What is an interim injunction?


An interim injunction is granted by a civil court in England and Wales following an application by a litigation solicitor, often in advance of court proceedings. The purpose of an interim injunction is to prevent something from happening or to force something to happen which will preserve a claimant’s rights, or prevent further liability or damage from being incurred until the facts of a case can be heard fully in court.

Who awards injunctions?

Interim injunctions can be awarded by any court, although injunctions for specific and more serious matters can only be granted by the High Court and by certain types of judge. An application for an injunction should only be made by an experienced litigation solicitor or barrister.

When are injunctions used?

Injunctions are available in a wide range of legal areas: in defamation cases an injunction might be used to prevent a possible libel or slander from being published or repeated until the court can consider the case fully. Injunctions are used in domestic violence cases to prevent molestation or to provide occupation to the family home and the exclusion of the violent partner. Injunctions are also used in anti-social behaviour cases and in a variety of commercial disputes. More serious injunctions can order the search of a premises or the freezing of assets.

When granting an injunction the court will be mindful of the seriousness of the case in question, and the adequacy of damages to either party if the case is proven or not. If damages are considered adequate recompense then often the injunction will not be granted. However if it is possible that the action, if committed, would cause damage for which money could provide no compensation, as in some domestic violence or defamation cases, then the court will award the injunction in the interests of justice.

Once granted, the interim injunction normally lasts until a hearing of all the facts can take place, when the injunction is either made permanent, or is removed. If you are considering applying for an interim injunction, or have a case in any of the areas mentioned above you should take legal advice from an experienced solicitor.

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