In The Bahamas, you can use a legal tool called an injunction to stop someone from taking an unlawful action. An injunction is a legal remedy for an injustice that is permitted by law.
When you obtain an injunction, you get a court order requiring another party to do something or to stop doing something. An order to do something is called a mandatory injunction. An order to stop doing something is called a prohibitory injunction. Prohibitory injunctions tend to be more common. For example, a plaintiff might need to obtain an injunction to stop a defendant from destroying evidence or erecting a building while the court evaluates the plaintiff's claims.
The court may order a permanent or a temporary injunction depending on the circumstances. Permanent injunctions tend to be used instead of or as a supplement to money damages. Courts may grant injunctions if money damages would be inadequate – if a trespasser continued to trespass on land despite a damages award, for example. Temporary injunctions are more likely to be used while a lawsuit is pending or used until a certain act is performed and the injunction is no longer needed. The court can punish disobedience of an injunction by holding the offender in contempt of court.
In The Bahamas, the court commonly issues injunctions to stop or require many kinds of actions. A court order which is issued before the final determination of a case is called an interlocutory injunction. Interlocutory injunctions can be issued at any time before or after trial up until the time the case is finally decided. One specialized type of injunction is a Mareva injunction, which prevents a debtor from removing assets from The Bahamas or dissipating assets in The Bahamas to prevent a creditor from reaching them to satisfy a debt. A future blog will discuss the Mareva injunction in detail.
To obtain an injunction, an application must be made to the court. In certain circumstances the application can be made without the other party being there (ex parte) or it can be made as a contested application with all parties present (inter partes). The documents filed in the application should explain the act you wish another party to perform or refrain from performing and why the injunction is necessary.
To learn more about the legal requirements for an injunction and the procedure in the Bahamian courts, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.