Quia-Timet Injunction – an injunction granted to prevent an action that has been threatened but has not yet violated the plaintiff’s rights or interest

quia-timet injunction:
[Latin “because he fears”]

1. An injunction granted to prevent an action that has been threatened but has not yet violated the plaintiff’s rights.

quia timet:
[Latin “because he fears”]

1. A legal doctrine that allows a person to seek equitable relief from future probable harm to a specific right or interest. [1]

     Excerpt from Charles Herman Kinnane’s A First Book on Anglo-American Law (2d ed. 1952):

     “A second class of cases where equity courts act to prevent injury are known as ‘quia timet’ cases. The name comes from the two Latin words, once used when asking relief in this class of cases; the words mean, ‘whereas he fears’ that some injury will be inflicted in the future unless the court of equity assists him in advance, the plaintiff asks the assistance of the court to do this, that, or the other thing with respect to the defendant. [2]

     Excerpt from 27A Am. Jur. 2d Equity 593, at 581 (1996):

     “Quia timet is the right to be protected against anticipated future injury that cannot be prevented by the present action. The doctrine of ‘quia timet’ permits equitable relief based on a concern over future probable injury to certain rights or interests, where anticipated future injury cannot be prevented by a present action at law, such as where there is a danger that a defense at law might be prejudiced or lost if not tried immediately. [3]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Charles Herman Kinnane, A First Book on Anglo-American Law 648 (2d ed. 1952)

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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