Injunctions and committal

fixing health and safety hazard

Court of Appeal Howes v Howes [ 992] 2 FCR 287; ( 992) 42 NLJ 7 , CA
Proper service of committal order necessary Where an injunction has been breached, a person cannot be committed by the county court pursuant to a committal order unless a copy of the committal order has been served in accordance with the provisions of CCR Ord 29 r1(5).

O’Neill v Murray ( 990) Times October, CA
Committal order must set out breaches A committal order which fails to set out the breaches of an injunction which have been proved is defective and should be set aside.

Parsons v Nasar ( 99 ) 2 HLR , CA (see O7. )
Injunction defective for failing to specify clearly what landlord should do Note: For other cases where committal orders have been set aside for procedural defects, see Clarke v Clarke [1990] 2 FLR 115, CA (order not in Form N29 and delay in serving it) and Temporal v Temporal [1990] 2 FLR 98, CA (no time specified for compliance with order). Although these were both matrimonial cases, the same principles apply in cases involving landlords and tenants.

Saxby v McKinley ( 997) 29 HLR 9, CA
Immediate custodial sentence for disregard of injunction to readmit tenants A landlord evicted two tenants who were in arrears with their rent by changing the locks while they were away. He knew that what he had done was unlawful and a criminal offence. After they had been deprived of their accommodation for 30 days, he disregarded an injunction ordering him to readmit them.

The Court of Appeal held that he was properly committed to prison for 28 days for contempt of court. The contempt was serious and the consequences of his actions were potentially disastrous for the tenants. An immediate custodial sentence was not wrong in principle and was fully justified.

Wright v Jess[ 987] WLR 07 ; [ 987] 2 All ER 0 7, CA
In exceptional circumstances committal can be ordered ex parte In exceptional circumstances a court may commit a contemnor on an ex parte application if it is the only way to uphold the authority of the court or to protect the applicant. Here, the respondent was jailed for two years.
Note: Although this was a domestic violence case, the same principles apply in breach of covenant for quiet enjoyment cases. See also CCR Ord29 r1 and Warwick Corporation v Russell [1964] 1 WLR 613, ChD.

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