How to file a petition for an injunction

Updated April 17, 2017

An injunction consists of an order from a court jurisdiction that requires a person, business or government entity to cease from continuing or doing something in the future. Injunctions are generally issued when an existing legal remedy is considered inadequate. When it is apparent that irreparable harm could occur if the alleged offending party is allowed to continue its actions, a court may issue an injunction to protect the rights of an individual, company or other entity until the matter can be resolved either in a court of law or through another legal remedy.

Prepare the petition according to certain legal requirements. The facts presented by a petitioner should be substantially based upon the allegations with proof and not based upon speculation. There must be a clear likelihood that irreparable and imminent harm will occur should the injunction not be issued. There should be no availability of any other adequate remedy of law. For example, it should be evident that an award of money damages will not be sufficient to restore a petitioner's loss. The alleged threatened harm to a petitioner should be greater than that of any substantial harm which might occur to the respondent. Finally, granting the injunction should not violate a public interest substantially.

Since every county and state has its own filing rules and procedures, check with your local branch jurisdiction regarding their specific requirements. Check with the local state court or its website to find out about the proper forms. Many courts have forms that may be downloaded. In addition, court rules change from time to time, so it is wise to refer to the court rules prior to filing any papers.

Make an adequate number of copies of all documents. Arrange to have the documents filed with the state court clerk, along with the appropriate filing fee. Sometimes it is possible to have administrative fees waived if an imminent threat of harm exists. You should obtain a conformed copy of the documents filed.

Once the documents are filed, prepare to receive a hearing date for the matter. In some cases, the Court Clerk may assign a hearing date at the time of filing. If not, follow up with the Clerk of the Court's office to obtain a hearing date. Find out about the rules for having the petition served upon the opposing parties by the Sheriff's office. Include information about any hearing dates that have been assigned to the case. Keep proof of service records for all documents that are served upon respondent parties.

Consult a paralegal service, legal counsel, attorney service or legal document preparation firm. Because laws and requirements are different in many states, it may be wise to have a legal professional review the documents first, prior to filing the petition with the court. Documents that conform with court rules will increase the chance that the paperwork will be accepted and you will be victorious in your pursuit of an injunction.


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Petitions should allege facts that can prove imminent harm or the petition may not be granted.

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About the Author

Susan S. Davis is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the L.A. Press Club. She was managing editor of "The Hosting News" and a columnist at Online Dating Magazine. Davis attended Chicago's Medill School of Journalism, and holds an A.A.S. in radio broadcasting from Minnesota Business College and a certificate in paralegal studies from University of California, Los Angeles.