The power of equity to grant injunctive relief may be exercised only under demanding circumstances. No court of equity should ever grant an injunction merely because of the fears or apprehensions of the party applying for it. Those fears or apprehensions may exist without any substantial reason. Indeed they may be absolutely groundless. Restraining the action of an individual or a corporation by injunction is an extraordinary power, always to be exercised with caution, never without the most satisfactory reasons.
Defendant property owners intended to use their property to house prison parolees. The neighboring property owners and residents alleged the peaceful use and enjoyment of the surrounding properties was threatened. The trial court held that the proposed use of the property constituted a nuisance and granted a permanent injunction. On appeal of the ruling, the court ordered the judgment to be set aside and remanded with direction to render judgment for the property owner.
Did the trial court err in its grant of injunction?
The court held: (1) to meet the test of whether a proposed use constituted a nuisance, the evidence must show the proposed use of the property under the circumstances was unreasonable; (2) the property owner's proposed use was lawful; (3) the parties suing did not offer evidence to prove any specific acts or pattern of behavior that would cause them harm; (4) their fears and apprehensions based on speculation could not justify the granting of injunctive relief; (5) the claim of depreciated property values also did not warrant granting injunctive relief; (6) there was an insufficient factual showing that the proposed use of the property was unreasonable or that the prospective residents of the halfway house would engage in unlawful activities in the neighborhood; and (7) the trial court committed error in granting an injunction.