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  • Writer's pictureCourt Help Limited

Impact of Ex Parte orders

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

What are the implications of Ex-Parte Orders on the Respondent?

The implications of Ex-Parte Protection Orders include toll on the mental health of the respondent. While it may successfully protect the interests of the victim and immediately puts an interlude on the abuse if issued as an Ex Parte order it fails to provide an equal ground to the respondent to fight the case on its merits.

Are Ex Parte Orders Applications based on truth?

Needless to say, not every application seeking an injunction order is based on truth and therefore an order awarded in consequence of malafide intentions and bad faith is unjust, unfair and unruly.

Furthermore, in the case of women being the applicants, the men are often subjected to be the victims of societal trials and negative backlash much before the court’s judgement. This may be due to the perception that men are the abusers, which is not necessarily true always. Both men and women become victims of domestic abuse.

This further drives the motivation to the ground to fight the case as he is unable to present corroborating testimonies and credible witnesses due to societal desertion. As a result, the social boycott distances the man from his friends, relatives and peers and hence, no one comes forward in court to testify on his behalf. This disintegration and separationist view against the man further solidifies the concept of inequality of arms. While the women are portrayed as the victim of abuse and gains sympathy from the society, the man is left aloof and is shredded of its dignity without even being heard.

What are the emotional and psychological problems that Respondent or accused goes through?

There is no possible way to assess and measure the psychological trauma a man has to go through when a Non-Molestation Order is served based on false pretences. Having a former partner or a present spouse bringing a non-molestation order against a person is a distressing situation.

The emotional and psychological pain of being a victim of twisted facts, lying evidence and baseless testimonies is insufferable. The man naturally in an ex-parte case, would not be able to defend itself until the order arrives at its doorstep. Therefore, the order potentially has the power to cause unparalleled damage to the man as it has serious implications on his reputation, social well-being and even job and livelihood.

What are the monetary challenges that a respondent face?

Monetary greed sadly can be another driving force to file for an injunction order. Considering the empathetic stance of courts and laws towards women, divorce is a more likely option to be opted by both parties after the case. Therefore, if by any chance a man survives the quest for his/her innocence, then there is a wide scope of fair allocation of alimonies and maintenance. However, if the injunction order stays and the man is unable to prove his/her innocent stance due to the aforementioned reasons, the divorce proceedings carried thereafter are heavily influenced by the court’s decision and makes it easier for the spouse or partner, to milk enormous alimony out of a grieving person.

What are the significant hurdles that a respondent goes through during gaining Custody of Children?

The similar notion is followed in the case of custody of children. If the man is proven to be a habitual abuser and a possible threat to the children then the custody of children naturally lands with the mother and that too disallowing the father from meeting his kids.

How does “vengeance” become a leading reason for Injunction Order Applications?

Sadly it has also been seen that disagreements and personal quarrels have also resulted in applications for Non-Molestation Orders. Trivial arguments and tiny mutinies between two partners have always been observed to have blown out of proportion and initiated legal matters. Therefore, in such cases, an injunction order of such grave importance is reduced to a mere weapon for vengeance and retaliation. Such cases, therefore hold no substance for granting an injunction order based on domestic abuse.

What are the issues with Courts and their respective stance on the matter in hand?

The courts, with all their due sense of enthusiasm, to administer justice and protect the aggrieved, issue the said injunction orders which sorrily extends to the violation of the Principle of Natural Justice. The principle that functions on the legal maxim “audi alteram partum” that strictly annotates the Right to be heard, is highly ignored.

IN ex parte orders it can be argued and has been true, the courts do not strictly abridge the rights of the respondent in this case and do provide a 7-14 days period for the respondent to fight the case on its merits and refute the claims made by the applicant. However, the order which results in tremendous turmoil of loneliness, the bad portrayal of credibility and character, societal desertion and boycott cannot be quantified and naturally, such degree of mental chaos and trauma cannot be unturned after 14 days.

Sadly it has been seen with the pandemic that the return hearings can be delayed for months due to busy court diaries.

It is however crucial to note that the protection of an individual from domestic abuse gains precedence over adherence to procedural laws, as the preambular aim of the judicial bodies is to stand beside the powerless and protect their interests. Therefore, though a significant number of ex-parte orders are much warranted, rampant

What to do if a Non Molestation order has been made on false allegations?

If the Non-Molestation application has been issued based on the false allegations then the respondent should consider bringing this in front of the court to get the Non-Molestation Order discharged.

We at Court Help Limited have made a small video addressing this issue which is provided below:

The courts will & should always consider the facts that have been presented in defence by the respondent. The courts are used to dealing with the allegations, and if the matter goes to a contested hearing the court will hear both parties out.

More details on defence on Non-Molestation Orders can be found on our page Non Molestation Order Defence page where you can find more details.

Why are Ex Party Non-Molestation Order issued?

A Non-Molestation Order is basically an injunction order sanctioned by the court aiming to stop the abuse from a partner, ex-partner, fiancé, family member etc.[1] The court, in this case, specifically restricts the partner or former partner who is alleged to be the abuser, from causing harm to the victim or its children. The word ‘harm’ here envelopes a very broad classification. While it administers and recognizes physical injuries, it also acknowledges the threat of physical violence, any form of harassment, intimidation or psychological abuse.

[1] Family Law Act 1996 – Part IV, Sec 42

The injunction order of this nature can be made ex-parte by the court if the Court is satisfied that a prior intimation made to the respondent of such an application, can risk the personal security of the applicant and result into unwarranted serious and undue hardships to any relevant children involved.[1]

Ex-parte orders are exceedingly a Protection order which the Court is asked to make by the applicant. The applicant, in this case, basically seeks protection from a person probably a spouse, former partner or civil partner without making him/her aware that an injunction order is being sought against them.

[1] Domestic Violence Act 2004 – Part II, Sec 4 (3)

Please do take note that this article is NOT legal advice and should NOT be treated as legal advice.

References -:

· Family Law Act 1996

· Domestic Violence Act 2004

· W v H [2001] 1 All ER 300

· KY v DD [2001] EWHC Fam 1277

· R v R [2014] EWFC 48


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