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Interlocutory Order: Definition, Example and Related Terms

What is an Interlocutory Order ?

In simple terms, an Interlocutory Order is a temporary or provisional decision made by a court during the proceedings of a case. It's like a mini-decision that a judge makes before reaching the final decision.

For instance, while a company's case is being heard, the judge may temporarily order the company to stop selling a product if it's believed to be causing harm. Once the case is decided, this order may be lifted, or become permanent, depending on the final decision. These orders can be appealed, but it can be quite tricky because the case is not yet finished, and judges don't like to interrupt the flow of the case unless it's really necessary.

This is just like when you are playing a board game, and there's a dispute about the rules. You might make a temporary decision just for that game, and then look up the rules afterwards to make the final decision.


  • Scenario Description
    Company A is suing Company B for patent infringement. While the case is ongoing, Company A requests the court to make an Interlocutory Order to stop Company B from producing the product in question. In this case, the Interlocutory Order would be the temporary decision by the court to halt production at Company B until the case is decided. If Company A wins the case, this order may become permanent. If Company B wins, they would be allowed to resume production.
    In a contract dispute between two businesses, the judge issues an Interlocutory Order requiring one party to continue supplying goods to the other until the dispute is resolved. Here, the Interlocutory Order is the temporary command by the judge that ensures the supply of goods continues, despite the ongoing dispute. The final judgment of the case may uphold, modify, or reverse this order.