An injunction is a court order either preventing a party from taking a certain step(s) or compelling a person/business to take a specified step(s).
There are five types of injunction:
- A prohibitory injunction – this is restraining an individual or a business from taking a certain step. An example would be ordering a party not to continue to make a loud noise which is disrupting a neighbour;
- A mandatory injunction – this is compelling a party to take a specified step. An example would be an order setting out that a party to litigation has to deliver up documents;
- Interim injunction – this is one of the above two types that is made before trial and as such is temporary. This often occurs in what are known as freezing injunctions which prevents a party from removing assets from the court's jurisdiction. In rare circumstances the court has power to grant a freezing injunction not just to apply to England and Wales, but also worldwide;
- A final injunction – that is one of the two above orders made at the trial and normally then lasts indefinitely; and
- An injunction to prevent future harm – this is to prevent some sort of act which is threatened or imminent but has not yet occurred.
The circumstances where orders of this type can be obtained are complex. Also there are potential major pitfalls that need to be taken into account when an order of this type is sought.
See also our FAQ's on Injunctions