{ Banner Image }

Injunctions in Equine Disputes

A horse seller agrees to sell a horse on a handshake, but the seller was about to sell the horse to someone else.  The would-be buyer wants to enforce the sale and stop the sale to someone else.

The answer almost always involves the law of injunctions.  Injunctions can be complex, and the legal proceedings are usually very costly.

What is an Injunction?

An injunction is a legal ruling that either requires a party to undertake a specific act or prohibits a party from carrying out a specific act.  In the example above, the would-be buyer could consider seeking an injunction that would stop the sale of the horse to anyone until the court can make a ruling on whether the would-be buyer should become the rightful owner.  Generally, there are three types of injunctions:

Temporary Restraining Order

A temporary restraining order (“TRO”) keeps things as they are for a short period of time until the judge can hear both sides of the story and examine the applicable law.  In the example above, the would-be buyer’s lawyer would ask the court to issue a TRO, where allowed by law.  This document, which would then be rushed to the seller, would stop the seller from moving or selling the horse until the court can more fully evaluate the matter.  Soon after, the court will hold a preliminary or temporary injunction hearing (read on).

Preliminary Injunction or Temporary Injunction

A few days after the court has issued a TRO, the court typically will hold another hearing where the parties and their lawyers will be present.  Now the issue will focus on whether it is legal and appropriate for the court to issue a preliminary injunction, which is a more long-lasting legal command than the TRO.  After the judge explores these factors at the hearing, he or she will decide whether a preliminary injunction should be issued and, if so, under what terms.

Permanent Injunction

After all of these steps, the next question is whether to make the injunction permanent.  After a full hearing or trial on the merits takes place, the court can decide to issue (or not issue) a permanent injunction.


Injunction proceedings take careful planning and preparation.  Small claims courts are almost always powerless to issue or consider injunctions (but check with the court to be sure).  If the injunction involves the ownership of a horse, for example, the court located in the county where the horse is situated typically has legal authority to issue an injunction that affects its whereabouts.

If you have any further questions about injunctions, please contact me.

Categories: Sales/Disputes

Photo of Julie I. Fershtman

is considered to be one of the nation's leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 29 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www.fershtmanlaw.com and www.equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw.info.

View All Posts by Author ›

Type the following characters: five, five, whisky, sierra, six, november

* Indicates a required field.

Subscribe to RSS»
Get Updates By Email:

Our Equine law blog (and its author) in the news!

Julie Fershtman, author of our popular and prolific Equine Law Blog, was interviewed by the State Bar of Michigan. The interview, which called Fershtman "Lawyer-Blogger," discussed our Equine Law Blog. We truly believe that this blog is the nation's most active blog serving the equine industry on equine law topics, and we thank you for visiting it. Read more here.

Julie Fershtman’s Recent and Upcoming Equine Law Speaking Engagements Include:

National Conference on Equine Law in Louisville, Kentucky on April 29, 2020. Topic will be on Waivers/Releases of Liability Involving Minor Participants. 

U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado on December 10, 2019. Topic will be on Equine Liability. 

IRMI Emmett J. Vaughan Agribusiness Conference (“AgriCon”) in Sacramento, CA (April 2019), and Richmond, VA (June 2019) and in Des Moines, IA (September 2019), on topics of “Equine Activity Liability Acts” and “Equine Mortality Insurance Disputes.”

National Conference on Equine Law in May 2019 in Lexington, KY, on the topic of “Equine Activity Liability Act Updates” and liabilities involving hosting of equine clinics. 

Agricultural Claims Conference in Kansas City, MO, in March 2019 on topics of “Loose Livestock Liabilities.”

2018 American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, on “Equine Mortality Coverage and Disputes.”

November 2018, American Horse Council webinar on “Equine Liability.”

Honors & Recognitions

Equine lawyer, Julie Fershtman, has received these prestigious equine industry awards from respected equine organizations:

"Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" - American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Law Section Animal Law Committee

"Distinguished Service Award" - American Youth Horse Council

"Industry Service Award" - Michigan Equine Partnership

"Catalyst Award"- Michigan Horse Council

"Outstanding Achievement Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Partner in Safety Award" - American Riding Instructors Association 

"Associate Service Award" - United Professional Horseman's Association

"National Partnership in Safety" Award" - Certified Horsemanship Association 

What our Equine Law Services can Provide

Handling breach of contract, fraud/ misrepresentation, commercial code, and other claims involving equine-related transactions including purchases/sales, leases, mare leases/foal transfers, and partnerships.

Litigating disputes in court or through alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation, facilitation).

Defending equine/farm/equestrian industry professionals,  businesses, and associations in personal injury claims and lawsuits.

Drafting and negotiating contracts for boarding, training, sales, waivers/releases, leases, and numerous other equine-related transactions.

Representing and advising insurers on  coverage and policy language as well as litigation;

Advising equine industry clubs and associations regarding management, rules, bylaws, disputes, and regulations.

Representing some of the equine industry's top trainers, competitors, stables, and associations.

Counseling industry professionals, stable managers, and individual horse owners. 


Did you know Julie Fershtman has spoken at the American Horse Council Annual Meeting, Equine Affaire, Midwest Horse Fair, Equitana USA, US Dressage Federation Annual Meeting, North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International) Annual Meeting, American Morgan Horse Association Annual Meeting, American Paint Horse Association Annual Meeting, US Pony Clubs, Inc.'s Annual Meeting, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, American Youth Horse Council Annual Meeting, American Riding Instructors Association Annual Meeting, CHA Annual Meeting, and numerous others? Consider signing her up for your convention. Contact Julie.

Follow Us on Twitter!

Follow us for updates regarding news, cases, disputes, and issues regarding Equine Law. @horselawyers