Legal Memorandum: Preliminary Injunctive Relief in NJ

Issue: Under New Jersey law, what is the standard for preliminary injunctive relief?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Preliminary injunctive relief; imminent and irreparable harm
Jurisdiction: New Jersey
Cited Cases: 447 A.2d 173; 388 N.J. Super. 160; 263 N.J. Super. 25; 90 N.J. 126; 906 A.2d 511
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2011

New Jersey law is well settled that a party seeking a preliminary injunction must clearly demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, his or her entitlement to relief.  Citing the New Jersey Supreme Court case of Crowe v. De Gioia, 90 N.J. 126, 447 A.2d 173, 176 (1982), the chancery division of the superior court recently stated the standard for analysis:

[T]he court may issue preliminary relief if the movant demonstrates that: (1) an injunction is necessary to prevent imminent and irreparable harm; (2) the movant asserts a settled legal right supporting its claim; (3) the material facts are not controverted; and (4) in balancing the equities or hardships, if injunctive relief is denied then the hardship to the movant outweighs the hardship to the non-movant.  The movant carries the burden to prove its entitlement to injunctive relief by clear and convincing evidence.

B & S Ltd., Inc. v. Elephant & Castle Int’l, Inc., 388 N.J. Super. 160, 167-68, 906 A.2d 511, 516 (Ch. Div. 2006) (citations omitted).

First, the New Jersey Supreme Court has made clear that preliminary injunctive relief is only warranted when absolutely necessary to prevent irreparable harm:

We recognize that the determination to authorize preliminary relief summons the most sensitive exercise of judicial discretion.  In exercising that discretion, courts have been guided traditionally by certain fundamental principles.

One principle is that a preliminary injunction should not issue except when necessary to prevent irreparable […]


Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)