An injunction is a special kind of order where the court orders the landlord to do or to stop doing something. You can ask for a temporary restraining order (TRO) immediately, without any notice to the landlord, and have a hearing on a permanent injunction later.
You may get an injunction against the landlord to get repairs where the problem materially affects health and safety, 9 V.S.A. § 4458, or if the landlord has illegally evicted you, 9 V.S.A. § 4463. The court process problem is this: If you need this kind of order, you need it right away, so you have to use special processes to get it done right away. Once you get an immediate temporary restraining order (such as, to let you back in to your apartment, or to make a repair immediately to the sewer line), the rest of the case proceeds like the regular process on our Steps in an Eviction page.
Order without notice or hearing – ex parte temporary restraining order
This is the process to get an order immediately. An immediate order is called a temporary restraining order or TRO. “Ex Parte” means without notice to the other party. It means you need the order so fast, there is not time to give notice to the other party. If you have lived with the problem for weeks, you may not have grounds to get an ex parte order. Go to the court with these papers:
- Summons, Verified Complaint – this means you have sworn, by signing the complaint, that everything in it is true
- Motion For Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order and For A Preliminary Injunction
- Plaintiff’s Memorandum In Support Of Application For Temporary Restraining Order
- Motion To Waive The Requirement Of Bond Or Security, and
- Ex Parte Order/Notice Of Hearing – you write up the form for the judge’s signature
- Filing fee waiver. Make sure the fee waiver requests costs of service.
Ask the judge to sign the Ex Parte Order. Then ask the court clerk to sign the Summons and the Notice of Hearing and to allow the fee waiver. Make a copy for yourself of all of the signed papers.
Take the papers to the sheriff. Give the sheriff your landlord’s address and all of the papers. Give the sheriff a copy of the approved fee waiver form. Ask the sheriff to serve the papers right away. Then file a Certificate of Service with the court to show that you did so.
Hearing on preliminary injunction
It is likely that the hearing on the preliminary injunction will be before the landlord’s Answer date. If you do not show up, you will not get an order and the court may dismiss your case. At the preliminary injunction you need to show how the landlord violated the law and why you need the order. In other words, prove what you wrote in the Complaint and the Motion for Ex Parte Restraining Order.