Prior Restraint and Injunctive Relief in Online Defamation Cases

Posted by admin | August 16th, 2011

The issue of prior restraint and injunctive relief is not usually a big issue for the online reputation management industry or online defamation suits. However, this article brings to light a number of issues regarding both injunctive relief in the courts and prior restraint. The lack of prominence in online defamation law for both of these issues is somewhat surprising, considering how often they are actually cited in the papers. Then again, as the article notes, most of these lawsuits are actually settled or thrown out before ever going in front of a jury.

Usually, nothing comes of that request — only a tiny sliver of defamation cases ever make it to a jury (the bulk getting tossed out or settled), and even when a plaintiff wins, the result is usually just money. Since we almost never see one of these injunctions make it off the pages of the complaint, higher courts haven’t had to deal with their implications — but the idea of a court-ordered takedown of somebody’s speech should send your prior-restraint klaxons blaring.

It certainly is concerning to anyone who has a concern for free speech, but for those who are tired of seeing online defamation ruining peoples lives, it is also an option we think ought to maybe be put on the table more often, even if it isn’t necessarily used.


Online defamation - can unfortunately cost the recipient a large amount of time and money. Reputation Hawk can greatly minimize that damage.