When to issue preliminary injunction writ

A preliminary injunction is defined as "[a]n order granted at any stage of an action prior to the judgment or final order, requiring a party or a court, agency or a person to refrain from a particular actor acts."[1] It may be a prohibitory injunction, which requires a party to refrain from doing a particular act, or a mandatory injunction, which commands a party to perform a positive act to correct a wrong in the past.[2] It is a provisional remedy that a party may resort to in order to preserve and protect certain rights and interests during the pendency of an action.[3]

Section 3, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court provides:

SEC. 3. Grounds for issuance of preliminary injunction. - A preliminary injunction may be granted when it is established:

(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually;

(b) That the commission, continuance or nonperformance of the act or acts complained of during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or

(c) That a party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.

The following requisites must be proved before a writ of preliminary injunction will issue: (1) The applicant must have a clear and unmistakable right to be protected, that is, a right in esse; (2) There is a material and substantial invasion of such right; (3) There is an urgent need for the writ to prevent irreparable injury to the applicant; and (4) No other ordinary, speedy, and adequate remedy exists to prevent the infliction of irreparable injury.[4]

The grant or denial of a writ of preliminary injunction is discretionary upon the trial court because the assessment and evaluation of evidence towards that end involve findings of fact left to the said court for its conclusive determination. For this reason, the grant or denial of a writ of preliminary injunction shall not be disturbed unless it was issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction.[5]

[1] Urbanes, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 407 Phil. 856, 866 (2001).

[2] Sy v. Autobus Transport Systems, Inc., G.R. No. 176898, December 3, 2012, 686 SCRA 707, 717-718, citing City Government of Butuan v. Consolidated Broadcasting System, Inc., 651 Phil. 37, 54 (2010).

[3] The Incorporators of Mindanao Institute, Inc. v. The United Church of Christ in the Philippines, G.R. No. 171765, March 21, 2012, 668 SCRA 637, 647.

[4] Id. at 648-649.

[5] Sy v. Autobus Transport Systems, Inc., supra note 18, at 721-722.