permanent injunction n. a final order of a court that a person or entity refrain from certain activities permanently or take certain actions (usually to correct a nuisance) until completed. A permanent injunction is distinguished from a "preliminary" injunction which the court issues pending the outcome of a lawsuit or petition asking for the "permanent" injunction.
InjunctionA court order by which an individual is required to perform, or is restrained from performing, a particular act. A writ framed according to the circumstances of the individual case.
An injunction commands an act that the court regards as essential to justice, or it prohibits an act that is deemed to be contrary to good conscience. It is an extraordinary remedy, reserved for special circumstances in which the temporary preservation of the status quo is necessary.
An injunction is ordinarily and properly elicited from other proceedings. For example, a landlord might bring an action against a tenant for waste, in which the right to protect the land-lord's interest in the ownership of the premises is at issue. The landlord might apply to the court for an injunction against the tenant's continuing harmful use of the property. The injunction is an ancillary remedy in the action against the tenant.
Injunctive relief is not a matter of right, but its denial is within the discretion of the court. Whether or not an injunction will be granted varies with the facts of each case.
The courts exercise their power to issue injunctions judiciously, and only when necessity exists. An injunction is usually issued only in cases where irreparable injury to the rights of an individual would result otherwise. It must be readily apparent to the court that some act has been performed, or is threatened, that will produce irreparable injury to the party seeking the injunction. An injury is considered irreparable when it cannot be adequately compensated by an award of damages. The pecuniary damage that would be incurred from the threatened action need not be great, however. If a loss can be calculated in terms of money, there is no irreparable injury. The consequent refusal by a court to grant an injunction is, therefore, proper. Loss of profits alone is insufficient to establish irreparable injury. The potential destruction of property is sufficient.
Injunctive relief is not a remedy that is liberally granted, and, therefore, a court will always consider any hardship that the parties will sustain by the granting or refusal of an injunction. The court that issues an injunction may, in exercise of its discretion, modify or dissolve it at a later date if the circumstances so warrant.Types of Injunction
Preliminary A preliminary or temporary injunction is a provisional remedy that is invoked to preserve the subject matter in its existing condition. Its purpose is to prevent dis-solution of the plaintiff's rights. The main reason for use of a preliminary injunction is the need for immediate relief.
Preliminary or temporary injunctions are not conclusive as to the rights of the parties, and they do not determine the merits of a case or decide issues in controversy. They seek to prevent threatened wrong, further injury, and irreparable harm or injustice until such time as the rights of the parties can be ultimately settled. Preliminary injunctive relief ensures the ability of the court to render a meaningful decision and serves to prevent a change of circumstances that would hamper or block the granting of proper relief following a trial on the merits of the case.
A motion for a preliminary injunction is never granted automatically. The discretion of the court should be exercised in favor of a temporary injunction, which maintains the status quo until the final trial. Such discretion should be exercised against a temporary injunction when its issuance would alter the status quo. For example, during the Florida presidential-election controversy in 2000, the campaign of george w. bush asked a federal appeals court for a preliminary injunction to halt the manual counting of ballots. It sought a preliminary injunction until the U.S. Supreme Court could decide on granting a permanent injunction. In that case, Siegel v. Lepore, 234 F.3d 1163 (11th Cir. 2000). the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit refused to grant the injunction, stating that the Bush campaign had not "shown the kind of serious and immediate injury that demands the extraordinary relief of a preliminary injunction."
Preventive Injunctions An injunction directing an individual to refrain from doing an act is preventive, prohibitive, prohibitory, or negative. This type of injunction prevents a threatened injury, preserves the status quo, or restrains the continued commission of an ongoing wrong, but it cannot be used to redress a consummated wrong or to undo that which has already been done.
The Florida vote count in the presidential election of 2000 again serves as a good example. There, the Bush campaign sought preventive injunctions to restrain various counties from performing recounts after the Florida results had been certified. The Bush campaign did not attempt to overturn results already arrived at, but rather attempted to stop new results from coming in. In turn, the Gore campaign attempted to obtain a preventive injunction to prevent Florida's secretary of state from certifying the election results.
Mandatory Injunctions Although the court is vested with wide discretion to fashion injunctive relief, it is also restricted to restraint of a contemplated or threatened action. It also might compel Specific Performance of an act. In such a case, it issues a mandatory injunction, commanding the performance of a positive act. Because mandatory injunctions are harsh, courts do not favor them, and they rarely grant them. Such injunctions have been issued to compel the removal of buildings or other structures wrongfully placed upon the land of another.
Permanent Injunctions A permanent or perpetual injunction is one that is granted by the judgment that ultimately disposes of the injunction suit, ordered at the time of final judgment. This type of injunction must be final relief. Permanent injunctions are perpetual, provided that the conditions that produced them remain permanent. They have been granted to prevent blasting upon neighboring premises, to enjoin the dumping of earth or other material upon land, and to prevent Pollution of a water supply.
An individual who has been licensed by the state to practice a profession may properly demand that others in the same profession sub-scribe to the ethical standards and laws that govern it. An injunction is a proper remedy to prevent the illegal practice of a profession, and the relief may be sought by either licensed practitioners or a professional association. The illegal Practice of Law, medicine, dentistry, and architecture has been stopped by the issuance of injunctions.
Acts that are injurious to the public health or safety may be enjoined as well. For example, injunctions have been issued to enforce laws providing for the eradication of diseases in animals raised for food.
The government has the authority to protect citizens from damage by violence and from fear through threats and intimidation. In some states, an injunction is the proper remedy to bar the use of violence against those asserting their rights under the law.
Acts committed without Just Cause that interfere with the carrying on of a business may be enjoined if no other adequate remedy exists. A Trade Secret, for example, may be protected by injunction. An individual's right of personal privacy may be protected by an injunction if there is no other adequate remedy, or where a specific statutory provision for injunctive relief exists. An individual whose name or picture is used for advertising purposes without the individual's consent may enjoin its use. The theory is that injunctive relief is proper because of a celebrity's unique property interest in the commercial use of his or her name and likeness (i.e., their right of publicity).
Restraining Orders A Restraining Order is granted to preserve the status quo of the subject of the controversy until the hearing on an application for a temporary injunction. A Temporary Restraining Order is an extraordinary remedy of short duration that is issued to prevent unnecessary and irreparable injury. Essentially, such an order suspends proceedings until an opportunity arises to inquire whether an injunction should be granted. Unless extended by the court, a temporary restraining order ceases to operate upon the expiration of the time set by its terms.
Contempt An individual who violates an injunction may be punished for Contempt of court. A person is not guilty of contempt, however, unless he or she can be charged with knowledge of the injunction. Generally, an individual who is charged with contempt is entitled to a trial or a hearing. The penalty imposed is within the discretion of the court. Ordinarily, punishment is by fine, imprisonment, or both.
injunction n. a writ (order) issued by a court ordering someone to do something or prohibiting some act after a court hearing. The procedure is for someone who has been or is in danger of being harmed, or needs some help (relief) or his/her attorney, to a) petition for the injunction to protect his/her rights; to b) get an "order to show cause" from the judge telling the other party to show why the injunction should not be issued; c) serve (deliver or have delivered) the order to show cause on the party whom he/she wishes to have ordered to act or be restrained ("enjoined"); d) appear at a scheduled hearing in which both sides attempt to convince the judge why the injunction should or should not be granted. If there is danger of immediate irreparable harm at the time the petition is filed, a judge may issue a temporary injunction which goes into affect upon it being served (deliver or have delivered) to the other party. This temporary injunction will stay in force until the hearing or sometimes until the outcome of a lawsuit is decided in which an injunction is one of the parts of the plaintiff's demands (in the "prayer"). A final and continuing injunction is called a permanent injunction. Examples of injunctions include prohibitions against cutting trees, creating nuisances, polluting a stream, picketing which goes beyond the bounds of free speech and assembly, or removing funds from a bank account pending determination of ownership. So-called "mandatory" injunctions which require acts to be performed, may include return of property, keeping a gate to a road unlocked, clearing off tree limbs from a right-of-way, turning on electricity or heat in an apartment building, or depositing disputed funds with the court.
Contempt An act of deliberate disobedience or disregard for the laws, regulations, or decorum of a public authority, such as a court or legislative body.
Individuals may be cited for contempt when they disobey an order, fail to comply with a request, tamper with documents, withhold evidence, interrupt proceedings through their actions or words, or otherwise defy a public authority or hold it up to ridicule and disrespect. The laws and rules governing contempt have developed in a piecemeal fashion over time and give wide discretion to judges and legislative leaders in determining both what constitutes contempt and how it is punished.Contempt of Court
Contempt of court is behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice, and dignity of the court. Contempt charges may be brought against parties to proceedings; lawyers or other court officers or personnel; jurors; witnesses; or people who insert themselves in a case, such as protesters outside a courtroom. Courts have great leeway in making contempt charges, and thus confusion sometimes exists about the distinctions between types of contempt. Generally, however, contempt proceedings are categorized as civil or criminal, and direct or indirect.
Civil contempt generally involves the failure to perform an act that is ordered by a court as a means to enforce the rights of individuals or to secure remedies for parties in a civil action. For instance, parents who refuse to pay court-ordered Child Support may be held in contempt of court under civil contempt. Criminal contempt involves behavior that assaults the dignity of the court or impairs the ability of the court to conduct its work. Criminal contempt can occur within a civil or criminal case. For example, criminal contempt occurs when a witness or spectator shouts or insults the judge during a trial. A civil contempt usually is a violation of the rights of one person, whereas a criminal contempt is an offense against society. Courts use civil contempt as a coercive power, wielding it only to ask that the contemnor comply with the courts' actions. Criminal contempt is punitive; courts use it to punish parties who have impaired the courts' functioning or bruised their dignity.
A direct contempt is an act that occurs in the presence of the court and is intended to embarrass or engender disrespect for the court. Shouting in the courtroom or refusing to answer questions for a judge or attorney under oath is a direct contempt. Indirect contempt occurs outside the presence of the court, but its intention is also to belittle, mock, obstruct, interrupt, or degrade the court and its proceedings. Attempting to bribe a district attorney is an example of an indirect contempt. Publishing any material that results in a contempt charge is an indirect contempt. Other kinds of indirect contempt include preventing process service, improperly communicating to or by jurors, and withholding evidence. One man was threatened with contempt charges because he had filed more than 350 lawsuits that the judge considered frivolous. Indirect contempt also may be called constructive or consequential contempt; all three terms mean the same thing.
The essence of contempt of court is that the misconduct impairs the fair and efficient administration of justice. Contempt statutes generally require that the actions present a Clear and Present Danger that threatens the administration of justice.
The manner in which an act is committed or the tone in which words are spoken can determine whether contempt has occurred. Circumstances, such as the context in which the words were spoken, the tone, the facial expression, the manner, and the emphasis, are also evaluated by the court. Failure to complete an act that, if completed, would tend to bring the court into disrespect does not preclude the act from being contemptuous.Criticisms of the Contempt-of-Court Power
The discretion permitted to judges in determining what is contempt and how to punish it has led some legal scholars to argue that the contempt power gives too much authority to judges. Earl C. Dudley, University of Virginia law professor, wrote that in the contempt power, "the roles of victim, prosecutor and judge are dangerously commingled."
Much of the criticism focuses on the lack of restraint or due process in determining punishments for contempt. In criminal contempt, the contempt charges become a separate matter, but they may be heard by the judge who made them. In addition, the same judge may commence punishment immediately, and the punishment may be in effect until the contempt case is settled. Critics have argued that judges—who are the principal offended party—may be too harsh. For instance, in 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a decision by a Virginia judge who had fined the United Mine Workers of America $52 million in connection with violence that occurred during a 1989 strike. The High Court stated that the fines were excessive and improperly imposed because the union had never had a chance to defend itself in a trial before the fines were imposed.
Similarly, individuals who have refused to provide courts with information have been held in jail—sometimes for years—under contempt charges. In Maryland, a woman involved in a custody battle with her ex-husband refused to reveal the whereabouts of her child. Elizabeth Morgan spent 25 months in jail before her ex-husband dropped the custody case and it was revealed that the child was staying with Morgan's parents in New Zealand. Journalist Myron Farber, of the New York Times, spent more than three years in jail for refusing to turn over notes that prosecutors sought for a murder trial.
Judges and scholars have defended the practices of indefinite jail time because the contemnor "carries the keys to his prison in his own pocket" and can be released by complying with the court (In re Nevitt, 117 F. 448 [8th Cir. 1902]).
Civil contempt proceedings end when the suit from which they arose is resolved. Criminal contempt continues as a separate matter. Settlements may involve jail time, fines, or other retribution. For instance, when the Cable News Network (CNN) was found guilty of contempt of court for airing audiotapes related to the trial of Manuel Noriega, the deposed president of Panama, the network was given the choice of airing a retraction and an apology for using the tapes or paying a large fine. The network made the apology.Contempt of Congress
The Constitution does not explicitly grant Congress the power to coerce cooperation from individuals or to punish acts of disobedience or disrespect through contempt proceedings. However, the power was discussed at the Constitutional Convention and was implied in the Constitution. In 1795, Congress used the power of contempt for the first time when it arrested, tried, and punished a man accused of bribing members of the House of Representatives. Then Congress acted on its own authority—subsequently called the Self-Help power, which grants Congress the right to compel testimony and punish disobedience without the involvement of a court or other government body if the individual's actions obstruct the legislative process. By 1821, the Supreme Court recognized Congress's power to arrest and punish individuals for contempt. In 1857, Congress created a statute governing prosecution for contempt, which shifted the responsibility for determining contempt from Congress itself to the courts. Until 1945, Congress largely ignored this criminal statute and continued to compel testimony and deal with contemnors through its own power.
In the late twentieth century, the Supreme Court noted, "Congress has practically abandoned its original practice of utilizing the coercive (self-help) sanction of contempt proceedings at the bar of the House" (Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 77 S. Ct. 1173, 1 L. Ed. 2d 1273). Under the criminal statute, Congress must petition the U.S. attorney to bring a case of possible contempt before a Grand Jury. The case is then tried in federal court.
Most contempt citations arise from Congress's investigatory powers. In its decisions since World War II, the Supreme Court has outlined requirements that Congress must meet before it can compel testimony. The investigation must have a valid legislative purpose. It must be conducted by a committee or subcommittee of the House of Representatives or Senate, or the authority of the investigating body must be clearly defined in a resolution. The questions asked of witnesses must be pertinent to the subject of inquiry. Contempt proceedings cannot be used to harass an individual or organization. Finally, before individuals can be held in contempt, they must willfully default, either by failing to appear before the investigating body or by refusing to answer pertinent questions.
Congress's contempt power has come into conflict with the First Amendment in several cases. The first of these cases was Barenblatt v. United States, 360 U.S. 109, 79 S. Ct. 1081, 3 L. Ed. 2d 1115 (1959), in which Lloyd Barenblatt refused to answer five questions of the House Un-American Activities Committee, regarding Communist infiltration of educational institutions. Barenblatt was convicted of contempt then appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the questions violated his First Amendment right to freedom of association. The Court, in a 5–4 decision, supported Barenblatt. The Court stated that the questions were too vague to support a contempt citation and that Congress's investigative powers must be balanced against First Amendment rights.
The conflict between Congress's investigative powers and the First Amendment surfaced again in 1992 when Nina Totenberg, a National Public Radio correspondent, refused to answer questions of a Senate special counsel about how she obtained confidential documents related to the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. Totenberg had earlier revealed that the Senate Judiciary Committee was looking into accusations that Thomas had sexually harassed members of his staff. The charges led to public testimony by law professor anita hill. A Senate special counsel asked to have Totenberg held in contempt when she refused to reveal who leaked information about the charges to her. The request was denied by the Senate Rules Committee because of its potential "chilling effect on the media."
Congress also has used the contempt power in conflicts with private parties and the Executive Branch of government. For instance, business partners of Ferdinand Marcos, former president of the Philippines, produced documents for the House Foreign Affairs Committee only under threat of contempt citations. And James G. Watt, former secretary of the interior, was charged with contempt by a congressional committee in the early 1980s when, citing Executive Privilege, he refused to release Interior Department documents.Contempt Proceedings against President Clinton
On April 12, 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton became the first sitting president in United States history to be held in contempt of court. The contempt charge against President Clinton stemmed from a deposition he gave in connection with a 1994 Sexual Harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones. Jones v. Clinton, 858 F. Supp. 902 (E.D. Ark. 1994). Jones alleged that on May 8, 1991, she was an Arkansas state employee working at a conference held at a hotel in Little Rock. At some point during the conference, Jones claimed she was escorted to a hotel room by one of Clinton's bodyguards, where she was introduced to the then-governor. Shortly after the introduction, Jones alleged that Clinton dropped his trousers and demanded oral sex from her. Jones said that though she refused and was allowed to leave, her career as a state government employee suffered thereafter.
The Jones lawsuit languished in pre-trial discovery for the first three years after it was filed. On January 17, 1998, Jones and her lawyers deposed Clinton, who was now serving his second term as president of the United States. During the deposition, Clinton was asked a series of questions about his relationship with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. The president testified that he was never alone with the former White House intern and did not have a sexual relationship with her.
A subsequent probe by independent counsel kenneth starr revealed that the president's DNA had been found on Lewinsky's dress, which eventually led Clinton to admit that he had an "inappropriate intimate relationship" with his former intern (Jones v. Clinton, 36 F. Supp. 2d 1118 (E.D. Ark. 1999). The discovery of the dress also fueled the House of Representatives to draft Articles of Impeachment against the president.
A month after giving the deposition, Clinton filed a motion to dismiss the Jones lawsuit. On April 1, 1998, United States District Judge susan webber wright granted the motion to dismiss, finding that Jones had "failed to demonstrate that she has a case worthy of submitting to a jury." Jones v. Clinton, 990 F. Supp. 657 (E.D. Ark. 1998). While the case was pending on appeal, Clinton and Jones settled the sexual harassment lawsuit for $850,000.
A year later Judge Wright addressed the issue whether President Clinton should be held in contempt for denying his relationship with Lewinsky during the January 1998 deposition. At the time he gave the deposition, there was very little evidence indicating that the president's testimony was false. But in the 14 months that followed, it became clear that the president had not only been alone with Monica Lewinsky but also had some form of sexual relations with her.
Accordingly, Judge Wright found the president in contempt for giving "false, misleading and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process" at a deposition over which she personally presided. Jones v. Clinton, 36 F. Supp. 2d 1118 (E.D. Ark. 1999). Although Clinton maintained that his "inti-mate" relationship with Lewinsky did not constitute "sexual" relations, Wright said that it is difficult to construe "the president's sworn statements … as anything other than a willful refusal to obey this court's discovery orders." Jones v. Clinton 36 F. Supp. 2d 1118 (E.D. Ark. 1999).
In July 1998, Wright leveled a $90,686 fine against the president. Wright said regarding this case that the fine was intended to both punish Clinton for the contempt violation and also "to deter others who might consider emulating the president's misconduct."Wright then referred the matter to the Arkansas Supreme Court to determine whether the president should lose his license to practice law in that state. In May 1999 the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct recommended that Clinton be disbarred. However, on January 19, 2001, his last day in office, President Clinton resolved the case before the state ethics committee by agreeing to surrender his law license for a period of five years and admitting, according to Pete Yost in an AP Online report, that he "knowingly gave evasive and misleading answers" about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky in violation of Arkansas rules governing attorney ethics. Additionally, Clinton agreed to pay a $25,000 fine.
Freedom of the Press The right, guaranteed by theFirst Amendmentto the U.S. Constitution, to gather, publish, and distribute information and ideas without governmentrestriction; this right encompasses freedom from prior restraints on publication and freedom fromCensorship.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, in part, "Congress shall make no law… abridging the Freedom of Speech, or of the press." The courts have long struggled to determine whether the Framers of the Constitution intended to differentiate press freedom from speech freedom. Most have concluded that freedom of the press derives from freedom of speech. Although some cases and some legal scholars, including Justice Potter Stewart, of the U.S. Supreme Court, have advocated special press protections distinct from those accorded to speech, most justices believe that the Freedom of the Press Clause has no significance independent of the Freedom of Speech Clause.
The Court explained its reasoning in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 98 S. Ct. 1407, 55 L. Ed. 2d 707 (1978). According to Chief Justice warren e. burger, conferring special status on the press requires that the courts or the government determine who or what the press is and what activities fall under its special protection. Burger concluded that the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment adequately ensure freedom of the press, and that there is no need to distinguish between the two rights:Because the First Amendment was meant to guarantee freedom to express and communicate ideas, I can see no difference between the right of those who seek to disseminate ideas by way of a newspaper and those who give lectures or speeches and seek to enlarge the audience by publication and wide dissemination.
The Court has generally rejected requests to extend to the press Privileges and Immunities beyond those available to ordinary citizens. In Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 92 S. Ct. 2646, 33 L. Ed. 2d 626 (1972), it held that a journalist's privilege to refuse to disclose information such as the names of informants is no broader than that enjoyed by any citizen. As long as an inquiry is conducted in Good Faith, with relevant questions and no harassment, a journalist must cooperate.
Justice Stewart's dissent in Branzburg urged the Court to find that a qualified journalistic privilege exists unless the government is able to show three things: (1) Probable Cause to believe that the journalist possesses information that is clearly relevant; (2) an inability to obtain the material by less intrusive means; and (3) a compelling interest that overrides First Amendment interests. In an unusual break with tradition, several circuit courts have applied Stewart's test and ruled in favor of journalists seeking special First Amendment protection. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has steadfastly held to its decision in Branzburg, and shows no sign of retreating from its position that the First Amendment confers no special privileges on journalists.
Laws that affect the ability of the press to gather and publish news are suspect, but not automatically unconstitutional. In Cohen v. Cowles Media Co., 501 U.S. 663, 111 S. Ct. 2513, 115 L. Ed. 2d 586 (1991), reporters for two Twin Cities newspapers were sued for breach of contract when they published the name of their source after promising confidentiality. The reporters claimed that the law infringed their First Amendment freedom to gather news unencumbered by state law. The Court held that the law did not unconstitutionally undermine their rights because its enforcement imposed only an incidental burden on their ability to gather and report information. Writing for the majority, Justice byron r. white said that laws that apply to the general public and do not target the press do not violate the First Amendment simply because their enforcement against members of the press has an incidental burden on their ability to gather and report the news: "Enforcement of such general laws against the press is not subject to stricter scrutiny than would be applied to enforcement against other persons or organizations." The Cohen decision indicates the Court's continued unwillingness to extend special First Amendment protection to journalists.
Generally, the First Amendment prohibits prior restraint, that is, restraint on a publication before it is published. In a landmark decision in near v. minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, 51 S. Ct. 625, 75 L. Ed. 1357 (1931), the Court held that the government could not prohibit the publication of a newspaper for carrying stories that were scandalous or scurrilous. The Court identified three types of publications against which a prior restraint might be valid: those that pose a threat to national security, those that contain obscene materials, and those that advocate violence or the overthrow of the government.
The government argued that publication of certain material posed a threat to national security in the so-called Pentagon Papers case, new york times co. v. united states, 403 U.S. 713, 91 S. Ct. 2140, 29 L. Ed. 2d 822 (1971). There, the government sought an Injunction against newspapers that were planning to publish classified material concerning U.S. policy in Vietnam. The Court found that the government had not proved an overriding government interest, or an extreme danger to national security if the material were to be published. The justices reiterated their position that a request for a prior restraint must overcome a heavy presumption of unconstitutionality.
The Court is steadfast in its holding that prior restraints are among the most serious infringements on First Amendment freedoms and that attempts to impose them must be strictly scrutinized. In Nebraska Press Ass'n v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539, 96 S. Ct. 2791, 49 L. Ed. 2d 683 (1976), the Court overturned a state court's attempt to ban the press from a criminal trial. The Court held that gag orders, although not per se invalid, are allowable only when there is a Clear and Present Danger to the administration of justice.
Freedom of the press, like freedom of speech, is not absolute. Notwithstanding the limitations placed on it, the press exercises enormous power and influence, and is burdened with commensurate responsibility. Because journalists generally have access to more information than does the average individual, they serve as the eyes, ears, and voice of the public. Some legal scholars even argue that the press is an important force in the democratic system of checks and balances.
In the wake of the September 11th Attacks in 2001, the White House placed pressure on the five major television networks not to broadcast videotaped statements by terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and his associates. The networks had shown a videotape of bin Laden, and this angered the White House. In early October 2001, the networks agreed not to show such statements again without reviewing them first. The decision came after a conference call among U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and the heads of the networks. The White House feared that broadcasts from suspected terrorists could contain anything from incitement to coded messages. This agreement aroused concerns that the press was forfeiting its responsibility to report all of the news. Commentators noted that the rest of the world would see the bin Laden tapes via television and the Internet, and that the security concerns raised by the U.S. government thus would have little impact.
The balance between restraint and responsibility continued to be tested during the war against Terrorism and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In contrast to the 1991 Gulf War, where the press was kept away from the battlefield, the war in Iraq featured "embededded" journalists, who traveled and reported in real time among the U.S. forces. However, the press was restricted to disclosing only certain types of information due to security concerns.
InjunctiondefinitionAn injunction is a court order requiring a person to do or cease doing a specific action. Temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are temporary injunctions. They are issued early in a lawsuit to maintain the status quo by preventing a defendant from becoming insolvent or to stop the defendant from continuing his or her allegedly harmful actions. Choosing whether to grant temporary injunctive relief is a discretionary power of the court. Permanent injunctions are issued as a final judgment in a case. Failure to comply with an injunction may result in being held in contempt of court. See, e.g., Roe v. Wade 410 US 113 (1973).injunctions: an overview
An injunction is a court order requiring an individual to do or omit doing a specific action. It is an extraordinary remedy that courts utilize in special cases where preservation of the status quo or taking some specific action is required in order to prevent possible injustice. Injunctive relief is a discretionary power of the court in which the court, upon deciding that the plaintiff's rights are being violated, balances the irreparablility of injuries and inadequacy of damages if an injunction were not granted against the damages that granting an injunction would cause.
An individual who has been given adequate notice of an injunction but fails to follow the court's orders may be punished for contempt of court.
An injunction is an equity remedy and as such is available only in cases of in-personam jurisdiction (not in in-rem proceedings). Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure explains what injuctions are and the rules regarding them. Basically, there are two types of injunctions: a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order (TRO). The purpose of both is to maintain the status quo -- to insure a plaintiff that the defendant will not either make him or herself judgment-proof, or insolvent in some way, or to stop him or her from acting in the harmful, complained-of way until further judicial proceedings are available.
There is a balancing test that courts typically employ in determining whether to issue an injunction. The defendant's 5th Amendment due process rights are weighed (heavily) against the possibility of the defendant becoming judgment-proof, and the immediacy of the harm allegedly done to the plaintiff (i.e., how badly does the plaintiff need the injunction). When it is possible, the defendant must always be put on notice of the injunction hearing, and the duration of the injunction is typically as temporary as possible. Additionally, in many jurisdictions, plaintiffs demanding an injunction are required to post a bond.
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