Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Injunction Reversed For Failing To Meet Any Of The Required Elements

In Biscayne Park, LLC v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP (3D08-3219), the Third District reversed the entry of a temporary injunction.  In a concurring opinion, with a little humor, Judge Schwartz stated:
A preliminary injunction must be based on four indispensable elements. See Wilson v. Sandstrom, 317 So. 2d 732, 736 (Fla. 1975). In my opinion, the one in this case is supported by none of them. Apart from that, it’s fine.
The court's opinion stated:
The well-established requirements for the issuance of a temporary injunction are: (1) the likelihood of irreparable harm and the unavailability of an adequate remedy at law; (2) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (3) that the threatened injury to the petitioner outweighs any possible harm to the respondent; and, (4) the entry of the injunction will not disserve the public interest......A review of the proceedings below demonstrates that Wal-Mart’s alleged injury was its possible monetary liability resulting from possible future contamination to groundwater through the wells. “[T]his court has previously held that the granting of injunctive relief is improper when a plaintiff’s right to recover is based upon a future event,”.....Because the alleged injury is speculative, we conclude that it is insufficient to meet the irreparable injury standard.....Additionally, in the event that such an alleged event were to occur, Wal-Mart would have an adequate remedy at law, i.e., a claim for money damages.
While Judge Schwartz does not below the injunction satisfied any of the required elements, Judge Gersten disagreed.  In a dissent, he stated:
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting the temporary injunction because the requirements for issuing one were satisfied. Trial courts have wide discretion in granting or denying a temporary injunction, and appellate courts will not interfere with the exercise of such discretion unless the party challenging the grant or denial clearly shows an abuse of discretion....Therefore, the trial court properly and responsibly granted the temporary injunction on legal, apparent environmental concerns. The trial court was well within its discretion in protecting Wal-Mart from liability for the environmental damage. Moreover, the trial court acted responsibly to protect against further damage to our over-indulged, over-taxed, and under-protected environment. In fact, I feel that a reversal in these circumstances is a slap in the face to a hardworking trial judge who was only doing his job . . . well....Accordingly, because Wal-Mart satisfied the requirements for the temporary injunction and the issue is now moot, I respectfully dissent. On an end note, I regret the expenditure of paper resources used in the writing of both the majority and dissent, but reiterate that I would affirm the order granting Wal-Mart’s verified motion for temporary injunction.
(emphasis added).


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