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injunction,in law, order of a court directing a party to perform a certain act or to refrain from an act or acts. The injunction, which developed as the main remedy in equityequity,
principles of justice originally developed by the English chancellor. In Anglo-American jurisprudence equitable principles and remedies are distinguished from the older system that the common law courts evolved.
..... Click the link for more information. , is used especially where money damagesdamages,
money award that the judgment of a court requires the defendant in a suit to pay to the plaintiff as compensation for the loss or injury inflicted. Damages are the form of legal redress most commonly sought.
..... Click the link for more information. would not satisfy a plaintiff's claim, or to protect personal or property rights from irreparable harm. It has been historically important especially in torttort,
in law, the violation of some duty clearly set by law, not by a specific agreement between two parties, as in breach of contract. When such a duty is breached, the injured party has the right to institute suit for compensatory damages.
..... Click the link for more information. , domestic relations, labor, and civil-rightscivil rights,
rights that a nation's inhabitants enjoy by law. The term is broader than "political rights," which refer only to rights devolving from the franchise and are held usually only by a citizen, and unlike "natural rights," civil rights have a legal as well as a
..... Click the link for more information. law.
Originally courts granted only prohibitory injunctions, on the grounds that the performance of affirmative orders could not be easily compelled or supervised. In the 19th cent., though, affirmative (mandatory) injunctions began to be used, and they are now granted in unusual circumstances. Injunctions issued while an action is pending are termed preliminary, or interlocutory; they are intended to protect the plaintiff's interest so that a final judgment will not be worthless, and they cannot, for the most part, be reviewed by higher courts. If irreparable injury would result even before notice of a hearing could be served, the court may grant a temporary restraining order, which is binding on the defendant until a hearing can be held. A final or perpetual injunction is part of the final judgment of the court, and may be issued after all the evidence has been heard.
Injunctions, like most remedies of an equitable nature, are usually granted by a judge sitting without a jury. The broad discretion courts have enjoyed in using this power has, however, been limited by statute in many areas of the law. An injunction is essentially a personal order, and a defendant who disobeys may be punished for contemptcontempt,
in law, interference with the functioning of a legislature or court. In its narrow and more usual sense, contempt refers to the despising of the authority, justice, or dignity of a court.
..... Click the link for more information. . An injunction in force may be terminated or modified by the court.
Injunctions are today granted in many circumstances where courts of equity formerly refused to act. Thus, courts have ordered the performance of the terms of a contractcontract,
in law, a promise, enforceable by law, to perform or to refrain from performing some specified act. In a general sense, all civil obligations fall under tort or contract law.
..... Click the link for more information. , or the payment of legal damages by a defendant, sparing the plaintiff the need to seek execution of a judgmentjudgment,
decision of a court of law respecting the issues before it. The term ordinarily is not applied to the decree (order) of courts of equity. The outstanding characteristic of a legal judgment, in contrast to an equitable decree, is its finality and fixity; thus, except
..... Click the link for more information. . Injunctions have long been used to abate nuisancesnuisance,
in law, an act that, without legal justification, interferes with safety, comfort, or the use of property. A private nuisance (e.g., erecting a wall that shuts off a neighbor's light) is one that affects one or a few persons, while a public nuisance (e.g.
..... Click the link for more information. . The use of the injunction in labor disputes has been a matter of great controversy in U.S. history.
In the late 19th cent. employers were often granted injunctions against strikes or boycotts when they alleged that the purpose of labor's activity (e.g., unreasonably limiting the employer's freedom by requiring him to hire only union members) was illegal. The power of federal courts to enjoin union activity was restricted by the Federal Anti-Injunction (Norris-LaGuardia) Act of 1932, and many states passed similar laws. Later legislation, however, including the 1947 Taft-Hartley Labor ActTaft-Hartley Labor Act,
1947, passed by the U.S. Congress, officially known as the Labor-Management Relations Act. Sponsored by Senator Robert Alphonso Taft and Representative Fred Allan Hartley, the act qualified or amended much of the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act of
..... Click the link for more information. and the 1959 Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, restored much of the power to use labor injunctions.