Injunctions public interest are a significant legal maneuver. Injunctions are resorted to by litigants either because they want to prevent something from happening or they want someone to stop a certain activity. They are a remedy. Injunctions are considered an extraordinary remedy. Injunctions should not be granted easily as the public interests do come into play. There are a series of criteria that courts must consider: (1) The likelihood of irreparable harm; · (2) the unavailability of an adequate remedy at law (3) substantial likelihood of success on the merits; and (4) considerations of the public interest.” City of Jacksonville v. Naegele Outdoor Advertising Co., 634 So. 2d 750, 753 (Fla. l st DCA 1994) (emphasis added); Soud v. Kendale, Inc., 788 So. 2d 1051, 1053 (Fia. 1st DCA 2001).
Injunctions public interest four factors are required as they are to be girded by “clear, definite, and unequivocally sufficient factual findings.” City of Jacksonville, supra, at 754; Soud, supra, at 1052. The burden of demonstrating these factors is bearded by the individual seeking the injunction. As is “normally” the case, if any one of the four factors are not demonstrated, the injunction fails. Florida Land Company v. Orange County, 418 So. 2d 370 (Fla. 5th DCA 1982) (upholding the denial of a temporary injunction due to public interest considerations).
Injunctions public interest considerations are pivotal, and courts may not be so committed to deeply ascertain the public interest with hearsay evidence and at times, the lack of adequate discovery being done before an injunction hearing. The triggered “police power” is resorted to by litigants seeking a municipality to step in an act to preserve and protect the public interest.
“Police power” is defined as an exercise of the sovereign right of the state to enact laws for the protection of the lives, health, morals, comfort, and general welfare of the people, including anything that is reasonable, necessary, and appropriate to secure the peace, order, protection, safety, good health, comfort, quiet , morals, welfare, prosperity, convenience, and best interest of the public. Burnsed v . Seaboard Coastline R. Co., 290 So. 2d 13 (Fla. 1974); Snively Groves v. Mayo, 184 So. 839 (Fl a. 1938); Hobby v. State, 761 So. 2d 1234 (Fl a. 2d DCA 2000).
For injunctions, injunction seekers tend to pursue local government action. Local governmental bodies can resort to their authority to preserve and protect the public interest. Unfortunately, there are times when the public interest gets blurred into corporate interest of the movant who is seeking the injunction in a punitive way against another entity. When municipalities are involved, generally speaking, municipalities may, under their police powers, regulate, restrain, and abate activities or conditions which are dangerous to the public health, safety, or welfare.” City of Jacksonville v. Sohn, 616 So. 2d 1173, 1174 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993), citing Carter v. Town of Palm Beach, 237 So. 2d 130 (Fla. 1970) (emphasis added); Pasco County v. Tampa Farm Service, Inc., 573 So. 2d 909, 912 n. 4 (Fla. 2d DCA 1990).
The police power not only rests on the general welfare of the people, but the theory is that the welfare of the people is the supreme law, expressed in the maxim “”salu populi suprema lex est.” The private rights we all enjoy as members of the public are subject to the paramount right of the state to modify them to conserve the public welfare under this maxim. City of Plantation v. Utilities Operating Co., 156 So. 2d 842 (Fla. 1963); Florida Power Corp. v. Pinellas Utility Bd., 40 So. 2d 350 (Fla. 1949), reh’g denied, 40 So. 2d 844 (Fla. 1949); Miami Bridge Co. v. Railroad Conm’ n, 155 F l a. 366, 20 So. 2d 356 ( 1944); McInemey v. Ervin, sup ra. It is in this conflict that the legislature is resorted to for a balance. The police power is used as a sledgehammer.
With this resorting to police powers, for injunctions, there will always be the clash of individual and public interest, with the individual interests giving way. L. Maxcy, Inc. v. Mayo , 139 So. 121 (1931). Noteworthy, under the American system of laws and government, everyone is required to use and enjoy his or her right as not to injure others in their rights or to violate any law in force for the preservation of the general welfare. Mclnemey v. Ervin, supra.; State ex rel. Hosack v. Yocum, 186 So. 448 (Fla. 1939). The Legislature imposes a reasonableness to be employed before the exercise of police power to preserve the public interests. Palm Beach Mobile Homes, Inc. v. Strong, 300 So. 2d 881 (Fla. 1974); Snively Groves v. Mayo, supra.; Raines v. State, 805 So. 2d 999 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001)
If the exercise of police power detrimentally impinges on and individual, the purpose of an injunction must be clearly set that what is pursued is to benefit the wellbeing of the general public and not the whims of the movant seeking the injunction. Sadly, the whims of the movant must not trample on the property rights of the affected individual. A Court may not grant a temporary injunction when the potential injury to the public outweighs an individual’s right to relief. Dragomirecky v. Town of Ponce Inlet, 882 So. 2d 495, 497 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004); Cajun & Grill of America, Inc. v. Jet International Cuisine. Inc., 646 So. 2d 801, 802 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994) .
The injunctions public interest at large is an important element which the movants seeking the injunction bear the burden, demonstrating with clear, unequivocal enough findings of fact, that the harm to the injunction seeker is larger than that the potential harm to the general public. The balance of harm is critical. However, it is in this balance of interest that courts at times fail badly and award injunctions without assessing the public interests that are being harmed by its issued injunction. Courts fail to ascertain the harm to the public and if the public is being harmed by the activity the injunction seeker is seeking to have enjoined.
Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.