Temporary Injunction – Likelihood of Success on the Merits

Except as indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion.

Opinions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Fisher v. Hargett, 604 S.W.3d 381, 395 (Tenn. 2022).

The trial court’s decision to grant the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary injunction is discretionary and is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. Gentry v. McCain, 329 S.W.3d 786, 793 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2010), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Oct. 18, 2010); Hughes v. Tenn. Dep’t of Corr., No. M2016-02212-COA-R3-CV, 2017 WL 4125378, at *2 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 18, 2017); Curb Records, Inc. v. McGraw, No. M2011-02762-COA-R3-CV, 2012 WL 4377817, at *3 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 25, 2012), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Feb. 12, 2013). “A court abuses its discretion when it causes an injustice to the party challenging the decision by (1) applying an incorrect legal standard, (2) reaching an illogical or unreasonable decision, or (3) basing its decision on a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence.” Harmon v. Hickman Cmty. Healthcare Servs., Inc., 594 S.W.3d 297, 305–06 (Tenn. 2020) (citations omitted).

Whether the trial court applied an incorrect legal standard is a question of law and is reviewed de novo with no presumption of correctness. Funk, 570 S.W.3d at 211 (citing Wallace v. Metro. Gov’t of Nashville, 546 S.W.3d 47, 52 (Tenn. 2018)). Questions of fact normally are reviewed de novo but with a presumption of correctness unless the evidence preponderates otherwise. See Tenn. R. App. P. 13(d) (2020); Hughes v. Tenn. Bd. of Prob. and Parole, 514 S.W.3d 707, 712 (Tenn. 2017). In this appeal, however, all evidence was documentary. There was no live testimony; instead, there were only declarations. Accordingly, we afford no deference and no presumption of correctness to the trial court’s findings of fact. See Kelly v. Kelly, 445 S.W.3d 685, 693 (Tenn. 2014) (“When findings are based on documentary evidence, an appellate court’s ability to assess credibility and to weigh the evidence is the same as the trial court’s. Accordingly, when factual findings are based on documentary evidence, an appellate court may draw its own conclusions with regard to the weight and credibility to be afforded that documentary evidence.” (Citation omitted)); Wells v. Tenn. Bd. of Regents, 9 S.W.3d 779, 783-84 (Tenn. 1999) (citing Corcoran v. Foster Auto GMC, Inc., 746 S.W.2d 452, 456 (Tenn. 1988)).

Whether a plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits for purposes of a temporary injunction is a question of law and is reviewed de novo. See Obama for America, 697 F.3d at 428.


Grading Papers - Civil Copyright © 2023 by BirdDog Law, LLC (No copyright claimed as to government works).. All Rights Reserved.