Civil Remedies for Harassment and Cyber Bullying....
Although some have thicker skins than others, no one should have to tolerate abuse, harassment or bullying either in the real world or online. To those suffering from these activities it can often be difficult to make others, in particular the police, realise just how much impact the perpetrators can have on everyday life.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 not only criminalised the harassment of others (see our private prosecutions page), it also made provision for the obtaining of a civil injunction to prohibit further acts of harassment. To obtain such an injunction, it is not necessary for their to be a criminal prosecution. The burden of proof that must be met is the civil burden of proof, that of 'the balance of probabilities' as opposed to the tougher, criminal standard, of 'reasonable doubt'.
Where such an injunction has been obtained, breach can be a criminal offence. Where there is such a breach the plaitiff can return to the issuing court and ask that a warrant for the arrest of the 'harasser' be issued. In most cases an application for an injunction is made to the County Court, which also has power under the Act to award damages for any anxiety that the harassment has caused. This is a valuable and much under utilised tool.
The offence of breaching the terms of an Harassment Act Injunction is in fact a more serious offence than the offence created by section 2 of the Act. Whereas the latter is an offence that can only be dealt with in the magistrates court, the former may also be tried in the crown court where it carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. This may provide the harasser with a powerful incentive to desist from their behaviour.
We can assist you in:
Obtaining and collating your evidence and drafting the requisite documents.
Presenting your application to the civil judge.
Applying to the civil court for the issuing of an arrest warrant in the event of a breach of the injunction.
As with all our services, we work on an agreed fee basis. A guide to our fees can be seen here.