How to File a Petition for an Injunction

By Anna Green - Updated December 17, 2018
Man drafting a petition for injunction

An injunction is a court order that requires someone to act in a certain way or refrain from doing something. File forms with the local courts to petition an injunction hearing.

People request injunctions in many types of cases, such as a landlord-tenant case when a renter wants his landlord to fix a major safety hazard. Often, these cases are resolved quickly and require minimal paperwork. In business matters and complex situations involving division of money or employment decisions, filing for an injunction can be complex and as such, it might be helpful to hire an attorney in these cases.

Drafting a Petition

The contents of a petition for injunction will vary based on the state in which you are filing and the nature of your case. In many common types of cases, such as instances where persons are asking for an order stopping harassment or in landlord-tenant disputes, courts often provide sample petition forms that you can download. A typical form petition generally requires you to list basic information about yourself, including your name, address and date of birth, as well as information about the party against whom you are requesting the injunction.

Describe the circumstances leading up to the injunction request in detail, such as dates, times and places when a party harassed you, or the inaction of the other party when he was legally required to do something. In more complex cases – such as those requesting an action from a business partner when dissolving a company – you may need to file additional paperwork, including case briefs and other documents, similar to those filed in a civil lawsuit.

Filing and Service

Before filing your petition for injunction with the clerk of court, you will need to sign and date your request. In some cases, you may have to wait for the court to process your petition – and you will receive notice of your hearing date in the mail. In addition to filing your petition with the court, you must serve the other party listed on the petition. This means providing that party with an official copy of the petition for injunction. Generally, a sheriff or other court official will deliver the copy of the petition for a fee.

Emergency Injunctions

Emergency injunctions are heard without giving the other party notice. The court may describe the hearing as an "ex parte" hearing, meaning the other party is unaware of the petition. Emergency injunctions are also called temporary restraining orders. Procedures and resources are similar for filing a standard injunction. Obtain a "temporary restraining order" or "emergency injunction" form from the clerk. Complete it and file with the court. The clerk will advise you of the court room where emergency injunctions are head. Check in with the court clerk and wait for the judge to call your case.

If the emergency injunction is granted, the other party often learns of the order when served with the injunction. Emergency injunctions have a limited duration, with parties returning for a formal hearing to hear all sides and make a final determination about a permanent injunction.

Weighing the Harm

Filing for an injunction does not mean automatic approval of an injunction. When the judge reviews a case requesting an injunction, he will carefully weight the facts and evidence. Someone filing for an injunction without merit could cause harm to the person the injunction is sought. Retaliation is common when injunctions are filed but not granted in domestic violence cases where there is not credible evidence at the hearing. Judges do not want to make a bad situation worse, but must adhere to facts and evidence presents and decide according to the law.

About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.

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