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The concept of a legal remedy is an old tenant of both the English and the American legal systems. At one time, based on the very remedies they had jurisdiction to provide litigants, American courts were split in two, with courts of equity and courts of law.
Remedies are omnipresent in civil litigation. The relief sought in civil cases fall into two broad categories: monetary or equitable. The concept of monetary damages, at its most basic level, is that the liable party pays a dollar amount for the harm it caused another. Conversely, equitable relief is sought in situations where money is insufficient to right the wrong suffered by the nonliable party. In many instances, this form of relief can require the liable party to act or forbear from acting.
A preliminary injunction—the focus of this Note—is one equitable remedy granted by the trial court, which typically lasts until a case can be fully adjudicated on the merits. The preliminary injunction is one of the most powerful remedies a court can issue.It is also an important tool for litigators when monetary compensation is insufficient to right the wrong suffered. In modern courts, a preliminary injunction can be the difference between moving forward with the case or dropping it all together because of how long it can take for a contested case to be docketed for trial.