What Is a Civil Injunction?

A civil injunction is a court order that requires a person to do or stop doing a specific action, according to the Cornell University Law School. Some civil injunctions require that one individual not have contact with another, and these are referred to as "restraining orders."

Some injunctions can be temporary, like temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, and are used to maintain the status quo until the court reaches an official verdict. Civil injunctions are used in order to prevent possible injustice, and are the result of threatened or past violence, according to the Cornell University Law School. There are most often two types: preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders, or TROs. The purpose of both is to either maintain the status quo or to prevent the accused from performing the complained-of action until the full judicial proceedings can happen.

There are four reasons for which civil injunctions that can be filed: domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence and repeat violence. Each has different requirements that must be met and different punishments for violating the injunction, but most of the exact details and specifications come down to the court's ruling. An individual who fails to follow an injunction can be punished for contempt of court.

There are several categories that determine the way in which the court views the case, but mostly it comes down to the immediacy in which the plaintiff needs the injunction. An injunction is an equity remedy and can only be issued in cases of in-personam jurisdiction.