An Anton Piller order is issued by a court and allows an applicant onto the property of a defendant/respondent for the purpose of seizing evidence in the possession of the party subject to the order. These orders are often used to prevent a subject from destroying potentially vital evidence so such property searches can be conducted without prior warning. They are particularly handy in matters involving digital evidence such as in cases of employee misconduct or intellectual property breaches.
Anton Piller Order Strategy
For legal practitioners seeking to gather evidence of any type, a private investigator or forensic expert can be of assistance and this is the case in the execution of Anton Piller orders as well. Firstly, if the whereabouts of the person or entity subject to the order is unknown, an experienced investigator may be able to locate the relevant property. Also, leading up to the execution of the order and on the proposed day of execution, it may be optimal to get an insight into the routine of the subject to ensure the order is executed at an appropriate time. Placing the subject under surveillance enables one to learn more about a subject and, if he or she decides to hamper the team executing the order (by interfering with evidence for example) then a surveillance operative may be able to document this. Sometimes, a person subject to an order will not comply with the order and deny the team executing the order access to his or her property. If this happens, the evidence held by the subject may be destroyed or removed as soon as the team departs. If a surveillance operative stays in place after a team has been turned away, it may be possible to document activity on the part of the subject that could constitute a breach of the order. It may in fact be possible to recover evidence that a subject has sought to destroy or throw away.
Digital forensics expertise
A digital forensic expert is a technician who is accepted as an expert in digital evidence in court. If there is any prospect that there will be digital evidence to recover in the course of the execution of an order, a digital forensic technician should accompany the execution team. Evidence can be found on computer drives, external drives, USBs, tablets, smartphones and other devices. If necessary, a forensic expert may be able to forensically copy evidence during the attendance. If the order permits it, the expert may be able to take data storage items away for copying elsewhere.
If there is any concern about the potential for violence on the part of the subject, a background check should be conducted for the subject and a security guard should be engaged during the execution of the order.
Lyonswood Investigations & Forensics has provided investigative services to law firms for 37 years and assisted in the execution of several Anton Piller orders in that time. We have seen persons subject to orders hide evidence and deny entry to those seeking to execute orders. We have also identified that subjects have moved on from known places of residence and we have ascertained new places of residence. In one particular case, while our client was carrying potential evidence from the subject’s house and placing it on the front lawn, the subject person moved certain evidentiary items out of sight from the lawn when nobody from the team was looking. Fortunately, our surveillance operative was documenting this. It’s for this reason and the reasons above that legal practitioners should engage at least one surveillance operative to monitor the subject’s property prior to, during and possibly after the attempted execution of the Anton Piller order.
More recently, we were involved in the execution of an order in a NSW Supreme Court matter and were able to help our client obtain a successful outcome. He subject initially denied entry and fortunately, we had the subject under observation after the team left the site. Ultimately, the subject allowed our computer forensics technician onto his premises where we were able to gather evidence from USBs and hard drives. You can read the judgment here.
Should you wish to discuss the execution of an Anton Piller, the serving of documents, the carrying out of surveillance or any other element of investigative work, including locating persons and conducting computer forensic work, please get in touch with Lyonswood Investigations & Forensics for a confidential chat today.