Collyer Bristow have provided a factsheet answering your most frequently asked questions. You can read the factsheet by clicking Stalking and Civil Law  or read below for information about injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

If you sue the person stalking you under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, you can obtain an injunction (i.e. an order from a court that the person stop doing the acts that amount to stalking or harassment) and damages for anxiety and any financial loss you have suffered.

If the stalker breaches the injunction (in other words, does something which the court has ordered him/her not to do) that is either:

a)            A criminal offence — for which they can be arrested by the Police, prosecuted by the CPS and imprisoned by a criminal court for up to 5 years, or

b)            A contempt of court — for which you can apply to the civil court for them to be imprisoned for up to 2 years

You decide which of these routes to take.

The main advantage of using civil proceedings is that, unlike criminal proceedings (which are taken by the CPS), you are largely in control of the legal proceedings. But the major disadvantage is that, unlike criminal proceedings, you have to pay for civil proceedings, including court costs and the costs of any lawyer you instruct. If you win, though, you may be able to get most of your costs from the person who has stalked you (if they have the money). You may be eligible for Public Funding (what we used to call Legal Aid) but that is increasingly difficult to get and you will need to talk to a solicitor or your local Citizens Advice Bureau about that.