Munf. 187; 1 Day's Cas. Err. 139; 3 Ch. R. 55; Finch., 413; 2 Freem. 16; Fitzg. 18; or fraud. 1 John. Ch. R. 402; 2 John. Ch. R. 512; 4 John. Ch. R. 65. But no injunction will be granted to stay proceedings in a criminal case. 2 John. Ch. R. 387; 6 Mod. 12; 2 Ves. 396.

9. - 3. Injunctions respecting real property, may be obtained, 1st. To prevent wasteful trespasses or irreparable damages, although the owner may be entitled to retake possession, if he can do so, without a breach of the peace. 1 Chit. Pr. 722. 2d. To compel the performance of lawful works in the least, injurious manner. 1 Turn. & Myl. 181. 3d. To prevent waste. 3 Tho. Co. Litt. 241, M; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 138; Ed. Inj. ch. 8, 9, and 10; 1 John. Ch. R. 11; 2 Atk. 183. 4th. To prevent the creation of a nuisance, either private or public. 1. Private nuisance; for example, to restrain the owner of a house from making any erections or improvements, so as materially to darken or obstruct the ancient lights and windows of an adjoining house. 2 Russ. R. 121. 2. Public nuisances. Though usual to prosecute the parties who create nuisances, by indictment, yet, in some cases, an injunction may be had to prevent the creating of such nuisance. 5 Ves. 129; 1 Mad. Ch. 156; Ed. Inj. ch. 11. 10. - 2d An injunction of the second kind, called the judicial writ, issues subsequently to a decree. It is a direction to yield up, to quit, or to continue possession of lands, and is properly described as being in the nature of an execution. Ed. Inj. 2. 11. Injunctions are also divided into temporary and perpetual. 1. A temporary injunction is one which is granted until some stage of the suit shall be reached; as, until the defendant shall file his answer; until the bearing; and the like. 2. A perpetual injunction is one which is issued when, in the opinion of the court, at the hearing the plaintiff has established a case, which entitles him to an injunction; or when a bill, praying for an injunction, is taken pro confesso; in such cases a perpetual injunction will be decreed. Ed. Inj. 253.

12. The interdict (q. v.) of the Roman law resembles, in many respects, our injunction. It was used in three distinct, but cognate senses. 1. It was applied to signify the edicts made by the proctor, declaratory of his intention to give a remedy in certain cases, chiefly to preserve or to restore possession; this interdict was called edictal; edictale, quod praetoriis edictis proponitur, ut sciant omnes ea forma posse implorari. 2. It was used to signify his order or decree, applying the remedy in the given case before him, and then was called decretal; decretale, quod praetor re nata implorantibus decrevit. It is this which bears a strong resemblance to the injunction of a court of equity. 3. It was used, in the last place, to signify the very remedy sought in the suit commenced under the proctor's edict; and thus it became the denomination of the action itself. Livingston on the Batture case, 5, Am. Law Jour. 271; 2 Story, Eq. Jur. 865; Analyse des Pandectes de Pothier, h.t.; Dict. du Dig. h.t.; Clef des Lois Rom. h. t.; Heineccii, Elem. Pand. Ps. 6, 285, 28 Vide, generally, Eden on Injunctions; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 125 to 165; Blake's Ch. Pr. 330 to 344; 1 Chit. Pr. 701 to 731; Coop. Eq. Pl. Index, h. t.; Redesd. Pl. Index, h. t.; Smith's Ch. Pr. h. t.; 14 Vin. Ab. 442; 2 Hov. Supp. to Ves. jr. 173, 434, 442; Com. Dig. Chancery, D 8; Newl. Pr. o. 4, s. 7; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A prohibitive writ issued by a court of equity, at the suit of a party complainant, directed to a party defendant in the action or to a party made/a defendant for that purpose, forbidding the latter to do some act or to permit his servants or agents to do some act, which he ls threatening or attempting to commit or restraining him in the continuance thereof, such act being unjust and inequitable, injurious to the plaintiff, and not such.as can be adequately redressed by an action at law U. S. v. Haggerty (C. C.) 116 Fed. 515; Dupre v. Anderson, 45 La. Ann. 1134, 13 South. 743; City of Alma v. Loehr, 42 Kan. 368, 22 Pac. 424. An injunction is a writ or order requiring a person to refrain from a particular act. It may be granted by the court in which the action is brought, or by a judge thereof, and when made by a judge it may be enforced as an order of the court. Code Civ. Proc. Cal. ยง 525.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
An equity writ prohibiting or commanding an act. See 116 Fed. (U. S.) 510.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary