Enjoin Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Enjoin, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Enjoin?

v. for a court to order that someone either do a specific act, cease a course of conduct or be prohibited from committing a certain act. To obtain such an order, called an injunction, a private party or public agency has to file a petition for a writ of injunction, serve it on the party he/she/it hopes to be enjoined, allowing time for a written response. Then a court hearing is held in which the judge will consider evidence, both written and oral, listen to the arguments and then either grant the writ or deny it. If granted the court will issue a final or permanent injunction. A preliminary injunction or temporary injunction is an order made by the court while the matter is being processed and considered, based on the petition and any accompanying declarations, either of which is intended to keep matters in status quo (as they are) or prevent possible irreparable harm (like cutting trees, poisoning a stream or moving out of the country with a child or money) until a final decision is made.

History and Meaning of Enjoin

Enjoin is a legal term that refers to the act of a court or judge issuing a formal order that requires a person or organization to either do something or refrain from doing something. The court does this by issuing an injunction, which is a type of court order that is typically granted in response to a petition or legal complaint. Injunctions can be temporary, meaning they are in effect for a limited time, or permanent, meaning they remain in effect until changed or lifted by a court.

The origins of the term enjoin can be traced back to medieval Latin, where it was used to describe the act of ordering or directing someone to do something. Today, the term is primarily used in a legal context and is considered to be an essential tool for protecting individuals and organizations from harm or injustice.

Examples of Enjoin

  1. A homeowners' association may seek to enjoin a resident from building a fence that violates the community's bylaws or building codes.
  2. A company may seek to enjoin a former employee from using confidential trade secrets or other sensitive information to compete with their business.
  3. A government agency may seek to enjoin an individual or organization from engaging in practices that harm the environment or violate regulatory statutes.

Legal Terms Similar to Enjoin

  1. Injunction: A court order that requires a person or organization to either do something or refrain from doing something.
  2. Restraining order: A type of injunction that is typically granted to protect a person from harm or harassment.
  3. Cease and desist order: A type of injunction that requires a person or organization to stop engaging in a particular activity or behavior.