The issuance of interim injunctions by Cyprus Courts
An interim injunction is an order issued by the Courts by which it either orders a particular party to do something or orders a party to refrain from doing a particular act for amongst others reasons, to protect assets pending the determination of the main legal proceedings. Therefore factors which the court can take into account to examine whether there is any risk of dissipation of assets include for example evidence which shows that the defendant has already taken steps to dissipate assets. Examples of assets which can be covered include securities, funds, deposits, goods etc. Such interim injunctions are considered as remedies and can solely be granted if the applicant has a substantive cause of action. It is vital to stress that injunctions can be issued in support of proceedings which are pending in EU Member States or can even be granted at any time before or during arbitral proceedings.
Furthermore, the right to be granted an interim injunction is governed by Section 32 of the Courts Justice Law 14/60 in Cyprus which grants the power to the Cypriot courts to issue an injunction “in all cases in which it appears to the Court just or convenient so to do.”
Conditions to satisfy in order to obtain the order successfully
An applicant which seeks to obtain the interim order will need to satisfy the following conditions:
(i) A serious question arises to be tried at the hearing;
(ii) There appears to be a probability that the plaintiff is entitled to relief and
(iii) Unless it shall be difficult or impossible to do complete justice at a later stage without granting an interlocutory injunction.
(iv) The balance of convenience is in favor of the Applicant.
Furthermore the Applicant is entitled to present its case and disclose all material facts relating to the case since if this is not done, the requested remedy is likely not to be granted or even quashed at a later stage. Hence all of the above conditions need to be satisfied by the Applicant who shall file its application on an ex parte basis with the supporting affidavit referring to all of the above conditions.
If the Court decides to grant such an interim order on an ex parte basis, then the order is fixed as returnable within a few days and the interim order and all relevant court documents will need to be served upon the Defendant in order for same to appear before Court on the return date and request for time to file its opposition to the granting of such an Order. Eventually a hearing shall take place as to whether the granted order shall be varied, set aside or whether it shall remain in force.
Types of interim orders to request
The type of interim injunction to request shall depend on each case, some of which include:
These relate to assets either situated in Cyprus or outside Cyprus however provided that it relates to assets outside Cyprus, the Defendant should be residing in Cyprus and be subject to the jurisdiction of the Cypriot Courts.
Norwich Pharmacal orders
These are orders where a Defendant is obliged to disclose for example the location and value of its assets or even information and documents relating to assets which have been appropriated, with the purpose of assisting the Applicant as the victim of the fraud to trace its assets, identify the wrongdoer etc.
This is an order against a Defendant other than the main Defendant where there are grounds to believe that a co-defendant is in possession or control of assets to which the principal defendant is entitled.
Further to all of the above, there is also a condition that the Applicant files a security to the Court provided that the interim order is granted. The amount and the form of the security shall depend on the facts of each case and is at the discretion of the Court to decide. However its purpose is to cover for all potential loss to be caused to the Defendant if it is established that the issued order was groundlessly and/or wrongly granted.
For further information on this topic please contact Ms. Nada Starovlah (email@example.com) at SOTERIS PITTAS & CO LLC, by telephone (+357 25 028460) or by fax (+357 25 028461)