A mandatory injunction is issued when a court directs a person to perform certain acts, as opposed to prohibitory injunction, which seeks to preserve the status quo. The defendant named in a mandatory injunction must undo the wrong or injury that one has caused. Unless prevented by constitutional or statutory provision, a court may issue a mandatory injunction where the defendant’s encroachment on the plaintiff’s rights is immediate, intentional and repetitive.
A court exercises its discretion in deciding whether to issue a mandatory injunction. Even when the facts established justify the issuance of a mandatory injunction, courts usually require a mandatory injunction only in extraordinary circumstances to give the plaintiff adequate relief.
Ordinarily, a court does not issue a mandatory injunction until a final hearing but it may issue a preliminary mandatory injunction in exceptional situations where the defendant’s acts are indisputably willful and fraudulent. For example, in RoDa Drilling Co. v. Siegal, the court granted a preliminary mandatory injunction ordering transfer of record title. Requests for mandatory injunctions are only granted if the facts are clearly favorable toward the moving party. When a court decides to issue a mandatory injunction, the injunction must be least oppressive while still protecting the plaintiff’s rights.
[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]