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    Government Contracting Database

    Standards for Injunctive Relief

    The federal courts have set certain standards for reviewing requests for injunctive relief. In EMTA Isaat, A.S. v. United States, 123 Fed. Cl. 330, 337 (2015), the Court of Federal Claims set forth the following standards for injunctive relief.

    1. Whether the plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of the case
    2. Whether the plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm if the court withholds injunctive relief
    3. Whether the balance of hardships to the respective parties favors the grant of injunctive relief
    4. Whether it is in the public interest to grant injunctive relief

    No individual factor carries dispositive weight and the court must “weigh and measure each factor against the other factors and against the form and magnitude of the relief requested.” Standard Havens Products, 897 F.2d at 513. Thus, it is not required that the merits of a plaintiff’s claims be “absolutely certain, wholly without doubt … if the other elements are present (i.e., the balance of hardships tips decidedly toward [the] plaintiff), it will ordinarily be enough that the plaintiff has raised questions going to the merits so serious, substantial, difficult and doubtful, as to make them a fair ground for litigation.” Id. (quoting Hamilton Watch Co. v. Benrus Watch Co., 206 F.2d 738, 740 (2d Cir.1953)). This “sliding scale” approach is thus akin to Judge Learned Hand’s formula for determining liability in negligence suits. Serco, 101 Fed.Cl. at 721 (citing United States v. Carroll Towing, 159 F.2d 169, 173 (2d Cir.1947))

    WHR Grp., Inc. v. United States, 115 Fed. Cl. 386, 402–03 (2014)

    Updated: August 7, 2018

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