Injunctions are Court Orders which order someone to stop doing something which would be considered a civil wrong.
For example, an injunction might be used to stop
- domestic violence, molestation or harassment
- noise nuisance
- someone disposing of goods or assets that may not belong to them
- someone trying to hide or conceal assets to avoid paying damages
- libel or slander
- evidence being concealed or destroyed
In the case of domestic violence, there are two types of injunctions a lawyer could ask the Court for
- a civil injunction which prevents the violent partner from entering the home
- an ouster injunction which orders the violent partner to leave the family home until other matters are decided by the Family Court.
Enforcement of injunctions
Injunctions granted in Jersey only apply to prevent something happening in Jersey.
You need permission from the Royal Court if you want to ask for an injunction of the Jersey Court to be enforced in another country. You will also generally need the permission of the courts of that country as well.
In the same way, injunctions taken out under the law of other countries are only enforceable in those countries.
Powers of Arrest
If the Court thinks it is necessary to protect the person named in the Injunction and the injunction contains one of the provisions below, this law gives the Court the power to add a power of arrest provision to the injunction.
The provisions are
- A provision restraining a person from using violence against the person mentioned in the injunction or from molesting them
- A provision excluding a person from specified premises or from a specific area.
The Court must specify a period for which the power of arrest has effect.
The Viscount or a police officer may arrest the person against whom the injunction was granted without having an arrest warrant if
- the power of arrest contained in the injunction still has effect and
- the Viscount has reasonable cause to suspect that the person is behaving, or is about to behave, in a way that will breach the injunction.
Where there is no Power of Arrest attached to the injunction or the power is not valid anymore, the Bailiff may issue a warrant for the arrest of the person named in the injunction if they are satisfied that the person has breached the injunction.
This warrant may be executed by the Viscount or a police officer. The person arrested must be brought before the Court as soon as possible after his/her arrest and must not be released unless the Court gives permission.
Getting an injunction
Legal advice must be obtained to get an injunction. The lawyer will prepare a document called the Order of Justice which asks for the Injunction and sets out what the claim is about.
The allegations in the order of justice and any evidence relied on to support the allegations must be verified by a sworn statement on oath known as an affidavit. The affidavit is also signed by a lawyer or a notary as a witness. If a statement is made that is untrue this can have serious consequences including an injunction being set aside.
The Plaintiff must disclose all the relevant information in their Affidavit even if some of it is not in their favour. They must also give an undertaking to pay damages to the person who was served the Injunction if it turns out that it was wrong to serve it.
Both the Order of Justice and the Affidavit have to be submitted by the lawyer to the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff in Chambers.
The Bailiff only grants the injunction once they have considered the urgency and seriousness of the case and if they are satisfied that the injunction is necessary.
The injunction is served by the Viscount’s officer. They deliver it personally by finding the person named in the Injunction and handing it to them.
Lifting an injunction
The person who is served with the injunction may apply to the Court for it to be lifted at any time. The Court will deal with such applications as quickly as possible and you will have to be ready to deal with such an application straightaway.