Have you ever heard the acronym “NIMBY” before? In case not, it stands for "Not in My Backyard", and is a pejorative term for activist neighbors or communities that staunchly oppose some new development on often spurious grounds. “Want to build a park? Well, not in my backyard. It will attract too many teens and they will do serious harm to my quality of life” And so forth. Not all claims are spurious, of course, and sometimes lawsuits are necessary stop construction before claimants suffer greater harm. In California courts, the only effective way to get immediate relief before the suit goes to court is to file a Preliminary Injunction. And to do so, a claimant in California must post an Injunction Bond.
An example of this scenario, where NIMBY-ism was taken to the extreme, is found in a New York Times article written by Allison Arieff. (See LINK for full article). In the article Ms. Arieff describes how a small group of concerned residents halted construction of a house because they didn’t like the look of it (this is a simplified summary).
So construction was halted, what’s the big deal? Why the need for an injunction bond? Well, the fact is that once construction is halted due to a pre-judgement injunction, it is the defendants who are at risk of being harmed. Construction delays are expensive and there is an emotional distress resulting from being prevented from living in your home. So, in this case, the injunction bond is necessary as it protects the defendant from being wrongfully enjoined; the bond bond covers any damages the defendant may sustain should the court rule the plaintiff’s suit is wrongful (we know this definition is correct, because it comes from the Jurisco website!)
There are many scenarios where construction may pose material harm to a neighbor and not just pique their ire over modernist architecture. For instance, the excavating of a property causes damage to a neighbor’s foundation and halting construction is the only way to prevent serious more foundation damage from occurring. If you find yourself in this situation and you wish to learn more about California Injunction Bonds and injunctive relief, please contact the surety bond experts at Jurisco and one of their knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer all your queries.