Injunctions are court orders instructing a person or business to do, stop doing, or not do, a certain act. It can order someone to stop harassing another person or publishing information about them. Injunctions can also order someone to leave a family home or business, or clear a blocked right of way. Claimants may apply for a “with notice” injunction where the respondent is allowed to contest the application, or a “without notice” injunction where the contesting party is not informed.
Consult a solicitor to determine if the injunction will be suitable. Ask at your local Citizens Advice Bureau if you cannot afford to pay a solicitor’s fees. Decide if an injunction will solve the problem you face, such as harassment or breach of contract, and if it will be enforceable. Calculate if the injunction will buy you to time to work out the possible danger you face if the injunction is breached by the contesting party.
Apply for legal aid if you live on a low income. The Legal Services Commission provides legal aid through your local council’s Community Legal Services. Your local council may give advice and support for injunction applications that involve domestic violence.
Collect evidence to support your application. This includes witness statements, affidavits - also called sworn statements - setting out the facts of the case, and other relevant documents. Assemble evidence to support a “without notice” application explaining why it is inappropriate to inform the respondent. Stipulate the period for which the injunction will run. This is usually between three and six months.
Ask at your local County Court or Magistrates Court for application forms to file for an injunction. The County Court will inform you if the injunction can only be filed in a High Court. Fill in the application forms and submit them to the court. Alternatively, ask your solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau file the application for you.
Seek some legal advice about your case from the outset even if you intend to file the injunction application yourself.
Discuss the alternatives to an injunction with your solicitor or other adviser. Will the problem be settled through a damages award? Courts will not grant injunctions in those cases where damages are a remedy.
Remember that injunctions can be extremely costly and time consuming. They should be considered only in very special and serious circumstances. There are severe restrictions on legal aid in Britain, even for those on low incomes.
Ensure there is a full and frank disclosure of all information, that all the facts support your application, and that the evidence is admissible in court.