A temporary restraining order or injunction are equitable remedies which usually order an individual or entity to stop doing a particular activity. A common example, in the context of non-compete contracts, would be a court restraining order or injunction ordering a former employee from working with a competitor. Orders freezing assets are also common forms of injunctions. When irreparable harm is present, and money damages are insufficient, an injunction may be the proper remedy.
Restraining someone or something is a drastic measure. In Missouri, therefore, an injunction or restraining order does not by law issue until a bond, surety or cash, is posted in such amount that the Court deems sufficient to secure the amount or other matter to be enjoined. The bond is also in place to account for any damages that may be occasioned by the injunction or restraining order to the parties directly enjoined — or any party interested in the subject matter of the controversy.
A court’s decision to award damages on an injunction bond is statutory and may come only upon motion by the aggrieved party. The burden to prove damages from the injunction or restraining order rests on the party seeking damages. Only damages that are the actual, natural and proximate result of the restraint may be recovered; damages that are merely speculative cannot be recovered. Recovery is limited to the amount of the injunction bond. A pre-requisite to recovery on the bond, moreover, generally requires that the initial injunction/restraining order was wrongfully issued and/or wrongfully obtained.
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