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Harassment Injunctions

  • What is Harassment?

 

The definition of ‘harassment’ is very broad and will include any course of conduct which a reasonable person would consider amounts to harassment. By way of example, the following conduct has been found to amount to harassment:

 

  1. unwanted phone calls, letters, emails or visits.

  2. abuse and bullying online.

  3. stalking.

  4. verbal abuse and threats.

  5. smashing windows or using dogs to frighten you.

 

  • What Action Can You Take?

 

If you are experiencing harassment you can:

 

  1. Initiate criminal action by reporting harassment to the police.

  2. In the alternative you can initiate civil action and ask the civil courts to intervene.

 

 

  • What Can the Civil Court Do About Harassment?

 

If the civil court is persuaded that it is appropriate it can:

 

  1. Issue an harassment injunction; and/ or

  2. Order the harassing party to pay damages to you.

 

  • Injunction Against Harassment

An injunction against harassment is a court order which will require the harassing party to desist from engaging in further instances of harassment.

An harassment injunction can also incorporate an exclusion zone which prevents the harassing party from coming within a certain distance of your home or place of work.

 

  • Damages

 

If a claim is issued alongside the application for an injunction in respect of the harassment, the court can order the harassing party to pay damages to you.

 

So, for example, if the harassing conduct involved your windows being broken you can ask the court for an award of damages to recover the cost of replacement windows.

 

  • When Can You Take Civil Court Action to Combat Harassment?

In order to initiate civil proceedings you will need to evidence at least two instances of conduct amounting to harassment. You must start any claim for damages flowing from harassment within 6 years of the date of the last instance of harassment. When applying for an injunction, it is important to act quickly. The court can refuse to grant an injunction delay making the application.

 

  • What Remedies Are Available if the Terms of an Harassment Injunction Are Breached?

 

If the harassing party breaches the terms of an injunction granted in your favour you can apply to the court for:

 

  1. An arrest warrant to be issued; and/ or

  2. Contempt of court proceedings to be commenced.

 

  • What is the Cost of An Injunction Against Harassment?

 

At present the Court fee for an injunction application/ damages claim is between £308 - £528 depending on where the application is made

 

Legal fees for preparing the an injunction application documentation start from £2,000 plus VAT, but will vary depending on the amount of work involved. Barrister’s fees for attending the hearing will also need to be considered if you require representation at court.

  • What Should I Do Next?

 

One of the first things you should be doing is gathering and securing the evidence you intend to rely on. If that evidence is text messages for example, consider taking screenshots and preserving both hard copies and digital files. 

Some thought should also be given to sending a notice to the harassing party inviting them in no uncertain terms to desist from their course of conduct, and explaining that you will apply for an injunction should the harassment continue.

If you would like to apply for an injunction please contact us and speak with one of our solicitors.

For urgent advice call: 07977493410 or 0207 199 3611