Thou Shalt Not Delay Trial for Appeal of a Temporary Injunction

Bienati v. Cloister Holdings, LLC
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-22-00324-CV (February 10, 2023)
Justices Carlyle (Opinion, linked here), Goldstein, and Kennedy
Appellate courts often say the most efficient way to deal with a trial court’s decision granting or denying a temporary injunction is just to promptly go to trial. The Dallas Court of Appeals recently put teeth into that admonition.

Bienati and others pursued an interlocutory appeal from a temporary injunction. Although it had set a trial date in the injunction order, the district court first continued the trial and then abated the case entirely pending resolution of the temporary injunction appeal. Appellant’s counsel explained that the case was abated “because the probable right to recovery issue could impact the merits of the entire case, [and so] the trial court ‘abated it until this Court [of Appeals] weighed in on the merits of the temporary injunction and whether there’s a probable right to recovery.’”

The appeals court did not take kindly to that. Invoking Rule 683’s directive that “the appeal of a temporary injunction shall constitute no cause for delay of the trial,” the Dallas Court dismissed the appeal without addressing the merits. “The proceedings in the trial court have been stayed in an effort to obtain an advisory opinion from this Court,” it explained. “Judicial economy dictates that we not reward this behavior.”
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