Sometimes a party to a dispute requires urgent relief.
Some examples of circumstances where urgent relief would be necessary includes where:
- a commercial landlord threatens to evict a tenant running a business;
- the matter concerns the dismissal of an employee for an unlawful reason;
- there is a publication that can cause reputational harm; and
- it is necessary to prevent the dissemination of confidential information.
An injunction is a form of urgent relief that can be granted by the Court in certain circumstances.
An injunction can be prohibitory or mandatory.
A prohibitory injunction prevents the other party from taking some kind of action; some examples include preventing disseminating confidential information or preventing an eviction.
A mandatory injunction is where a party is required to take positive steps; some examples include being compelled to perform an obligation pursuant to a contract or compelling the removal of a publication from the public domain.
To get an urgent injunction on an interlocutory basis, a party is required to establish the following:
- there is a serious question to be tried;
- there is a matter of urgency;
- damages will not adequately repair the harm; and
- the balance of convenience favours granting an injunction.
Whether or not it is advisable to apply for an injunction depends on a case by case basis. It is a remedy available in circumstances where it is necessary to preserve the status quo pending a final hearing. Where there is a case for irreparable harm – for example, a pending major disruption to a business due to threat of eviction or irreparable harm to the reputation of a person or business – a case can be made to justify the grant of an injunction.
An ex-parte injunction is where an injunction is applied for without notice to the other party. Ex-parte injunctions can be applied for in circumstances where there is such urgency that immediate relief is necessary. However, it is likely that the matter will be made returnable in a few days’ time to provide the other party with an opportunity to be heard.
When applying for an injunction, the person or entity making the application is required to provide an undertaking as to damages. The intention of this is to balance the interests of the parties given that injunctions are often granted on an interim basis without an opportunity for the parties to be heard in full.
If you require urgent assistance with a matter, our litigation team is well equipped to provide you with advice concerning the remedies available to you. Please contact Rory Markham or Stipe Vuleta on (02) 6215 9100.