6 Prerequisites Before Issuing a Preliminary Injunction

In Maritrans GP Inc. v. Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, 529 Pa. 241, 602 A.2d 1277 (1992), the Supreme Court explained that generally appellate courts review a trial court order either granting or denying a preliminary injunction under an abuse of discretion standard.

The court recognized that while the appellate court does not inquire into the merits of the controversy it does examine the record to determine whether there are any apparently reasonable grounds for the trial court's action. See Summit Towne Centre, Inc. v. Shoe Show of Rocky Mount, Inc., 573 Pa. 637, 828 A.2d 995 (2003) (relying on, inter alia, Roberts v. Board of Dirs. of Sch. Dist. of Scranton, 462 Pa. 464, 341 A.2d 475 (1975)).

In examining the meaning of the phrase "apparently reasonable grounds," the Supreme Court provided an overview of case law distilled to the following essential prerequisites before a preliminary injunction may issue:

     First, a party seeking a preliminary injunction must show that an injunction is necessary to prevent immediate and irreparable harm that cannot be adequately compensated by damages. ...

     Second, the party must show that greater injury would result from refusing an injunction than from granting it, and, concomitantly, that issuance of an injunction will not substantially harm other interested parties in the proceedings. ...

     Third, the party must show that a preliminary injunction will properly restore the parties to their status as it existed immediately prior to the alleged wrongful conduct. ...

     Fourth, the party seeking an injunction must show that the activity it seeks to restrain is actionable, that its right to relief is clear, and that the wrong is manifest, or, in other words, must show that it is likely to prevail on the merits. ...

     Fifth, the party must show that the injunction it seeks is reasonably suited to abate the offending activity. ...

     Sixth and finally, the party seeking an injunction must show that a preliminary injunction will not adversely affect the public interest. Summit Towne Centre, 573 Pa. at 646 - 647, 828 A.2d at 1001.