Enjoin

To “enjoin” something means to legally forbid or put a stop to it, by an order of the court. For example, enjoin can refer to a husband seeking a court order to stop his wife from selling off their possessions while their divorce is in progress, so that she does not sell all of his stuff out of spite. The term “enjoin” can also be used to describe someone being ordered or strongly encouraged to do something. For example, enjoin can be used to refer to lawyers who are “enjoined” to follow a code of ethics when arguing the facts of a case. To explore this concept, consider the following enjoin definition.

Definition of Enjoin

Verb

  1. To prohibit or restrain someone from doing something through a judicial order.
  2. To order, or strongly encourage, someone to do something.

Origin

1175-1225       Middle English enjoi(g)nen

What is a Joinder of Issue

A joinder of issue is the point in a case where the defendant has challenged all or a portion of the plaintiff’s allegations. At this point, a joinder of issue clarifies which legal questions in particular remain in dispute. Once this is accomplished, the term “the issue is joined” can be used.

A joinder of issue typically occurs around the time that pretrial discovery tasks, such as depositions and the gathering of all requested paperwork, has been completed. At this point, there are certain issues that one party has asserted to be fact, and those “facts” have been denied by the other party. Now a judge must step in and, at a trial of the issues in the matter, separate what is actually fact from what is fiction.

Enjoin as a Joinder in Civil Lawsuit

A joinder in a civil lawsuit means that several causes of action, or various parties, have all been united together under the one civil lawsuit’s umbrella. Procedurally speaking, a joinder in a civil lawsuit allows several issues to be heard in one trial. A joinder in a civil lawsuit is created when the issues or the parties overlap. This is to attempt to make the case progress in a way that is more efficient and fair to both parties.

Joinders help courts in that they prevent the same facts from being heard multiple times. Similarly, they also prohibit the same parties from returning to court separately for their legal claims by hearing all of the claims together on one case. A joinder may also be used in a contracts case to describe the addition, or “joining,” of additional parties to an agreement that is already in existence.

Joinder of Claims

The term “joinder of claims” is used to mean that several legal claims have been brought together against the same party. A joinder of claims is conducted under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically Rule 18. Under this rule, the plaintiffs to a case are permitted to consolidate all the claims they have against the defendant(s) who is already a party to the case. For instance, if a plaintiff is suing someone for breach of contract, he may also wish to sue the same party for fraud. These claims may be unrelated, but if the plaintiff wishes to join these claims under the same lawsuit, then he is permitted to request a joinder of claims.

Joinder of Parties

There are two categories under which a joinder of parties can fall: permissive joinder and compulsory joinder.

Permissive Joinder

Permissive joinder refers to a joinder of parties in which multiple plaintiffs can join in on the same lawsuit, if each of their claims originated with the same transaction or incident. Similarly, the plaintiffs can all join in if there is a common question of law that relates to their claims. An example of permissive joinder would be several property owners collectively suing a factory under one lawsuit for the illegal dumping of waste in close proximity to their homes. Permissive joinder can only exist if the same considerations exist across the board for multiple plaintiffs, such as a class-action lawsuit, wherein several plaintiffs join together to sue the same company for a faulty product.

Compulsory Joinder

The second category under which a joinder of parties can fall is compulsory joinder. Compulsory joinder makes it mandatory for certain parties to be joined to an action. This is because the parties that are deemed joined are vital to the issues being argued. For example, if three people each claim to own one piece of property, and the first two sue each other, the third party will not be able to protect his interest in the property unless he too is joined in the action.

Another instance where compulsory joinder would make sense is if a landowner needs to grant two additional parties exclusive rights to the same piece of land. Depending on the jurisdiction of the parties, the landowner may need to appear in two different courts to grant each party his respective rights. This is done to avoid joining the parties together under one lawsuit. However, just because a party is deemed “necessary” to an action, if a joinder is impossible, the litigation will continue without him. It will be up to the court’s discretion as to whether to continue the case with the exclusion of the “mandatory,” yet impossible-to-reach, individual.

Enjoin vs. Injunction

At first, the terms “enjoin” and “injunction” may seem like one and the same. Essentially, they both mean “to put a stop to” something “by court order.” However, the main difference between the two is that, when a court “enjoins,” it is ordering the parties to an act to refrain from taking part in a particular activity. An injunction, however, is the order itself – the command that stops the action from taking place.

Enjoin Example Involving a Foreclosure Sale

An example of enjoin in a court case involved a foreclosure sale, and the issue of who was the rightful owner of the mortgage. On July 2, 2015, James and Beth A. Daneau filed a complaint requesting that the state of New Hampshire’s trial court enjoin a foreclosure sale that was scheduled to take place on their home less than a week later. They also asked the court to permanently enjoin any foreclosure on the ground that Freddie Mac owned their mortgage, not CitiMortgage, Inc. – the company that had put their mortgage up for foreclosure.

The trial court granted the Daneaus’ request for a temporary injunction on the foreclosure, and scheduled a hearing for July 24. Upon receiving the court’s order, CitiMortgage postponed the foreclosure sale until July 29, and objected to the Daneaus’ request for an injunction. In addition to its objection, CitiMortgage also submitted an affidavit stating that the Daneaus had defaulted on a note that they had secured by a mortgage in 2009, and that they had not made any payments since that default. Further, CitiMortgage showed that it had paid nearly $36,000 in the Daneaus’ property taxes and insurance on the property since 2009.

The affidavit continued explaining that, despite the fact that Freddie Mac did, in fact, have an interest in the Daneaus’ mortgage and note, CitiMortgage was the actual owner of the note. Upon the completion of the hearing, the trial court found that CitiMortgage had effectively established that it held the rights to the mortgage and the note, and that the Daneaus were in default. The temporary injunction that had been granted to the Daneaus was then dissolved, and the foreclosure sale went forward as scheduled.

After the foreclosure sale, CitiMortgage petitioned the court for summary judgment, arguing that because the sale was complete, and because the Daneaus had not requested any further relief aside from enjoining the foreclosure, the case was now moot. Despite the Daneaus’ objections, the trial court granted CitiMortgage’s motion, holding that “[t]he only relief sought in the complaint [was] an injunction against foreclosure,” and that, because “there is no dispute that the foreclosure” had taken place, the Daneaus could not establish their right to relief.

The Daneaus petitioned the court for reconsideration, and the court denied the motion, again agreeing with CitiMortgage that the case was now moot. The Daneaus appealed the trial court’s decision, however the appeals court confirmed the lower court’s decision. Said the court:

“To the extent that the plaintiffs argue that the defendant should have been judicially estopped from asserting that it conducted the foreclosure sale, the record does not reflect that they raised this argument in the trial court … Even if the plaintiffs had raised the argument, however, it is without merit. Judicial estoppel applies when a party successfully maintains a position in one legal proceeding, and asserts a clearly inconsistent position in a later proceeding.”

Related Legal Terms and Issues

  • Defendant – A party against whom a lawsuit has been filed in civil court, or who has been accused of, or charged with, a crime or offense.
  • DepositionThe out-of-court sworn oral testimony by a witness, which is transcribed into writing for use in a legal proceeding. The witness is questioned by the attorneys for both parties, and no judge is present.
  • Discovery – The pre-trial efforts of each party to obtain information and evidence.
  • Plaintiff – A person who brings a legal action against another person or entity, such as in a civil lawsuit, or criminal proceedings.
  • Pretrial – A proceeding held by a judge before a trial to simplify the issues of the case to streamline the trial and potentially limit the costs associated with a trial.
  • Summary Judgment – A final decision on the case, handed down by the judge on the basis of the statements and evidence presented, without a full trial.
  • Trial – A formal presentation of evidence before a judge and jury for the purpose of determining guilt or innocence in a criminal case, or to make a determination in a civil matter.

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