Third DCA Affirms: A Voluntary Dismissal is not a Determination that an Injunction was Wrongfully Entered

By Jeffrey Berman

Last week, Kluger, Kaplan, Katzen and Levine, P.L. obtained a victory for a client when the Third DCA affirmed a ruling from Judge Sarah Zabel denying a motion to seek damages against an injunction bond. Read opinion here.

We obtained an injunction on behalf of our client, Aventura Tennis, LLC after the appellants opened up a competing business in violation of their non-compete agreements.  After the injunction expired on its own terms, we voluntarily dismissed the action.  The Defendants then sought to recover damages against the injunction bond, claiming that the voluntary dismissal operated as determination that they had been wrongfully enjoined.

Both the trial court and the appellate court agreed that based upon the facts of our case and the fact that we only dismissed the action after the injunction expired, the dismissal did not support a finding that the injunction was wrongfully entered and as a result, the Defendants were not entitled to proceed against the bond.

Although there are instances where a voluntary dismissal could result in a finding that a defendant was wrongfully enjoined, it is not automatic.  The courts must look to the facts of the case to determine whether a defendant is allowed to proceed on the bond.