How to apply for a Court order to prevent certain actions?

by | 4 May 2022 | Litigation

Do you want to urgently stop someone from doing something that is detrimental to your legal rights? If so, then you need to apply for an interim injunction at a New Zealand Court. An interim injunction is a temporary order made by the Court to restrain a person from doing something.

A normal Court proceeding is a slow process, often taking at least 1 year to reach a conclusion. However, there may be some instances where you can’t wait that long. For example, someone may be planning to cut down a protect tree on your property, and if they are not immediately retrained from doing so, then the resulting loss can’t be reversed. In such a case, the Court may be willing to grant a temporary injunction before the parties have had the chance for the main proceeding to be heard.

In order for the Court to grant an injunction, the Court needs to be satisfied of two main factors:

1. is there a serious question to be tried?
2. does the “balance of convenience” favour the granting of the injunction?

First, an applicant must convince the Court that there is a serious question to be tried. This means the applicant must show that they have a strong case to ultimately win the main proceeding. On the face of it, if the Court decides the applicant will never win the main proceeding because it is a hopeless case, then the Court will decline the injunction application.

Second, the Court must consider the impact of the injunction on either party depending on which party wins the main proceeding. For example, if the protected tree is cut down because you didn’t get the injunction, but you ultimately win the main proceeding, is monetary compensation enough? In this case, the Court is likely to grant the injunction, because money can’t reverse the loss of a protected tree. On the other hand, if money is enough to compensate the applicant, then the injunction will be declined. This consideration is called the “balance of convenience”.

If you have any questions about seeking injunctions in New Zealand, speak to us at Capstone Law, and we will be happy to assist you.

Kenneth Sun

Kenneth Sun

Partner & CEO

Kenneth is the founding partner of Capstone Law.  Kenneth has a MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and he was also awarded the prestigious Dean’s Academic Achievement Award for graduating from the University of Auckland law school in the top 5% of his class. Kenneth has worked at some of the best law firms in the country before starting Capstone Law.


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