Restraining Order

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License Restraining Order by Greg

 

A TRO is a Temporary Restraining Order issued by a Minnesota court judge. The most common type of TRO is for domestic abuse or threats of violence in the family context, but Temporary Restraining Orders are also used in a business context.

Minnesota Business TRO

A TRO is often used in the business context when someone is violating a non-compete agreement, non-solicitation agreement, or has wrongfully taken something from your business (confidential company information, trade secrets, customer lists, etc.) and is using it to compete with you or hurt your business.

In the family context, a TRO can be obtained without a lawsuit.  However, in general, which includes businesses, a lawsuit generally must be initiated to seek a TRO.  To obtain a TRO, your attorney would generally need to attend two hearings before a judge and file and/or serve a number of documents.

A TRO typically lasts for a few days until the Temporary Injunction Hearing, which essentially is a hearing to consider extending the terms of the TRO until the end of trial or another date set by the court.

Court Hearings Required for a Minnesota TRO

Hearing 1: Temporary Restraining Order Hearing. The first step to obtaining a TRO is filing the appropriate papers with the Court and going before a judge. This is the first hearing, called the TRO Hearing. Often, your opponent is not at the first hearing. The judge may grant the TRO, but the TRO is only good until the second court hearing, which is generally scheduled to occur within 10 days.

Hearing 2: Temporary Injunction Order Hearing. The second court hearing is the Temporary Injunction Hearing. At the Temporary Injunction Hearing, the judge will hear arguments and examine evidence from both sides, and the judge will decide whether the TRO should be extended.

Documents Required for a Minnesota TRO

A TRO is part of a larger lawsuit.  Thus, a TRO normally cannot be filed alone (except in domestic violence cases). Thus, the following documents are involved.

To start a lawsuit, these documents are normally prepared:

  • Summons
  • Complaint
  • Reply (only required when the other side counterclaims)
  • Informational Statement
  • Preservation Notice

To request that the court give you a TRO, these documents are normally prepared:

  • Notice of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
  • Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
  • Memorandum in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
  • Affidavit for Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
  • Proposed Order for Temporary Restraining Order

To extend the terms of your TRO for more than a few days, a Temporary Injunction is needed, which normally involves preparing these documents:

  • Notice of Motion for Temporary Injunction
  • Motion for Temporary Injunction
  • Memorandum in Support of Motion for Temporary Injunction
  • Affidavit for Motion for Temporary Injunction
  • Proposed Order for Temporary Injunction
  • Responsive Memorandum in Support of Motion for Temporary Injunction

The cost for this work is usually around $7,000 and usually takes a week to prepare and get before a judge.

Minnesota TRO and Temporary Injunction Legal Standards

The Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure provide the legal standards for a Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary Injunction.

Minnesota Temporary Injunction Legal Standard

Rule 65.01 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure provides the legal standards for a Temporary Restraining Order:

A temporary restraining order may be granted without written or oral notice to the adverse party or that party’s attorney only if (1) it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the applicant before the adverse party or that party’s attorney can be heard in opposition, and (2) the applicant’s attorney states to the court in writing the efforts, if any, which have been made to give notice or the reasons supporting the claim that notice should not be required.  In the event that a temporary restraining order is based upon any affidavit, a copy of such affidavit must be served with the temporary restraining order.  In case a temporary restraining order is granted without notice, the motion for a temporary injunction shall be set down for hearing at the earliest practicable time and shall take precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character; and when the motion comes on for hearing, the party who obtained the temporary restraining order shall proceed with the application for a temporary injunction, and, if the party does not do so, the court shall dissolve the temporary restraining order.  On written or oral notice to the party who obtained the ex parte temporary restraining order, the adverse party may appear and move its dissolution or modification, and in that event the court shall proceed to hear and determine such motion as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.

Minnesota Temporary Injunction Legal Standard

Rule 65.02 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure provides the legal standards for a Temporary Injunction:

(a) No temporary injunction shall be granted without notice of motion or an order to show cause to the adverse party.

(b) A temporary injunction may be granted if by affidavit, deposition testimony, or oral testimony in court, it appears that sufficient grounds exist therefor.

(c) Before or after the commencement of the hearing on a motion for a temporary injunction, the court may order the trial of the action on the merits to be advanced and consolidated with the hearing on the motion.  Even when this consolidation is not ordered, any evidence received upon a motion for a temporary injunction which would be admissible at the trial on the merits becomes part of the trial record and need not be repeated at trial.  This provision shall be so construed and applied as to preserve any rights the parties may have to trial by jury.

Additional Rules for Temporary Restraining Orders and Temporary Injunctions

These rules from the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure also apply to Temporary Restraining Orders and Temporary Injunctions:

Rule 65.03: Security

(a) No temporary restraining order or temporary injunction shall be granted except upon the giving of security by the applicant, in such sum as the court deems proper, for the payment of such costs and damages as may be incurred or suffered by any party who is found to have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained.

(b) Whenever security is given in the form of a bond or other undertaking with one or more sureties, each surety submits to the jurisdiction of the court and irrevocably appoints the court administrator as the surety’s agent upon whom any papers affecting liability on the bond or undertaking may be served. The surety’s liability may be enforced on motion without the necessity of an independent action. The motion and such notice of the motion as the court prescribes may be served on the court administrator, who shall forthwith mail copies to the sureties if their addresses are known.

Rule 65.04: Form and Scope of Injunction or Restraining Order

Every order granting an injunction and every restraining order shall set forth the reasons for its issuance; shall be specific in terms; shall describe in reasonable detail, and not by reference to the complaint or other document, the act or acts sought to be restrained; and is binding only upon the parties to the action, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and upon those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise.

How to Get a Business Temporary Restraining Order

As you can see, there is a lot involved in seeking a TRO and Temporary Injunction in the business context. The legal standards are complex, and if you fail to fulfill the legal requirements, your motion will be dismissed. For this reason, an experienced Minnesota business litigation attorney should be hired if your business needs a TRO and/or Temporary Injunction.

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