Injunction, preliminary injunction and TRO distinguished

Posted by Admin | Posted in Provisional Remedies | Posted on 10-07-2010

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Injunction is a judicial writ, process or proceeding whereby a party is ordered to do or refrain from doing a certain act. It may be the main action or merely a provisional remedy for and as an incident in the main action.  (Regalado, Remedial Law Compendium [1999, p. 637])

Unlike an action for injunction, preliminary injunction is only a provisional or ancillary remedy, that is, it cannot exist except only as part or an incident of an independent action or proceeding.  As a matter of course, in an action for injunction, the auxiliary remedy of preliminary injunction, whether prohibitory or mandatory, may issue. (Bacolod City Water District vs. Lacbayen, GR No. 157494, December 10, 2004) This means that if you filed an action for injunction, you can also ask the court to issue a preliminary injunction while your case is pending so that  your rights or interests may be protected in the meantime that the final injunction is not yet granted.  A preliminary injunction may be applied for at any stage of the proceedings and once granted after hearing, it persists until it is dissolved or until the termination of the action without the court issuing a final injunction. (Miriam College vs. Court of Appeals, 348 SCRA 265 [2000])

A preliminary injunction, although it is merely a provisional remedy, may not be issued without notice and hearing (Section 5, Rule 58, Rules of Court).  So if your application for preliminary injunction is still pending, and there is an urgent need to preserve the status quo to prevent further damage or injury to the persons involved, you can also ask for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to preserve the status quo until the hearing of the application for preliminary injunction.

Under Rule 58, you can either ask for a 20-day TRO or a 72-hour TRO.  Through affidavits showing that “great or irreparable injury” will result before the injunction is issued, a judge may issue a TRO effective for twenty (20) days from date of issue.  If the matter is of “extreme urgency” and the applicant will suffer “grave injustice and irreparable injury”, you can apply for a TRO effective for 72 hours from issuance.  Once issued, the judge will determine within the same 72-hour period whether or not the TRO should be extended.  But the extension should not exceed 20 days.  If before the expiration of the 20-day period the application for preliminary injunction is denied or not resolved, the temporary restraining order would be deemed automatically vacated.

If the court which issued the TRO is the Court of Appeals or any justice of said court, it is effective for 60 days.  But the counting of the 60-day period begins not from its issuance, but from the time such TRO is served on the party sought to be enjoined.  If issued by the Supreme Court or any justice of this Court, it is effective until further orders.