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The rise of the interim injunctions in the Czech republic. The effective way how to protect celebrities when their image rights, privacy or reputation has been infringed

Before 2013 there were rare cases when the applicants has sought the interim injunction in order to restrain the media from publishing the stories. There were two cases when the Court granted the injunction, first when the tabloid media has run the story about the love affair of married husband of the famous moderator. As there were more than hundred articles within two months mainly concerning intimate details of the affair, the Court was satisfied to the reasoning that the privacy prevails freedom of speech. However, in respect to the young mistress, the Court said that she has a right to speech and the interim order has no place but she might be committing defamation what is the subject of the different procedure.

With a New Civil Code and strengthening of the personal rights there is an open way how the interim injunctions might be widely used, first for example to prevent publication of private images, images taken without consent or dissemination of the private information. Not only Czech but also foreign celebrities coming to the Czech republic, usually to Prague to spend holiday or spend some time after the filming, the right to their images could be protected by means of interim injunction even before the photos were made or published.

How does the procedure work and what are the conditions to apply for the interim injunction?

Prior to the trial, the court may issue a preliminary injunction if the situation of the parties must be temporarily adjusted or if there is a fear that the enforcement of the judgement could be endangered.

Preliminary injunction shall be only issued on the proposal (application). The application for a preliminary injunction shall in addition to the general requirements (written or electronically with e-signature or via data network) contain the name , surname and place of residence of participants , where appropriate , their representatives. Necessary is to add account of the facts and the facts that justify a preliminary injunction – to describe situation, the right that has been breached or the value of the person that has been injured.

To ensure damages or other harm that would result from the preliminary injunction , the petitioner is required to pass later in the same day they filed in court for a preliminary injunction , security in the amount of CZK 10,000 (350€; 300£) and matters concerning relations between entrepreneurs arising from business activities in the amount of CZK 50,000.

The presiding judge shall order interim measures if it is shown that it is necessary to provisionally fix the situation participants , or that there is a concern that enforcement of judgement was threatened , and under the condition that the facts are at least certified. The full verification of the facts and impact on the claimant will be the subject of the trial.

The presiding judge shall decide about the application immediately. Unless there is danger in delay, the presiding judge may decide about the application until the expiration of seven days after it was filed.

The motion for a preliminary injunction presiding judge decides without hearing the parties.

With the interim injunction the Court may order to do something, restrain from doing something, something delay or endure, not to manipulate according to the situation that is the subject of the application and serves the purpose the best.

If required by the circumstances of the case , or if there is danger in delay, the presiding judge immediately announces the party to whom the obligation is made the interim order. If the third party is obliged by the interim injunction, also this party has to be informed. A copy of the resolution ordering interim measures shall be sent to the participants, or their representatives, and those who had been ordered to the preliminary injunction, within 3 days from the date of publication of the order or, if not published, within 3 days from the date of its issuance.

The resolution ordering the preliminary injunction is enforceable by publication. If there was not a publication, it is enforceable as soon as it was delivered to the obliged party.

Interim injunction expires if a) the petitioner did not file within the statutory period or within the period specified by the court the claim to initiate proceedings; b) the claim was rejected on the merits; c) the claim was rejected on the merits and passed fifteen days from the making of a decision on the matter; d) specified elapsed time that would take. The interim injunction may be revoked if there are not any more the reasons for which it was ordered.

The Court which will decide on merit is the same as the one which was deciding on the interim injunction. How the claim for protection of personal rights and the procedure works see posts on Protection of personal rights in the New Civil Code and Downloads: Sample of protection of personal rights claim.

About ondrejovae

Czech Attorney/Barrister located in Prague with specialization in media law and protection of personal rights

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Link to the legal office of the owner of this blog:  www.ondrejova.cz

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