Civil Law: Search and Seizure (Anton Piller)

Under civil law  search warrants, known as “Search and Seizure orders” can be obtained through the courts. These orders can be compared to the search warrants under Section 8 of PACE, though they are for civil purposes.  Historically these orders were called “Anton Piller Orders”, after the case law relating these.

The name Anton Piller order comes from the case – Anton Piller KG vs Manufacturing Processes Limited [1976].

The tests required for an Anton Piller/Search and Seizure Order are:

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

Source Wiki


3 Responses to “Civil Law: Search and Seizure (Anton Piller)”

  1. Civil Law: Norwich Pharmacal Order « Data - Where is it? Says:

    […] Data – Where is it? Where is your data? Who collects, controls, and searches it? « Civil Law: Search and Seizure […]

  2. resrch Says:

    Great summary. Found other info in related topics of Anton Pillar searches

    In one case, Justice Pelletier emphasized that the order had been obtained ex parte:

    “Courts would not issue such orders if they could not rely upon those obtaining them to make full disclosure in obtaining them, and to comply with them strictly in executing them. This obligation to the court is not displaced by anything done or not done by those upon whom the order is executed. The obligation is owed to the court.”

    Anton Piller orders are not to be taken lightly!

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