We want an injunction, please!
Many years ago when I was a trainee solicitor, my principal and I saw some new clients, a middle-aged man and his wife. His new wife as it turned out.
“We want to get an injunction against my daughter” he began, his wife nodding in the background, all blonde curls and pursed lips. “We have asked her to leave but she won’t go”.
When we enquired deeper into this unusual request, it turned out that the daughter was bringing unsavoury friends home and leaving the kitchen in a mess.
“We’ve told her we are not going to put up with it any longer, and now we want an injunction to get her out”.
We explained to them gently, that an injunction was a serious legal remedy generally used, in a family context, against violent partners to protect their family from physical attack. It was most unlikely, we continued, that a Judge would award an injunction in these circumstances.
This did not go down well. “Oh well” he said, standing up and reaching for his coat, “if we can’t get an injunction, then there’s no point in staying”. We were left feeling very sorry for the daughter.
People often talk glibly about injunctions, but to a lawyer, they are a serious business. They will only generally be used if someone is in physical danger, such as the violent partner situation, or if the claimant’s property rights are threatened in some way (or example you may be able to get an injunction to prevent someone building something on your land).
In a lodger situation, they are almost unheard of. The only circumstances where I think an injunction would be suitable would be if a lodger had turned violent and the landlord and his family were in danger of physical attack (and the Judge would normally want to hear about an attack that had already taken place and be persuaded that a future attack was probable).
An injunction may also be appropriate perhaps if a lodger became vindictive after being evicted, and resorted to stalking his former landlords and invading their privacy in an intrusive manner.
But bear also in mind the limitation of legal remedies. If someone is absolutely determined to break your knees, particularly if they are unbalanced, a piece of paper with a court seal on it, may not, in reality, be much protection. They may, of course, go to prison after they have broken your knees, but what good is that? The damage is done.
It is far, far better to avoid conflict situations (so far as you are able), in the first place.