Jehovah's Witnesses obtain temporary injunction
Oslo District Court, awards Jehovah's Witnesses with a temporary injunction preventing their de-registration in Norway

Jehovah’s Witnesses Awarded Temporary Injunction

Oslo, Norway. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been awarded a temporary injunction against the state administrator, preventing it from  deregistering the religious group until a court has heard the case and made a determination. The State Administrator intends to challenge the ruling. On December 22, 2022, the Glittertind AS Law Firm wrote to the Ministry of Children and Families making a formal request for deferred implementation of the decision by the State Administrator in Oslo and Viken made on the same date. Ryssdal, the lawyer representing Jehovah’s Witnesses, refers to Section 42 of the Public Administration Act where it says that an appeal body can decide on deferred implementation of a decision if a “party … intends to take legal action or has brought legal action to have the decision tried in court.” In a verdict handed down by Judge Terje Reinholt Johansen, the district court of Oslo granted the temporary injunction “until it is clarified whether the State Administrator in Oslo and Viken’s decision of December 22, 2022 is invalid.” It must be noted that this temporary injunction was obtained without the State Administrator having the opportunity to make a statement before the decision was made. However this didn’t stop the Jehovah’s Witnesses from quickly publishing a news alert on their website on the very same day informing their members’ worldwide of this decision.
News Alert from Jehovah's Witnesses Norwegian Court Suspends Attempt to Deregister Jehovah's Witnesses
News Alert on running from December 30, 2002 until January 5, 2023

Temporary Injunction

In the court’s opening remark’s on page 8 of the verdict, it is clear that anyone who has a claim that is based on anything other than payment of money can apply for a temporary injunction.  The court made its decision without the parties having been summoned to an oral hearing because it found there was a risk to Jehovah’s Witnesses if it delayed. It is for this reason that the defendant, the State Administrator, was not given an opportunity to make a statement before the decision was made.

As this is a temporary injunction, the ruling here is not binding until the question of validity has been legally decided, but will remain in place until the courts decide otherwise. The State administrator has until January 27, 2023 to submit its statement to the court challenging the ruling.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses also requested that they are awarded legal costs. In other words, they asked that the State Administrator should compensate them for having to go to through the stress, time and expense of going to court. This was not awarded because the Jehovah’s Witnesses could not prove that the general conditions for the use of a temporary injunction have been met.  Referring to the Disputes Act, section 20-2, paragraph 3 (a), there have to be very strong reasons for exempting the defendant from responsibility for costs, especially in a case where the other party has not been heard and the exception rule is applied, “combined with the fact that the claim as such appears doubtful.” 

Related Articles


December 2, 2022

Letter from the Glittertind AS Law Firm to the State Administrator requesting deferred implementation.

December 14, 2022

The Glittertind AS Law Firm issues an urgent email to the State Administrator. 

December 14, 2022

Jehovah’s Witnesses writes to the State Administrator.   

December 22, 2022

Email from Glittertind AS Law Firm. 

December 22, 2022

Formal request from Glittertind AS Law Firm to Ministry of Children & Families.

December 22, 2022

Decision on loss of registration from the State Administrator.

December 30, 2022

Verdict on the Temporary Injunction. 

January 6, 2023

Letter from the Ministry of Children and Families to Jan F Nilsen.

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Jason Wynne

Jason Wynne is a husband to one wife, father to two children, and writes extensively on the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses having been baptized as a member in 1995.

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