Legal Memorandum: Mandatory Temporary Injunctions in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, is a plaintiff entitled to a mandatory temporary injunction where issuance of the order sought will alter the status quo?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Mandatory temporary injunction; Burden of proof
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 317 N.W.2d 710; 228 N.W.2d 562; 224 N.W.2d 741; 149 Minn. 88; 182 N.W. 905; 302 Minn. 53; 260 Minn. 499; 56 Minn. 188; 110 N.W.2d 348; 57 N.W. 471
Cited Statutes: Minn. R. Civ. P. 65.02
Date: 04/01/2001

           The Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure authorize issuance of a temporary injunction only where "it appears that sufficient grounds exist therefor."  Minn. R. Civ. P. 65.02.  The burden of proof to establish sufficient grounds is on plaintiffs.  "Injunctive relief should be awarded only in clear cases, reasonably free from doubt, and when necessary to prevent great and irreparable injury.  The burden of proof rests upon the complainant to establish the material allegations entitling him to relief."  North Cent. Pub. Serv. Co. v. Village of Circle Pines, 302 Minn. 53, 224 N.W.2d 741, 745-46 (1974) (quoting AMF Pinspotters, Inc. v. Harkins Bowling, Inc., 260 Minn. 499, 504, 110 N.W.2d 348, 351 (1961)).

Such mandatory temporary injunctions are only "sparingly granted."  Bennett v. Fox Film Corp., 149 Minn. 88, 182 N.W. 905, 906 (1928).  While the court, of course, has the power to issue a mandatory temporary injunction, it ought to do so only under the most compelling circumstances.

As stated in the seminal case of Central Trust Co. v. Moran, 56 Minn. 188, 57 N.W. 471, 473 (1894), regarding this most extraordinary equitable remedy:

The power [to issue a mandatory temporary injunction] . . . ought not be exercised, except under peculiar circumstances, and where it is clear the plaintiff will have a […]

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