Taking out an urgent injunction to stop online harassment
Urgent harassment injunction is a Court order prohibiting a person from taking a particular action (a prohibitory injunction) or requiring them to take a particular action (a mandatory injunction).
An urgent harassment injunction can be sought on a without notice or ex parte basis, sometimes even outside normal working hours or at the weekend. This might be the case where publication or disclosure is imminent or with a breach of privacy issue. With urgent harassment injunctions, there will always be a second hearing a week or so later so the court can decide whether the interim injunction should stay in force after the respondent has had a chance to seek legal advice. If you are here because you require an urgent harassment injunction, do call our internet lawyers now.
We can also apply for Anonymous injunctions (which restrains a person from publishing confidential or private information concerning you and where your name and/or their name(s) are not stated). There are injunctions against persons unknown which restrain disclosure of private information by persons unknown who is only identified by description). There are also injunctions where we can anonymise your name so it does not appear on court records.
The first step will usually be to obtain an interim injunction, which is a temporary injunction and usually granted pending a further hearing or until a full trial of the dispute.
We will determine whether an online harassment injunction may be necessary to preserve or prevent the loss of an asset, protect against personal harm, prevent loss or damage to reputation and safeguard business or personal interests or preserve evidence. We deal with regular applications for injunctions to stop online harassment and for the prevention of publication of private information on the internet, also. There are stringent principles in place to determine whether a party will be entitled to an injunction, so wording and evidence is of utmost importance and then it is down to the courts to decide whether they will grant the injunction.
We will then make an application for a harassment injunction once court proceedings have begun. Alternatively, the Court can grant an injunction before the start of Court proceedings if the matter is urgent or if it necessary in the interests of justice.
If we obtain an injunction before a case goes to trial, this is known as an interlocutory or interim injunction. It can be expressed to remain in force for a particular period of time. Otherwise, it remains in force until the matter comes to trial or until the Court makes any further order. When the matter comes to trial, the Court will decide whether or not to make a final injunction.
Before a Court will consider granting an emergency harassment injunction, there are three general principles which must first be established on the facts, namely:
There is a substantive cause of action and the other party is either threatening to invade (or had invaded) your equitable rights or is threatening to behave (or has behaved) in an unconscionable manner.
The court feels that it would be just and convenient to grant the injunction and no equitable bars exist, e.g. unreasonable delay or behaviour on the part of the applicant
Damages would not make an adequate remedy in redress of the dispute.
The procedure for applying for injunctions will differ depending on whether the application is to be made with or without notice to the other side. An application is made to the Court that is (or will be) dealing with the main claim.
The requirement for a formal application notice may be dispensed with in the case of a 'without notice' application. The application notice must state what order the applicant is seeking, the reasons why the applicant is seeking the order and the date, time and place of any hearing.
An application for an interim injunction must usually be supported by evidence. This will usually be in the form of a witness statement or affidavit including all material facts of which the Court should be made aware and attaching relevant documents.
Interim injunctions are either obtained 'on notice' or 'without notice'. With an 'on notice' application, the other side is told that the application for an injunction is being made and when and where it will be heard.
A 'without notice' application is made without the other party having any notice of the application or being present at the application hearing. The Court will only grant a harassment injunction on such an application if there are good reasons for not giving the respondent any notice, e.g. Where the matter is too urgent or where there is a risk that informing the other side will create serious repercussions for our client, before the hearing.
It is important to be aware of the fact that there is an obligation on the applicant for a harassment injunction, particularly in the case of a 'without notice' application, to inform the Court of any point that may help the other side or that it believes the other side would have made if it had the opportunity to be heard.
Privacy injunctions are an interim injunction which restrains a person from publishing information which concerns the applicant and is said to be confidential or private where the names of either or both of the parties to the proceedings are not stated. When reported, anonymised injunctions have case names which hide the identity of one or more parties seen so often, for example, XYZ v. GHL.
If you need to obtain a privacy injunction quickly, call us now. Cohen Davis solicitors regularly obtain privacy injunctions in cases and circumstances where a privacy injunction has never been granted before. We have acted in a number of landmark cases as solicitors for the claimant where our clients need privacy injunctions which aimed to protect them and members of their family from unwanted publicity. Many of these privacy injunctions relate to publications on the internet and often they are granted together with an anonymity order to protect the identity of our client.
For more information about online harassment injunctions , obtaining an injunction against social media platforms, private prosecutions and how Cohen Davis can obtain injunctions for your online harassment issue, call us now free on 0800 612 7211.
If you have been served with an injunction for harassment online and need help, please read the article You were served with harassment injunction