Preliminary Injunctions and Temporary Restraining Orders

The court system seems to move slowly for anyone involved in litigation. If your business is under threat, however, this slow pace can put your business and your livelihood at serious risk. For example, if someone is trying to steal your client list, you cannot wait through traditional court scheduling procedures and backlogs to get a hearing. DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle's business and commercial litigation attorneys help clients dealing with time-sensitive matters by seeking temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions on their behalf. These court orders stop an opposing party from taking one or more actions, or require that party to perform certain actions. They are critical tools in handling an emergency legal matter. Courts call them “extraordinary relief,” and tend to reserve them for extraordinary situations. Our Chicago temporary restraining order lawyers can help you pursue these actions when appropriate.

Legal Emergencies

Certain situations require a quick and decisive response, which our regular litigation system is not always able to provide. Temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are appropriate when a threatened action would cause imminent and irreparable harm that a money judgment could not fix. They are often the “make or break” moment in emergency litigation, because they can determine whether or not the business will suffer irreparable harm. Circumstances that may merit extraordinary relief include:

  • Trademark or copyright infringement;
  • Trademark dilution;
  • Enforcement of a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement in the face of evidence of an imminent breach;
  • Enforcement of a non-disclosure agreement, particularly as it relates to trade secrets or sensitive client or customer information;
  • Disagreements among partners, shareholders, or members regarding asset transfers;
  • Business disputes arising from a divorce or probate matter; and
  • Any case that threatens damage to a business' reputation or customer goodwill, such as product disparagement or trade libel.
Temporary Restraining Order

A temporary restraining order, or TRO, is usually the first step in emergency litigation. A request for a TRO may be part of the initial pleadings in a lawsuit, and our temporary restraining order attorneys can guide Chicago clients through this process. A plaintiff may, in certain circumstances, request a TRO without notice to the opposing party, such as when the other party might hide assets or destroy evidence in response to the TRO application. A court will grant a TRO if it believes it is necessary to prevent immediate harm. Its relief is limited, however, as a TRO only lasts for ten days or until the court can hear a motion for a preliminary injunction, which requires notice to the other side and a hearing.

Preliminary Injunction

While a preliminary injunction may restrict the same behavior as a TRO, it remains in force until revoked by the court. The court has a higher standard for granting a preliminary injunction than a TRO. It requires proof that the actions covered by the proposed injunction threaten the applicant with irreparable harm, that this harm is greater than any harm caused to the other side by the injunction, and that the applicant is likely to prevail on the merits of the lawsuit.

With offices in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle's Chicago temporary restraining order attorneys represent clients in the greater Chicago area, DuPage County, elsewhere in Illinois, and in Indiana and Wisconsin. We have more than two and a half decades of collective experience in Illinois business law, and frequently handle business emergencies for our clients. Contact us via email, at (877) 990-4990, or locally at (630) 333-0000 to schedule a consultation with a temporary restraining order lawyer in Chicago.