Injunctions In Singapore: Understanding The Law

Written by Team Farallon

  • Farallon Law Corporation
  • November 15, 2021

Overview

Injunctions are legal instruments in the form of a court order that compels a party to do or refrain from specific acts. A prohibitory injunction is an order forbidding a party from performing an act; a mandatory injunction is an order to perform an act. An injunction may be temporary, such as an interim injunction which is held in place until judgment is entered, or permanent (final injunction), continuing after the conclusion of proceedings either perpetually or until a specified date.

Courts generally grant injunctions as remedies where applicants are able to demonstrate, but not limited to the following:

  • Its rights have been infringed (or are about to be infringed)
  • Monetary damages are inadequate compensation.

Injunctions are usually in clear terms so that a party can understand exactly what it must do, or must not do.

Breaching An Injunction In Singapore

When the court orders an injunction and a party willfully breaches the terms of the injunction or assists in breaching the terms of an injunction, he is liable for contempt of court.

Obtaining An Injunction In The Singapore Courts

Due to the complex nature of injunctions, and the need to comply with rules of court and the procedures involved, one should engage a litigation lawyer to assist with applying for an injunction.

How Soon Can I Obtain An Injunction

For urgent matters, a party may obtain an interim or interlocutory injunction within days. In cases where time is of the essence, the courts may hear applications for injunctions over the weekends or even public holidays.

Ex Parte Injunctions (Without Giving Notice To The Other Party)

In exceptional cases of necessity, where alerting the other party would defeat the purpose of the application, an application may be made ex parte. Exceptional circumstances must be proven and in most cases of ex parte applications, this usually requires that prior notice would undermine the effectiveness of the injunction.

Types Of Injunctions In Singapore

Interim (Interlocutory) Injunction

An interlocutory injunction is a temporary court order that’s issued pending the outcome of a trial, arbitration, or final judgment on a matter.

Interim injunctions are generally used when the applicant seeks to restrain the defendant from certain acts or compel the defendant to perform certain acts before the dispute is resolved to prevent further damages or losses.

Example: Melinda and Benjamin are going through a divorce and they are disputing their marital assets. During the proceedings, Benjamin attempts to sell a condominium property without notifying Melinda. Melinda may then file an application for an interim injunction to prevent the sale of the property until the judge rules on the case.

Mandatory Injunction

A mandatory injunction compels a party to perform a specific act

Mandatory injunction
A mandatory injunction is a court order compelling a party to perform a positive act. A mandatory injunction may have a similar effect with an order for specific performance.

Example: ABC Pte Ltd has filed a civil suit against their landlord, Shopping Centre Pte Ltd, for wrongful eviction. Shopping Centre Pte Ltd has evicted ABC Pte Ltd and changed the locks, preventing ABC Pte Ltd from entering the property. ABC Pte Ltd may apply for a mandatory injunction compelling the landlord to reinstate them to the leased property pending the outcome of the trial.

Mareva injunction

A Mareva injunction freezes the assets of the defendant and prevents the assets from being dissipated before a judgment is made. Mareva injunctions are generally used to avoid situations where defendants may move or hide assets to prevent future enforcement action. Mareva injunctions are usually used as interim judgments pending the outcome of a final decision.

Mareva injunctions can be local or worldwide.

Quia Timet Injunction

Injunctions are generally awarded where a party has already suffered a wrong. However, in some cases, an injunction may be sought before a party’s rights have been infringed on the basis that they fear a wrong will be committed if an order is not made.

The latin phrase “Quia timet” literally means “because he fears”

A quia timet injunction may therefore be granted where either the defendant has threatened a wrongful act or there is a real risk that, unless an injunction is granted, an actionable wrong will be committed.

The claimant must show a real and substantial risk of damage of an imminent kind in order for the court to order a quia timet injunction.

Anton Piller order (Search order)

In Singapore law, an Anton Piller order is a court order that provides the claimant a right to search the premises of the defendant and seize evidence without prior warning.

This is intended to prevent the destruction of relevant evidence, particularly in cases of alleged trademark, copyright or patent infringements.

Due to the nature of Anton Piller orders, which do not give the other party the ability to defend themselves, these orders are only issued under exceptional circumstances and according to a three-step test:

  • There is an extremely strong prima facie case against the respondent.
  • The damage, potential or actual, must be very serious for the applicant.
  • There must be clear evidence that the respondents have in their possession relevant documents or things and that there is a real possibility that they may destroy such material before an inter partes application can be made.

Final Thoughts On Injunctions In Singapore

Injunctions in Singapore can be a tricky affair and can make a difference in the outcome of your case. If you require legal advice regarding injunctions in Singapore, please contact us for a consultation.

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    #04-01 OUE Downtown Gallery
    Singapore 068815

  • Email: Array
  • Tel: Array
  • Fax:+65 6722 8600

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