Don’t Ignore a TRO
In Texas a party seeking a temporary restraining order can do so ex parte – without the presence of the other side. In Dallas, most cases require that Plaintiff seeking the TRO provide the other side with the actual pleadings and a proposed Temporary Restraining Order two hours before any hearing.
When the notice for a TRO appears, do not ignore it. Call the company’s lawyer immediately, because once a TRO is entered, it sets the tone for the lawsuit and is difficult to undo.
TROs are frequently used in non-compete cases. If the party ignores the notice of the TRO, it is essentially allowing the party seeking the TRO to have an unencumbered conversation with the Court where there is no defensive argument. Depending up on the Judge, there is a high likelihood by simply meeting the elements of the TRO, they will get the relief they are requesting. This could result in the shutdown of the business and end up costing the Defendant a substantial amount of money. The problem is, if the TRO is entered, the Defendant will either have to move to dissolve the TRO (which is costly) or appear for an injunction hearing in two weeks and have a mini-trial, also costly.
More importantly, the Plaintiff has been permitted to set the tone for the lawsuit and can tell the Judge all the bad things the Defendant has done whether or not they are actually true. An application for a TRO must be treated seriously and addressed. It is very difficult to rewind the clock on the TRO process.