law-temporary-injunction-standard criteria test |
An applicant for a temporary injunction has the burden to establish all of the requirements for a
temporary injunction. A trial court has broad discretion to determine whether the applicant met that
burden. Hilb, Rogal & Hamilton Co. of Texas, 861 S.W.2d at 33.
Standards for Granting and Reviewing Temporary Injunction
A temporary injunction is an extraordinary remedy, the purpose of which is to preserve the status quo of the
litigation’s subject matter pending a trial on the merits. Butnaru v. Ford Motor Co., 84 S.W.3d 198, 204 (Tex.
2002). To obtain a temporary injunction, an applicant must show: (1) a cause of action, (2) a probable right to
the relief sought, and (3) a probable, imminent, and irreparable injury in the interim. Id.; Mattox v. Jackson,
336 S.W.3d 759, 762 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, no pet.). The temporary injunction applicant bears
the burden of production—i.e., it must offer some evidence of each of these elements. See In re Tex. Natural
Res. Conservation Comm’n, 85 S.W.3d 201, 204 (Tex. 2002) (quoting Camp v. Shannon, 162 Tex. 515, 348 S.
W.2d 517, 519 (1961); Dallas Anesthesiology Assocs., P.A. v. Tex. Anesthesia Group, P.A., 190 S.W.3d 891,
897 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2006, no pet.).
The decision to grant or deny an injunction rests within the trial court’s sound discretion. Butnaru, 84 S.W.3d
at 204. We will reverse the trial court’s ruling only if it has abused that discretion. Id. A trial court abuses its
discretion only if it reaches a decision so arbitrary and unreasonable that it amounts to a clear and prejudicial
error of law or if it clearly fails to correctly analyze or apply the law. In re Olshan Found. Repair Co., LLC, 328
S.W.3d 883, 888 (Tex. 2010). We may not substitute our judgment for the trial judge’s. New Process Steel
Corp. v. Steel Corp. of Tex., 638 S.W.2d 522, 524 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1982, no writ). We view the
evidence submitted to the trial court in the light most favorable to the court’s ruling, draw all legitimate
inferences from the evidence, and defer to the trial court’s resolution of conflicting evidence. CRC-Evans
Pipeline Int'l, Inc. v. Myers, 927 S.W.2d 259, 262 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1996, no pet.). Our review of
the trial court’s decision is limited to the validity of its temporary injunction order; we do not consider the merits
of the underlying case. Davis v. Huey, 571 S.W.2d 859, 861–62 (Tex. 1978).
PURPOSE OF TEMPORARY INJUNCTIONS
The purpose of a temporary injunction is to preserve the status quo of a lawsuit's subject matter pending a full
trial on the merits. Butnaru v. Ford Motor Co., 84 S.W.3d 198, 204 (Tex. 2002). However, a temporary
injunction is an extraordinary remedy that does not issue as a matter of right. Id. Instead, the applicant bears
the burden of pleading and proving that he has (1) a cause of action against the defendant, (2) a probable
right to the relief sought, and (3) a probable, imminent, and irreparable injury in the interim. Id.
The party seeking injunctive relief - here, St. Laurent - carries the burden to demonstrate an irreparable
injury. See Reach Group, L.L.C. v. Angelina Group, 173 S.W.3d 834, 838 (Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.]
2005, no pet.). An injury is considered irreparable if the party cannot be adequately compensated in
damages, or if those damages are incapable of calculation. Butnaru, 84 S.W.3d at 204; Reach Group, L.L.C.,
173 S.W.3d at 838. Generally, however, courts do not enforce contractual rights by injunction, because an
applicant who may recover breach-of-contract damages can rarely establish an irreparable injury and
accompanying inadequate legal remedy. Butnaru, 84 S.W.3d at 211; Reach Group, L.L.C., 173 S.W.3d at
We review the grant or denial of a temporary injunction for an abuse of discretion. EMSL Analytical, Inc. v.
Younker, 154 S.W.3d 693, 696 (Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, no pet.). A trial court does not abuse
its discretion if it bases its decision on conflicting evidence in the record. Law v. William Marsh Rice Univ., 123
S.W.3d 786, 792 (Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, pet. denied). With respect to the resolution of factual
issues, the appellant must establish the trial court reasonably could have reached only one decision.
Emeritus Corp. v. Ofczarzak, 198 S.W.3d 222, 225-26 (Tex. App.- San Antonio 2006, no pet.). To the extent
that we must consider the evidence to resolve this appeal, we review the evidence in the light most favorable
to the trial court's order, indulging reasonable inferences in its favor. See EMSL Analytical, Inc., 154 S.W.3d
at 696. Therefore, we will not disturb the trial court's ruling if some evidence in the record reasonably
supports the decision. Butnaru, 84 S.W.3d at 211. However, a trial court abuses its discretion if it misapplies
the law to the established facts of the case. Law, 123 S.W.3d at 792.
North Cypress Med. Ctr. Operation Co, Ltd. v. Laurent, MD (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Aug. 4, 2009)
(Sullivan) (interlocutory appeal of temporary injunction, no irreparable damages shown, temporary injunction
dissolved by court of appeals)(partnership dispute)
REVERSED AND REMANDED: Opinion by Justice Sullivan
Before Justices Seymore, Brown and Sullivan)
14-09-00204-CV North Cypress Medical Center Operating Company, Ltd. and North Cypress Operating G.P.
LLC v. Matthew St. Laurent, M.D
Appeal from 333rd District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: JOSEPH J. HALBACH
Here, St. Laurent contends that his partnership shares are "unique" such that money damages cannot fully
compensate him for their loss. In the alternative, he suggests that the amount of such damages cannot be
adequately measured. We will address each of these contentions, in turn.
CAUSES OF ACTION ELEMENTS | HOUSTON CASE LAW | TEXAS COURT OF APPEALS OPINIONS
HOUSTON OPINIONS HOME PAGE