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Committal to Prison

If an injunction order is breached, the Plaintiff may apply to the court to commit (i.e. send) the party to prison. This is called committal proceedings. The Plaintiff has to show that the Defendnat has deliberately breached the injunction. The injunction order must have been personally served on the Defendant before the Plaintiff can apply for committal.


Anton Piller Order (Civil Search Order)

A Plaintiff may be able to obtain an injunction to against a Defendant allowing the Plaintiff to enter the Defendant's premises such as residence or office to search it and take documents or any other real objects which serve evidential value in the Plaintiff's claim against the Defendant. For example, this may include matters like pirated copies of CDs, master copy of the work for duplication, duplicator like CD copiers, printing equipment for fake packaging.

As in the case of Mareva Injunction, such application is normally done ex-parte i.e. made in secret without the Defendant's knowing. Mareva Injunction and Anto Piller Orders are very difficult to obtain. Orders will only be given to cases having good proof on relevant points. These orders are normally executed by the Plaintiff's legal representatives i.e. solicitors who are skilled on carrying out the terms of the orders into effect.

No force can be applied on the Defendant when executing the order. In case the Defendant refuses to allow the execution of the order e.g. refuse to allow the Plaintiff's entry into the premises, the Plaintiff should go back to court and apply for the Defendant's committal to prison.


Mareva Injunction ('Freezing" Assets)

If a Plaintiff has reasons to prove to the Court that the Defendant is about to remove valuable property or money out of Hong Kong in order to avoid the Plaintiff's claim, the Plaintiff can apply to the court to prohibit him from doing so. This is called a "Mareva Injunction" which means to have the property being 'frozen'. Such application normally takes place without notifying the Defendant i.e. so called ex-parte application.


Mareva Injunctions, Anton Piller Order and Committal to Prison

Injunctions have to be applied for in the High Court. Injunctions are common in enforcing intellectual property rights such as copyrights, and trade marks infringements. In many cases, the Court requires the Plaintiff to undertake to the court that he will pay the Defendant's costs and damages if the case turns out that the Plaintiff did not have a good reason to apply or he eventually fail in the proceedings. Therefore, great care has to be taken when considering whether such kind of application should be made.

Injunctions may contained a "Penal Notice". A penal notice serves the purpose of warning the Defendant that he has to observe and comply with the order of injunction and that failure to do so can amount to contempt of the Court and possibly result in imprisonment.