Let’s Talk About Non-Molestation OrdersPepperells
Are you being subjected to domestic violence or threats of violence? Perhaps you are being continually pestered and harassed? If you are an ‘associated person’ and there have been recent incidences of such behaviour, you could be eligible for legal protection in the form of a non-molestation order.
What is a non-molestation order?
A non-molestation order is a type of legal injunction which prohibits a person, usually known as “the respondent” from being able to pester, intimidate, harass or threaten the person who applies for the order (known as “the applicant”). In certain circumstances, you can also apply for an order in respect of your child. A child can also apply for a non-molestation order in their own right, however, they will require permission of the court if they are under the age of 16.
Who is an ‘associated person’?
Below sets out a number of categories of people who are able to apply:
- Spouses or former spouses;
- Civil partners or former civil partners;
- Cohabitants or former cohabitants; and
If you are unsure whether you will fit into a relevant category, please contact us to discuss this further as there may be other protective orders available to you.
How long does a non-molestation order last?
The Court can make an order either for a specified period or for an undefined period. However, typically, such orders will be made for a duration of six months to one year.
What needs to be shown?
In deciding whether to make such an order, the court will have regard to all of the circumstances, including the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of the applicant and any child. You must be able to show that there is a genuine need for protection. If there have been no recent incidents, then the court may be less likely to make such an order but each case is dealt with differently, on its own merits and this should not prevent you from seeking legal advice.
What if the need for protection is urgent?
If you require protection as a matter of urgency, then an urgent application can be made on the same day that you see a solicitor with an emergency hearing to be listed that same day. It is possible for this to be undertaken under a Legal Aid certificate provided the eligibility criteria is met and the necessary evidence is provided.
Such applications can be made without notice to the respondent where the Court considers that it is just and reasonable to do so. If an order is made without notice to the respondent, the order will only become effective once it has been served upon the respondent. In the current climate, the court has adapted to alternative methods of service. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team to discuss this further.
If the Court is minded to make an order at the without notice hearing, there will be a further on notice hearing – whereby the respondent is invited to attend, with or without their legal representative, will be given the opportunity to make representations.
It is possible for final orders to be made at this stage.
Can the non-molestation order prevent the respondent from turning up at my house?
Yes. It is also possible that the Court may make an order excluding the respondent from a certain specified area around the property or from a place or town. However, this is dependent upon the facts of each individual case.
Is Legal Aid available for this?
Yes, provided that you are able to show that you are financial eligible and that the claim has merit. We are able to undertake an initial assessment with you at no cost to determine whether you would be eligible.
If you are in need of legal protection then please do not hesitate to contact us today and we will be happy to assist.
Hull office: 01482 326511
Grimsby office 01472 245555
Scunthorpe office: 01724 871999
Lincoln office: 01522 717410
Beverley office: 01482 887858
Newcastle office: 01912 603256