Cyprus: Injunctions In Cyprus

Last Updated: 7 December 2016
Article by Antonis Paschalides

The Cyprus Supreme Court pointed out, in the well known case of Odysseos Andreas v. A. Pieris Estates Ltd and Another1 that "an injunction has been, historically, one of the principal weapons of equity to suppress conduct that should not be countenanced by a court of equity". As a matter of fact, injunctions can be issued for a lot and different reasons; they can be issued, for example, in order to freeze assets in and outside of the jurisdiction, to preserve evidence, to aid the search and discovery of information, to restrain legal proceedings. Furthermore, there are the prohibitory injunctions and the mandatory injunctions and also the perpetual injunctions and the interlocutory ones.

An injunction can be issued after a relevant application is filed in the context of a main procedure, such as an action commenced by a writ of summons or a writ of summons specially indorsed or even after an originating summons is issued. The said application for the issuance of the injunction is supported by an affidavit made by a person who personally knows the facts of the case or who specifies the source of his knowledge. The respondent may then file an objection supported by an affidavit in which he/she should specify the grounds for objection. Furthermore, the Court, upon request, may, for good reason, permit the filing of additional affidavits. The hearing of the application is conducted on the basis of the facts stated in the application or in the affidavits reserving the right for cross-examination of the affiant.

Section 32(1) of the Courts of Justice Law (Law 14/1960) aims to define the remedial powers of the Court to grant relief of an equitable nature, namely to issue injunctions and appoint receivers.2 Section 32 provides that every Court, in the exercise of its civil jurisdiction, has the power to grant an injunction (interlocutory, perpetual or mandatory) or appoint a receiver in all cases in which it appears to the Court just or convenient so to do.

Furthermore, as the court stated in the case Odysseos Andreas v. A. Pieris Estates Ltd and Another3 "the justice and convenience of the case is not the sole consideration to which the Court should play heed in the case of an interlocutory injunction, and no such injunction should be granted, unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. A serious question arises to be tried at the hearing.
  2. There appears to be "a probability" that plaintiff is entitled to relief and, lastly,
  3. Unless it shall be difficult or impossible to do complete justice at a later stage without granting an interlocutory injunction".

The issued interlocutory injunction may be under such terms and conditions as the Court thinks just and the Court may at any time, on reasonable cause, annul or modify the said injunction.

ANALYZING THE CONDITIONS

The above-mentioned conditions have been explained in detail by the Supreme Court in the case of Odysseos Andreas v. A. Pieris Estates Ltd and Another.4

1. A serious question arises to be tried at the hearing

Regarding this condition, the Supreme Court stated that there is no reason in principle or on authority to interpret "a serious question to be tried at the hearing" as requiring anything beyond the disclosure of an arguable case on the strength of the pleadings. It is clear that the Court will not decide on the merits of the case at this preliminary stage.

2. There appears to be ''a probability'' that the plaintiff is entitled to relief

The Court stated that "it is fair to assume that the second requirement relates to something other than the complexion of the pleaded case of the applicant and that could not be anything other than the evidential strength of the case of the plaintiff. Furthermore, the standard required for the plaintiff to overcome the evidential hurdle is not very high. He is only required to establish a ''probability'' of success. The concept of a ''probability'' imports something more than a mere possibility but something much less than the ''balance of probabilities'', the standard required for proof of a civil action. A legal probability is something different from a mathematical probability. ''A probability'', in the context of the proviso to section 32(1) requires the applicant to demonstrate that he has a visible chance of success".

3. Unless it shall be difficult or impossible to do complete justice at a later stage without granting an interlocutory injunction

The third condition is closely related to the question of the adequacy of the remedy of damages, in the light of the facts of the case5 and may also include other factors in addition to irreparable damage.6 The criterion for the issuance of an interim order is the inability to do complete justice at a later stage. The meaning of justice is not related to the narrow perception of material damage, but to the wider protection of the rights of the applicant.7

Finally, when all the aforementioned conditions are taken into consideration, the Court must ultimately decide whether it is just or convenient to grant the injunction.8

ORDERS ISSUED ON AN EX PARTE BASIS

Under article 9 of Cap. 6 (Civil Procedure Law), the Courts have jurisdiction to issue an order on an ex parte basis i.e without notification of the respondent. For that purpose, the Court must be satisfied that there are exceptional and urgent circumstances.

Article 9 (2) of Cap. 6 (Civil Procedure Law), provides that before the issuance of the injunction on the ex parte basis, "the Court shall require the person applying for it to enter into a recognizance, with or without a surety or sureties as the Court thinks fit, as security for his being answerable in damages to the person against whom the order is sought". This might be a personal guarantee up to a specified amount and it depends on the scale of action.

After its issuance on the ex parte basis, the order is fixed as "returnable" within a few days and it must be served to the respondent, who may appear to the Court and file an objection. Then, the Court will decide whether the order should remain in force until the final settlement of the dispute or whether it should be annulled. It must be noted, that an injunction issued on an ex parte basis shall not remain in force for a period longer than necessary.

When an applicant applies ex parte, it is crucial to disclose to the Court all material facts and/or documents in relation to the case. This duty covers not only facts that the applicant knows, but also facts which the applicant would have known with reasonable care.9 Failure to disclose such material issues may result to the cancellation of the injunction.

APPEAL

According to Order 35, Rule 2 of the Civil Procedures Rules "...no appeal from any interlocutory order, or from an order, whether final or interlocutory, in any matter not being an action, shall be brought after the expiration of fourteen days, and no other appeal shall be brought after the expiration of six weeks, unless the Court or Judge, at the time of making the order or at any time subsequently, or the Court of Appeal shall enlarge the time. The said respective periods shall be calculated from the time that the judgment or order becomes binding on the intending appellant, or in the case of the refusal of an application, from the date of such refusal. Such deposit or other security for the costs to be occasioned by any appeal shall be made or given as may be directed under special circumstances by the Court of Appeal".

TYPES OF INJUNCTIONS

"Mareva" Injunctions

"Mareva" injunctions which are named after the well known leading decision Mareva Compania Naviera S.A. v. International Bulkcarriers SA10 are freezing injunctions that restrain a person from dealing with or using his/her assets. The purpose of a "Mareva" injunction is to ensure that the judgment will be satisfied and effectively enforced. As the Supreme Court stated in Pastella Marine Co Ltd v National Iranian Tanker Co Ltd11 "the discretion of the Court to issue a Mareva injunction must be exercised with great circumspection and always with due regard with the specific aims of the law, notably in aid to the process of execution designed to forestall action likely to undermine the efficacy of the judicial process".

One of the first case in which the Cyprus Supreme Court endorsed the English case law regarding the jurisdiction of Cyprus Courts to issue "Mareva" injunctions was Nemitsas Industries Ltd v. S.& S. Maritime Lines Ltd and Others.12 In that case, the Supreme Court, in its admiralty jurisdiction, granted an injunction restraining the Defendants from withdrawing money from a bank until trial of the action..

In the case Metro Shipping Travel Ltd v Global Cruises SA13 the Supreme Court, in its admiralty jurisdiction, stated that "a "Mareva" injunction, is an injunction by which a defendant, whether a person or a legal entity, foreign or locally-based, is restrained from removing assets that he possesses within the jurisdiction, pending the action and subsequent execution of the judgment obtained by the plaintiffs or a counter-claiming defendant".

However in 2007 in the case of Seamark Consultancy Services Limited v. Joseph P. Lasala and others14 the Supreme Court stated that the Court of First Instance could extend the "Mareva" type injunction that it has issued, to assets outside of the jurisdiction. As the Court noted, section 32 of Law 14/1960 sets no other restriction except from the three preconditions.

"Anton Piller" Orders

The "Anton Piller" orders aim to preserve evidence and to prevent its destruction. With an "Anton Piller" order, a defendant is ordered to permit the claimant to enter his/her premises for certain purposes. In the leading English case Anton Piller K.G. v. Manufacturing Processes Ltd,15 which was cited in a number of Cypriot cases,16 the following pre-conditions were stated:

  1. "There must be an extremely strong prima facie case.
  2. The damage, potential or actual, must be very serious for the applicant.
  3. There must be clear evidence that the defendants have in their possession incriminating documents or things.
  4. There is a real possibility that they may destroy such material before any application inter partes can be made".

"Anton Piller" orders are very drastic in nature and a party may apply for the issuance of that order, inter alia, to find and preserve evidence which is in the possession of the defendant and the defendant is likely to destroy such evidence or inform others to destroy them. Furthermore, the Courts must be very cautious when granting this type of orders so as to ensure that the person, against whom the order is issued, is also protected. The risk of damage decreases when the conditions of that order are detailed, uniform and standardized.17

"Chabra" Orders

The Supreme Court in the case of Re Helington Commodities Ltd and others18 affirmed the jurisdiction of Cyprus Courts to issue "Chabra" type orders.19 These orders are issued "where there are grounds, to believe that a co-defendant is in a possession, or control, of assets to which the principal defendant is beneficially entitled".20

In the same case, the principles set out in the English cases T.S.B Private Bank International S.A. v. Chabra and another21 and Yukong Line Ltd v. Rendsburg Investments Corporation and others22 were endorsed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court quoted the below extract from the English case Yukong Line Ltd v. Rendsburg Investments Corporation23 and others reaffirming that "although the Court has no jurisdiction to grant an interlocutory "Mareva" injunction in favour of a plaintiff who has no good arguable cause of action against a sole defendant, it has power to grant such an injunction against a co-defendant against whom no direct cause of action lies, provided that the claim for the injunction is ancillary and incidental to the plaintiff's cause of action against that co-defendant".

"Norwich Pharmacal" orders

"Norwich Pharmacal" orders aid the search and discovery of information and especially information which is necessary in order to identify a wrongdoer. Furthermore, they assist the finding of evidence which could be used in a potential court action.

Cyprus Courts follow the principle stated in Norwich Pharmacal Co and others v. Commissioners and Custom Excise24 that "if through no fault of his own a person gets mixed up in the tortious acts of others so as to facilitate their wrong-doing he may incur no personal liability but he comes under a duty to assist the person who has been wronged by giving him full information and disclosing the identity of the wrongdoers. I do not think that it matters whether he became so mixed up by voluntary action on his part or because it was his duty to do what he did. But justice requires that he should co-operate in righting the wrong if he unwittingly facilitated its perpetration".

In the case of Avila Management Services Limited and others v. Frantisek Stepanek and others25 the Supreme Court referred to case Mitsui & Co Ltd v. Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd26 where the conditions for the issuance of a "Norwich Pharmacal" order had been summarized. Specifically, the conditions that have to be satisfied is that "(i) a wrong must have been carried out, or arguably carried out, by an ultimate wrongdoer; (ii) there must be the need for an order to enable action to be brought against the ultimate wrongdoer; and (iii) the person against whom the order is sought must: (a) be mixed up in so as to have facilitated the wrongdoing; and (b) be able or likely to be able to provide the information necessary to enable the ultimate wrongdoer to be sued".

Anti-suit Injunctions

Generally, Cyprus Courts, as a matter of comity, avoid issuing orders under which a person is restrained from commencing or continuing proceedings in a foreign court or forum. Furthermore, Cyprus Courts state that anti-suit injunctions must be issued sparingly and the plaintiff must have a very strong case.28

Finally, it must be noted that in Case C-185/07, Allianz SpA, formerly Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà SpA, Generali Assicurazioni Generali SpA, v. West Tankers Inc, the European Court of Justice stated that "it is incompatible with Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 for a court of a Member State to make an order to restrain a person from commencing or continuing proceedings before the courts of another Member State on the ground that such proceedings would be contrary to an arbitration agreement".

INJUNCTIONS, PROCEEDINGS IN EU MEMBER STATES AND INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGS

Injunctions or interim orders could be issued not only in support of proceedings which are pending before Cyprus Courts but also in support of proceedings pending in EU member states. Specifically, under article 31 of the EC Regulation 44/2001 "application may be made to the courts of a Member State for such provisional, including protective, measures as may be available under the law of that State, even if, under this Regulation, the courts of another Member State have jurisdiction as to the substance of the matter".

Furthermore, according to article 9 of the International Commercial Arbitration Law (Law 101/1987), the Court, upon an application by a party, may grant an order at any time before or during the arbitration proceedings.

COMPETENT COURTS FOR COMMERCIAL MATTERS

In Cyprus there are no specific courts for commercial matters. These matters fall within the jurisdiction of the District Courts. District Courts are competent for all civil actions, except from matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Rent Control Tribunal, the Industrial Disputes Tribunal and the Family Court. District Courts are composed by the Presidents of the District Court, the Senior District Judges and the District Judges.

Footnotes

1. (1982) 1 CLR 557.

2. Pastella Marine Co Ltd v. National Iranian Tanker Co Ltd (1987) 1 CLR 583.

3. (1982) 1 CLR 557.

4. (1982) 1 CLR 557.

5. Odysseos Andreas v. A. Pieris Estates Ltd and Another (1982) 1 CLR 557.

6. Papastratis Loucas v. Glafkos Petrides (1979) 1 C.L.R. 231.

7. M & CH Mitsingas Trading Ltd and others v. The Timberland Co. (1997) 1 AAD 1791.

8. Odysseos Andreas v. A. Pieris Estates Ltd and Another (1982) 1 CLR 557.

9. Akis allos Grigoris N. Grigoriou and others v. Christinas Stavrou Christoforou and others (1995) 1 AAD 248.

10. Court of Appeal, June 23, 1975.

11. (1987) 1 CLR 583.

12. (1976) 1 C.L.R. 302. See also ABP Holdings ltd and others v. Andrea Kitalidi and others (No. 2) (1994) 1 AAD 694.

13. (1989) 1 CLR 182.

14.(2007) 1 AAD 162.

15.(1976) Ch 55.

16. In re Christoforos Pelekanos and Others (1989) 1 CLR 467.

17. In re Neophytou Grigoriadi, (2013), Appeal no. 10/2011, dated 14/06/2013.

18. (2009) 1 AAD 926.

19. Stockman Interhold SA ν. Arricano Trading Limited and others, Action No. 219/12, Distict Court of Limassol, dated 08/05/2012.

20. Yukong Line Ltd v. Rendsburg Investments Corporation and others (2001) Lloyd's Rep.113.

21. (1992) 1 W.L.R 231.

22. (2001) Lloyd's Rep.113.

23. Penderhill Holdings Limited and others v. Ioanni Kloukina, Appeals no. 319/2011 and 320/2011, dated 13/01/2014, Maria Nikolaevna Maximova v. Novexco (Cyprus) Limited, Action No. 8332/2012, Nicosia District Court, dated 30/05/2014.

24. (1973) 2 All E.R. 943

25. (2012) Appeal No. 54/2012, dated 27/06/2012.

26. (2005) EWHC 625.

27. Eugenios Zinonos v. Elenis Zisaki (2009) 1 AAD 661.

28. Alexey Suprunov and other v. Natasa Agathokleous and other, Action No. 870/2014, Paphos District Court, dated 26/06/2014.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.