1 Elements and Case Citations
- Plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm;
- Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law;
- Plaintiff has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; and
- A temporary injunction will serve the public interest.
Courts sometimes expressly include “a clear legal right to the relief sought” as an element of a claim for temporary injunction. Compare Wilson v. Sandstrom, 317 So. 2d 732, 736 (Fla. 1975)(including clear legal right element) with Naegele Outdoor Advertising Co., Inc. v. City of Jacksonville, 659 So. 2d 1046, 1047 (Fla. 1995)(including elements listed above); see also Alorda v. Sutton Place Homeowners Assoc, 82 So.3d 1077, 1080 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012)(including clear legal right element); Hatfield v. AutoNation, Inc., 939 So.2d 155, 157 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006)(same); Heslop v. Moore, 716 So. 2d 276, 278 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998)(same).
Specific performance is an equitable remedy that, under Florida law, is effectively the same as, and synonymous with, injunctive relief. Seaboard Oil Co. v. Donovan, 99 Fla. 1296, 1306 (Fla. 1930)(“an injunction against the breach of a contract is a negative decree of specific performance of the agreement, and the general rule is that the power and the duty of a court of equity to grant the former is measured by the same rules and practice as its power and duty to grant the latter relief.”); Thompson v. Shell Petroleum Corp., 130 Fla. 652 (1938)(“An injunction restraining the breach of a contract is a negative specific enforcement of that contract. The jurisdiction of equity to grant such injunction is substantially coincident with its jurisdiction to compel a specific performance. Both are governed by the same doctrines and rules”). This proposition stands as strongly today. See, e.g., Northwestern Nat. Ins. Co. v. Greenspun, 330 So. 2d 561, 563 (Fla. 3d DCA 1976) (same); Professional Golfer’s Ass’n of America v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 166 So. 2d 488, 492 (Fla. 2d DCA 1964)(explaining why “the same general rules apply to injunctions against the breach of a contract that apply to specific performance”)(citations omitted); Grant v. U.S., 289 F. Supp. 2d 1361, 1367 (S.D. Fla. 2003)(“Specific performance is a form of injunctive relief”).
FLORIDA STATE COURTS
Supreme Court: Fla. Dep’t of Health v. Florigrown, LLC, No. SC19-1464, 2021 WL 2149362, at *6 (Fla. May 27, 2021); Gainesville Women Care, LLC v. State of Fla. 210 So.3d 1243, 1258 (Fla. 2017); Liberty Counsel v. Fla. Bar Bd. Of Governors, 12 So. 3d 183, 186 (Fla. 2009).
First District: Green v. Alachua Cty., No. 1D20-1661, 2021 WL 2387983, at *2 (Fla. 1st DCA June 11, 2021); DeSantis v. Fla. Educ. Ass’n, 306 So. 3d 1202, 1213 (Fla. 1st DCA 2020); Scott v. Trotti, 283 So. 3d 340, 343 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018).
Second District: Surgery Ctr. Holdings, Inc. v. Guirguis, No. 2D19-4889, 2021 WL 2385411, at *2 (Fla. 2d DCA June 11, 2021); Jackman v. Cebrink-Swartz, No. 2D20-2384, 2021 WL 2171745, at *3 (Fla. 2d DCA May 28, 2021); Phelan v. Trifactor Sols., LLC, 312 So. 3d 1036, 1039 (Fla. 2d DCA 2021).
Third District: Fam. Heritage Life Ins. Co. of Am. v. Combined Ins. Co. of Am., No. 3D20-1121, 2021 WL 1112544, at *3 (Fla. 3d DCA Mar. 24, 2021); Miami-Dade County v. Miami Gardens, Square One, Inc., 314 So.3d 389, 392 (Fla. 3d DCA 2020); Quirch Foods LLC v. Broce, 314 So. 3d 327, 338 (Fla. 3d DCA 2020).
Fourth District: Point Conversions, LLC v. WPB Hotel Partners, LLC, No. 4D19-3017, 2021 WL 2213304, at *6 (Fla. 4th DCA June 2, 2021); Shake v. Yes We Are Mad Grp., Inc., 315 So.3d 1223, 1226-27 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021); Hinners v. Hinners, 312 So. 3d 938, 942 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021).
Fifth District: Howell v. Orange Lake Country Club, Inc., 303 So. 3d 1009, 1011 (Fla. 5th DCA 2020); Dickerson v. Senior Home Care, Inc., 181 So.3d 1228, 1229 (Fla. 5th DCA Dec. 18, 2015); Planned Parenthood of Orlando v. MMB Properties, Inc., 171 So.3d 121, 128 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015).
FLORIDA FEDERAL COURTS
U.S. Supreme Court: Glossip v. Gross, 135 S. Ct. 2726, 2736-37 (2015).
Eleventh Circuit: In re Gateway Radiology Consultants, P.A., 983 F.3d 1239, 1254 (11th Cir. 2020); Swain v. Junior, 961 F.3d 1276, 1284-85 (11th Cir. 2020). Note: The Eleventh Circuit has “always required each of the four preliminary-injunction elements to be “clearly established” before imposing the “drastic remedy” of a preliminary injunction.” Seigel v. LePore, 234 F.3d 1163, 1176 (11th Cir. 2000)(en banc).
Southern District: Murdock v. Am. Mar. Officers Union Nat’l Exec. Bd., No. 19-62687-CIV, 2021 WL 2682561, at *3 (S.D. Fla. June 30, 2021); Messina v. City of Fort Lauderdale, No. 21-CV-60168, 2021 WL 2567709, at *6 (S.D. Fla. June 23, 2021); S. Corp. Packers, Inc. v. Am. Fruit & Produce Corp., No. 21-CV-21147, 2021 WL 1895063, at *2 (S.D. Fla. Apr. 2, 2021).
Middle District: Wynn v. Vilsack, No. 3:21-CV-514-MMH-JRK, 2021 WL 2580678, at *2 (M.D. Fla. June 23, 2021); State of Fla. v. United States, No. 8:21-CV-541-CEH-SPF, 2021 WL 1985058, at *5 (M.D. Fla. May 18, 2021); Powell v. Inch, No. 3:21-CV-363-BJD-JBT, 2021 WL 1428418, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 15, 2021).
Northern District: NetChoice, LLC v. Moody, No. 4:21CV220-RH-MAF, 2021 WL 2690876, at *2 (N.D. Fla. June 30, 2021); Wilson v. Harrell, No. 5:18-CV-267-TKW/MJF, 2021 WL 260244, at *2 (N.D. Fla. Jan. 5, 2021); Namphy v. DeSantis, 493 F. Supp. 3d 1130, 1141 (N.D. Fla. 2020).
Florida Rules: Rule 1.610, Fla. R. Civ. P.
Federal Rules: Rule 65, Fed.R.Civ.P.
2 Defenses to Claim for Temporary Injunction
(1) Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110(d) (pleading affirmative defenses), and other standard defenses. See § 1.
(2) Statute of Limitations: § 95.11(3)(p), Fla. Stat. (four years); Hollywood Lakes Section Civic Ass’n, Inc. v. City of Hollywood, 676 So. 2d 500, 501 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996).
(3) Injunctive relief is an extraordinary and drastic equitable remedy, which should be granted sparingly and only after the moving party has satisfied every one of the demanding prerequisites for such relief. Florida High Sch. Activities Assoc. v. Kartenovich, 749 So.2d 1290, 1291 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000); Nivel Parts & Mnf. Co., LLC, v. Textron, No. 3:17–cv–146–J–32JRK, 2017 WL 1552034, *1 (M.D. Fla. May 1, 2017).
(4) A court may not enter a temporary injunction unless there are “[c]lear, definite and unequivocally sufficient factual findings support[ing] each of the four conclusions necessary to justify entry of a temporary injunction.” Bellach v. Huggs of Naples, Inc., 704 So.2d 679, 680 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997)(emphasis added); see also Snibbe v. Napoleonic Society of Am., Inc., 682 So.2d 568, 570 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996)(“[t]he [court’s] findings must ‘do more than parrot each tine of the four-prong test’”); see also Tesoro Property Owner’s Ass’n v. Tesoro Commons, LLC, 237 So.3d 403, 404 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).
(5) “[P]laintiff must demonstrate likelihood of success on the merits as to asserted affirmative defenses as well as…elements of plaintiff’s prima facie case.” See, e.g., Bradley v. Health Coalition, Inc., 687 So.2d 329, 333 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997)(emphasis added). Plaintiff bears the burden of establishing there is a clear legal right to the ultimate relief sought and a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. Airport Executive Towers v. CIG Realty, Inc., 716 So.2d 311, 313 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998); see also Naegele Outdoor Advertising Co., Inc. v. City of Jacksonville, 659 So.2d 1046, 1047 (Fla. 1995) (advancing a merely colorable claim is not enough to show a substantial likelihood of success); Silver Rose Entertainment, Inc. v. Clay County, 646 So.2d 246, 248 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994)(same).
(6) “Mandatory injunctions – [which require that a defendant do some positive act or that acts be undone] – are looked upon with disfavor, and the courts seem even more reluctant to issue them than prohibitory ones.” Shaw v. Tampa Elec. Co., 949 So.2d 1066, 1070, n.3 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007)(emphasis added); see also FHR TB, LLC v. TB Isle Resort, LP., 865 F.Supp.2d 1172, 1192(S.D. Fla 2011) (moving party will face a particularly heavy burden of persuasion).
(7) Injunctive relief is not available “where the injury to the movant is seeking to prevent is purely monetary” or “when the right to the injunction is premised on a speculative, future event.” Lutsky v. Schoenwetter, 172 So.3d 534 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015)(emphasis added)(citations omitted).
(8) Plaintiff cannot enforce a money judgment or prevent defendant from dispersing assets pending litigation trough a temporary injunction. See Proctor v. Eason, 651 So. 2d 1301, 1301 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995).
(9) A tenant cannot seek specific performance of a lease against a landlord. E.g., Cardinal Inv. Group, Inc. v. Giles, 813 So.2d 262, 263 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002).
(10) In addition to satisfaction of prima facie elements, Florida courts must also consider the following in determining whether to grant injunctive relief: “(a) the nature of the interest to be protected, (b) the relative adequacy to the plaintiff of injunction and of other remedies, (c) any unreasonable delay by the plaintiff in bringing suit, (d) any related misconduct on the part of the plaintiff, (e) the relative hardship likely to result to defendant if an injunction is granted and to plaintiff if it is denied, (f) the interests of third persons and of the public, and (g) the practicability of framing and enforcing the order or judgment’’. Davis v. Joyner, 409 So. 2d 1193, 1195 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982), citing Restatement (Second) of Torts § 936 (1979).
(11) Unreasonable delay by a plaintiff in bringing suit may preclude the plaintiff from obtaining an injunction. Mora v. Karr, 697 So.2d 887 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997).
(12) Courts must consider the harm the defendant will suffer by the issuance of an injunction balanced against the harm, if any, the plaintiff may suffer by a denial of an injunction. Davis v. Joyner, 409 So.2d 1193, 1195 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982).
(13) A plaintiff with unclean hands may not obtain an injunction. Also, Plaintiff does not come into this suit with clean hands. Williamson v. Williamson, 367 So.2d 1016, 1018 (Fla. 1979)( “[H]e who seeks equity must stand before the court with ‘clean hands’ and ‘he who seeks equity must do equity.’”);PNC Bank, Nat’l Ass’n v. Smith, 225 So.3d 294, 295 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).
(14) “No temporary injunction shall be entered unless a bond is given by the movant in an amount the court deems proper, conditioned for the payment of costs and damages sustained by the adverse party if the adverse party is wrongfully enjoined.” Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.610(b) (emphasis added). However, temporary injunctive relief may be granted without the posting of a bond in the following situations: 1) injunctions entered “on the pleading of a municipality or the state or any officer, agency, or political subdivision thereof”; or 2) injunctions “issued solely to prevent physical injury or abuse of a natural person.” Id.; see also Williams v. Victim Justice, P.C., 198 So.3d 822, 826 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016).
(15) The trial court cannot waive the bond requirement nor can it comply by setting a nominal amount. E.g., Florida High School Activities Ass’n v. Mander, 932 So.2d 314, 316 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) (citing cases); see also Forrest v. Citi Residential Lending, Inc., 73 So.3d 269, 279 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011).
(16) A party may move to dissolve or modify a temporary injunction at any time and such a motion must be heard within five days of application. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.610(d).
(17) Injunctive relief is a remedy and not an independent stand alone cause of action. See, e.g., Pronman v. Styles, No. 12–80674–CIV, 2015 WL 58629, *11 (S.D. Fla. 2015)(Marra, K.).
(18) “A temporary injunction will not be overturned absent a clear abuse of discretion.” Ames v. Ames, 204 So.3d 132, 133 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).