Injunctions And Strikes -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 052:207 (Jul 1895)
Article: Injunctions And Strikes
Author: Anonymous

Injunctions And Strikes

Hon. William H. Upson

Within the past few years injunctions have been so often used to prevent the unlawful acts which frequently accompany strikes, that many persons suppose such means to be the result of new rules of law adopted by the courts, rather than the application of long-established principles; and that the judges have usurped the power of legislating, instead of only interpreting and enforcing laws already made. On this account there has been much clamor, and prejudice against the courts, for this resort to what has been called judge-made law in favor of corporations. Public attention has been especially directed to this subject by the great extent and importance of recent strikes. A brief statement will show that there is no ground for the charge referred to, and that the use of injunctions in such cases is not only not new, but is in accordance with the plainest principles of right and justice.

An injunction is a judicial process, or order, requiring the person to whom it is directed to do, or refrain from doing, some particular thing.

This general definition will answer the purposes of this article, without referring to the different kinds of injunctions. Under the name of interdicts injunctions were, more than thirteen hundred years ago, known to the Roman law, from which they were borrowed by the English law, and from that by our own; and they have been used in this country ever since our courts of justice have been established.

Persons are generally obliged to enforce their rights by

actions to recover damages, or by other legal remedies, but there are many cases in which those do not afford complete, or full, protection, and then the party is entitled to an injunction or other equitable remedy, and it certainly seems much better to prevent a wrong than to allow its commission, and then try to punish the wrongdoer, and compensate the injured person.

The general principle, as stated by the best authorities, is that wherever a right exists, or is created by contract, by the ownership of property or otherwise, cognizable by law, a violation of that right may be prohibited by injunction if the ordinary legal remedies are not complete and adequate.

Injunctions are used to prevent the sale of promissory notes obtained by fraud—to prevent the collection of illegal taxes—to restrain cities and villages from making contracts in violation of law—to prevent the unlawful use of streets, or of private property, by railroad companies—to prevent infringement of patents and the commission of frauds. Many other examples might be given, but these are enough to illustrate the general pri...

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