The Protection from Harassment Act (Cap 256A, 2015 Rev Ed) ("POHA") protects all persons from harassment, stalking, cyber-bullying, and other anti-social and undesirable behaviours. An applicant under the POHA can obtain both criminal sanctions and civil remedies against the perpetrator (who may be an individual or an entity).
From 1 June 2021, a specialist court known as the Protection from Harassment Court ("PHC") was established to hear all criminal and civil matters under the POHA.
This overview provides a brief summary of the important steps in filing a POHA claim / application in Court. However, this is not a substitute for legal advice.
Before filing a claim
You may wish to engage a lawyer to represent you in Court. Although this is not compulsory, your lawyer will be in the best position to assess your case and advise you.
If you proceed without a lawyer, you may go to the Central Registry at Level 2 for assistance with the filing process. Do note that our officers cannot provide you with any legal advice.
You should bring the following:
- Your NRIC or other forms of personal identification;
- Evidence of the harassing act(s), such as print-outs of emails, blogs, websites, photographs; and
- Police report or medical report (if any).
Choosing your course of action
Before commencing any claim / application under the POHA, you must decide what type of outcome(s) you are seeking. A list of the types of possible outcomes are listed below:
|Civil Remedies||Criminal Sanctions|
|In respect of harassment: |
1. Protection Order, with the possibility of:
a. Expedited Protection Order
b. Mandatory Treatment Order
2. Monetary Compensation
Conviction & punishment of harasser
- Generally, for a first offence, fine up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months (for offences under sections 3 and 10) or 12 months (for offences under sections 5–7)
- Alternatively, a community order under Part XVII of the Criminal Procedure Code
|In respect of published false statements: |
3. False Statement Orders:
- Stop Publication Order
- Correction Order
- Disabling Order
- Targeted Correction Order
- General Correction Order
with the possibility of Interim False Statement Orders (depending on the false statement order applied for):
- Interim Stop Publication Order
- Interim Notification Order
- Interim Disabling Order
- Targeted Interim Notification Order
For more details, you may wish to refer to the following links for more information:
Filing your claim
In the PHC, certain claims under Part 3 of the POHA may be filed using the simplified proceedings. If your claim is not eligible for the simplified proceedings, your claim must be filed using the standard proceedings. These claims are governed by the Supreme Court of Judicature (Protection from Harassment Court) Rules 2021.
Claims under Part 3 of the POHA (which include claims for damages, protection orders, mandatory treatment orders and false statement orders) may be commenced under the simplified proceedings, except where:
- - You are claiming for damages of more than $20,000;
- - You are bringing a claim against more than 5 Respondents;
- - You are bringing a claim with any co-claimants; or
- - You are bringing a claim in respect of a cause of action which accrued with more than 2 years ago.*
- *For example: If you wish to file a claim on 3 July 2021, but the incidents of harassment which you are relying on occurred in 2018, you may not file a claim under the simplified proceedings.
A claim under the simplified proceedings may be filed online using the case filing and management system called the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS).
All claims that do not fall under the simplified proceedings must be filed under the standard proceedings through eLitigation at the CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. Please note that costs, such as filing fees and service charges, will apply. The location, operating hours and contact numbers of the service bureau is as follows:
LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau
New Bridge Road,
#19-01/02 Chinatown Point
Tel: (65) 6538 9507
Fax: (65) 6438 6350
Mondays to Fridays: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturdays: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Closed on Public Holidays
More information on eLigitation and the CrimsonLogic Service Bureau can be found on their respective websites at eLitigation.sg and CrimsonLogic.com.sg.
Please refer to the following pages for more information on the procedure to file your claim: