-4

Say suing for an unjustified restriction/rule would win you $x [1]. (rule lasted for a day)

Or $y [2]. (if rule lasted for 7 days)
Or $z [3]. (if rule lasted for 30 days)
Or $a [4]. (if rule lasted for a year)

The question is, can you sue for a chunk (maybe 5 days) at a time?

(Since what happens in the 'future' ie 6th Jan is fully irrelevant to my whole case about 1st Jan – 5th Jan no?)
(And what happens in the 'future' ie 11th Jan is fully irrelevant to my whole case about 6th Jan – 10th Jan no?)

Or rather, how does one go about suing for a chunk at a time successfully?
What are the tested strategies? Which are the untested ones that might (>15% probability) work?


Note that Q is not asking what is right (de jure) but what can be done (de facto).


[1] for example $200
[2] for example $1390 or $1400 or $1410, doesn't matter
[3] for example around $6000
[4] for example around $70k

2
  • 4
    This is worded in an almost incomprehensible manner.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 3 at 21:47
  • 1
    @ohwilleke, see edit
    – Pacerier
    Mar 14 at 2:16

2 Answers 2

5

You cannot repeatedly sue for the same action.

If you suffer some injury due to some action, bring a suit regarding it, and an order is entered in that suit, the issue is closed. A court will not consider it again unless there is a drastic change in the underlying facts, under the principle of res judicata. The court doesn't want to keep holding hearings and entering orders in perpetuity, and it also doesn't want the parties to have the threat of future legal action hanging over them.

In this case, you have two separate causes of action as a result of the other party's conduct: you can sue for damages already suffered, and you can sue for an injunction to stop them doing it in the future. These aren't exclusive; you can, and should, sue for both at once. If you deliberately don't, the action you didn't pursue is barred by laches, the legal principle that you should pursue actions as promptly as you reasonably can.

In other words, by suing for damages and not an injunction against future conduct, you have signaled to the court and to the other party that the possibility of future conduct doesn't bother you. You cannot then turn around and sue for that same future conduct that you could have, but didn't, bring legal action against. (As an alternative to laches, this might run afoul of equitable estoppel, or maybe estoppel by acquiescence. Since any of these legal theories would bar a second suit, it doesn't really matter which it is.)

If you do get an injunction, and the other party doesn't follow through, then you may claim further damages from their unreasonable delay and/or violation of the court order. That isn't barred because you pursued all of the equitable remedies available to you from the first. But you must seek to have the conduct stopped; you cannot waive an injunction hoping that the other side will keep doing whatever it is so that you can ask for more money.

(If you really would be happy to put up with their conduct in exchange for covering the damages, there's nothing stopping you from approaching the other party with a monetary offer. But again, having done so, you've indicated that the matter is settled and you can't bring suit against them for doing what you agreed they could do.)

1
  • re "signaled that the possibility of future conduct doesn't bother you". Some problems with this..? Since if someone does something for 10 times (10 days) and got sued. There is an implication that they will stop doing it. On the 11th or 20th (or 999th time), I start to think that they won't stop despite getting sued hence only then I file for injunction? There may even be new speech (or lack of) they made that adds to plaintiff's said mindset?
    – Pacerier
    Feb 26 at 10:45
3

One event, one suit

Let's say someone does something that costs you $200 per day after you mitigate your loss. If this is a single event, then when you sue, you must claim for all the causes of action and all the damages that the event triggered. These might be ongoing.

If there is a new event, then you can launch a new lawsuit.

For example, say somebody parks their truck so you can't access your car, and it costs you $200 per day to hire a replacement, and this is the most reasonable thing you can do in the circumstances. For as long as that truck blocks your access, you have a single cause of action and must sue for all the damages that event causes.

If the truck leaves and comes back, that is a new cause of action and can be brought in a different (or the same) lawsuit.

2
  • Do you mean that you sue to receive "ongoing compensation of $200/day"? Does this work too for small claims and get capped at $10k?
    – Pacerier
    Feb 26 at 0:57
  • Now, also btw I don't actually believe this is true for all cases. For example what if a question (about the restriction) was received each new week and the question was ignored each time? The restriction for each new week is installed by ignoring that enquiry, therefore that's a new event per week, no?
    – Pacerier
    Feb 26 at 1:00

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