Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Interim Order Definition:

A temporary court order; intended to be of limited duration, usually just until the court has had an opportunity of hearing the full case and make a final order.

Related Terms: Interlocutory, Order, Final Order

Also known as an interlocutory order or a temporary order, although the former is usually reserved for matters of procedure or process. Any reference to an interlocutory order generally includes interim orders.

Note however that an interim order is fully enforceable until and unless it is changed by a final order:

"(I)interim orders, which by their terms, are to be superseded by a final order."1

In City of Corpus Christi, Justice Sam Johnson of the Supreme Court of Texas used these words:

"An interim or interlocutory order is by definition an order made pending the cause, before a final disposition on the merits."

The legal definition of an interim order affords an opportunity to mention what is arguably the worst monstrosity of judicial phraseology: the infamous interim interim order. For example, if a judge reserves judgment on an application for an interim order but feels obliged to issue a temporary order while his or her decision is being contemplated and published, he or she will issue that first generation interim order and because it is to serve only until the formal interim order issues, we have the interim interim order.


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