Court reminds parties that injunction applications should be made after issue and on notice

Sarah Milsted

In Elizabeth Watson and Craig Watson (proposed claimants), the High Court provided a salient reminder that, unless there is good cause, an application for an interim injunction must be made after the issue of the claim form and notice must be given to the other side.

The Bank of Scotland plc had brought possession proceedings in the Bournemouth County Court against Ms Watson and had obtained an order for possession of her property.  In response, Ms Watson sought an interim injunction from the High Court against Eversheds LLP and their agents.  Ms Watson claimed that Eversheds had manipulated the court process and conspired with a large number of other people including some judges to procure the possession order by fraud and she sought an order suspending the possession order.  However, no claim form had been issued against the proposed defendants and no one was served with notice of the hearing.

The judge said that his recent experience suggests that professional litigators as well as self-representing parties have developed a practice of issuing applications ex parte and before issue of a claim form as if this were the normal way of proceeding.  However, it is not.  The default position is that interim remedies are granted within existing proceedings, after notice has been given to the person against whom they are sought and after service of the claim form on that person.  Those default positions can be varied where good cause is shown, but each variation needs to be justified and considered separately.

Elizabeth Watson and Craig Watson (proposed claimants) [2015] EWHC 2078 (QB)

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