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Non Molestation Orders: Everything you need to know


Contents


General Information:

What is a Non-Molestation Order?

How many hearings are there for a Non-Molestation Order?

What happens at a Non-Molestation final hearing?

Can a judge dismiss a Non-Molestation Order?

How long does a Non-Molestation Order last?

What happens if I no longer want to pursue a Non-Molestation Order?

What happens if you break a Non-Molestation Order?

What are the provisions for a Non-Molestation Order?


Applying for a Non-Molestation Order:

What evidence do you need to obtain a Non-Molestation Order?

Can you obtain a Non-Molestation Order without evidence?

Who is eligible to apply for a Non-Molestation Order?

Can I get legal aid to apply for a Non-Molestation Order?

How can we help you in Non-Molestation Cases?


Undertaking Orders:

What is an undertaking order?

What is the difference between an undertaking order and Non-Molestation Order?

What happens after an undertaking?

Is an undertaking an admission of guilt?


Defending Against a Non-Molestation Order:

Can I fight a Non-Molestation Order?

How do I overturn a Non-Molestation Order?

What happens if you contest a Non-Molestation Order?

How do I get a Non-Molestation Order lifted?

How can we help you in Non-Molestation Cases?


How can we help you in Non-Molestation Cases?


General Information

What is a Non-Molestation Order?


The basic objective of obtaining a Non-Molestation Order is to prevent a partner or ex-partner from using any physical violence or threatening violence, or harassment against the applicant or their children. It is obtained to ensure the safety and well-being of the applicant who is obtaining Non-Molestation Order.


However, knowing only the meaning and the requirements of a Non-Molestation Order is not enough. There are a wide number of questions that may arise while applying for or defending a Non-Molestation Order. In this article, some of the important questions relating to Non-Molestation Orders have been explained and answered. Below are some of the answers some important questions related to Non-Molestation Orders.



How many hearings are there for a Non-Molestation Order?


A Non-Molestation Order can have at least three hearings before the real progress in the case is made.


What happens at a Non-Molestation final hearing?


Generally, the family court hearing in Non-Molestation Order cases is private where only the applicant(s), the respondent(s), and any legal representatives of both the parties attend. At the hearing, the judge will review the statements of the applicant, consider the evidence and also review the statement of the respondent and consider the evidence provided by him or her. Then, the respondent will be allowed to cross-examine the applicant and vice-versa. After observing all the evidence provided, the judge can make any of the below-mentioned decisions;

  • Dismiss or discharge the application of the applicant

  • May order the respondent to make an undertaking - which is essentially a promise given by one party to the Court that may be an agreement to refrain from doing or providing something. There is more about undertakings later in this article.

  • May issue an order to uphold any previous Order already made (The order can be in its varied terms or original terms)

  • May adjourn the court hearing to provide the applicant more time to gather more evidence if necessary.

  • May also grant an interim order until the next hearing

Can a judge dismiss a Non-Molestation Order?


Yes, a judge has the authority to dismiss a Non-Molestation Order. However, this is dependent on the evidence shown by the applicant and respondent in a particular case.


How long does a Non-Molestation Order last?


The judge decides the duration of Non-Molestation Orders. Generally, a district judge grants Non-Molestation Orders for a duration of between 6 to 12 months whereas a high court judge may grant a Non-Molestation Order for a period longer than this if this is in the best interest of the victim or applicant.


In most cases, the duration of the order can be longer when there is no scope of reconciliation between the parties and also there is ex-parte order against the respondant.


The courts also have the power to extend the Non-Molestation Order if necessary.


What happens if I no longer want to pursue a Non-Molestation Order?


An applicant can apply to the court to discontinue a Non-Molestation Order if the respondent is no longer perpetrating violence against the applicant.


What happens if you break a Non-Molestation Order?


Can a Non-Molestation Order give you a criminal record? How powerful is a Non-Molestation Order?


Generally, a Non-Molestation Order when granted must be complied with by the respondent. In the case that it is not complied with by the respondent then it will be considered a breach of a court order.


Breaking a Non-Molestation Order is considered a criminal offence which may lead to action in criminal court, or criminal proceedings. Imprisonment is a possible outcome of this. The maximum sentence for breaking a Non-Molestation Order is 5 years of imprisonment and a fine, or both.


What are the provisions for a Non-Molestation Order?


One can obtain a Non-Molestation Order against a person who has been physically abusing or being violent physically or intimidating or harassing you. Non-Molestation Order can be obtained even if the abuser and the applicant are living in the same house. Some of the provisions for a Non-Molestation Order may include the following;

  • The abuser cannot contact the applicant or the victim in any manner whether it may be via email, telephone, in person, or via social media

  • The abuser is prevented from contacting or attending the place of work of the applicant or victim

  • The abuser cannot act violently, harass or intimidate the applicant or victim.


Applying for a Non-Molestation Order

What evidence do you need to obtain a Non-Molestation Order?


It is to be noted that there is no precise answer to the aforesaid question as the evidence may vary from case to case depending upon the circumstances.


However, generally, the court requires some evidence to issue a Non-Molestation Order supporting the allegation made.


The applicant must complete the Form FL401, amd a sworn statement including the evidence for the application.


It could be helpful to your case to collate as much evidence as you can, provided it is safe for you. The following are some of the evidence one may use to prove in order to obtain a Non-Molestation Order;

  • Clear pictures of any injuries sustained

  • Clear pictures of property damages if any

  • Social media evidence,text messages or emails containing abusive language and threats of violence to the applicant

  • A clear description of each violent incident that happened

  • Providing important dates of when the violence occurred

  • Details of any third parties or witnesses who may have been present at the time when the violence incident occurred, and whether they are able to corroborate the incident

  • Any relevant document obtained from a domestic abuse or domestic violence support worker,counselor or therapist

  • The reasons for obtaining the Non-Molestation Order must be mentioned in the application

  • Details of third party assistance if obtained including contacting the police, the outcome of the police involvement , and the proactive measures taken by the police etc. to name a few

Can you obtain a Non-Molestation Order without evidence?


It is rarely possible to obtain a Non-Molestation Order without some form of evidence. It is to be noted that the courts always require evidence by way of a written statement in order to grant a Non-Molestation Order .

However, in most cases, the applicant makes an 'ex-parte' order. In simple words, in such cases, the respondent does not get an opportunity to be heard before the Non-Molestation Order is made.


Who is eligible to apply for a Non-Molestation Order?


You are eligible for a Non-Molestation order if you are a victim of domestic abuse, and the respondent or the other party is at least one of the following:

  • Someone you have had or are currently having a relationship with

Eg. Husband, Wife, Civil Partner

Former Husband, Former Wife or Former Civil Partner

Fiance(e) or Proposed Civil Partner

Former Fiance(e) or Proposed Civil Partner (if engagement/proposed civil partnership ended less than three years ago)

Partner you've been in relationship with for over Six Months

  • A close family member, e.g. parent, sibling, uncle, aunt

  • Someone you are living with or have lived with

  • Those who’ve had Parental Responsibility for your Child / Grandchild

You can also apply if you have a child/grandchild and the respondent is someone you share parental responsibility with or the parent of your child/grandchild.

In the circumstance of your grandchild/child having been adopted, you can apply for an injunction against:

  • Anyone who has applied to adopt your child/grandchild

  • Their adoptive parent or someone, the child, is placed with for adoption.


Who can Apply for a Non-Molestation Order?

Can I get legal aid to apply for a Non-Molestation Order?


Yes, legal aid may be available for making a Non-Molestation Order application depending on the individual’s personal circumstances.


To seek legal aid, one has to apply to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) which is a Government body in charge of providing legal aid in England and Wales.


Undertaking Orders

What is an undertaking order?


By legal definition, an undertaking is: an agreement or promise to do or provide something, or to refrain from doing or providing something, which is meant to be binding on the party giving the undertaking.


An undertaking order is an order which suggests that the abuser is prohibited from contacting the victim or the applicant of the undertaking order. It is sometimes used in place of a Non-Molestation order.


What is the difference between an undertaking order and Non-Molestation Order?


It may seem that undertaking orders and Non-Molestation Orders are the same but there are some differences between these two orders. In Non-Molestation Orders, if it is violated then the abuser can get arrested but in the case of undertaking order, there is no authority to arrest the abuser.


What happens after undertaking?


In some cases, a respondent of a Non-Molestation Order may opt for an undertaking. It simply means that the respondent is promising the court that he or she will refrain from doing specific things as per the terms of the Non-Molestation Order.


However, it does not mean that he or she has accepted the allegations made against him by the applicant of the Non-Molestation Order.


Is an undertaking an admission of guilt?


Obtaining an undertaking may seem like an admission of guilt as the undertaking can be treated as a path of resistance and the same may not be considered the right choice considering the circumstances of a respondent. Indirectly, the respondent is agreeing to leave the applicant alone.


Defending a Non-Molestation Order

Can I fight a Non-Molestation Order?


Yes, anyone can fight or challenge a Non-Molestation Order made against him or her if they believe that the allegations made against them are false and baseless and that there is no such evidence corroborating the allegations made.


Can I overturn a Non-Molestation Order? How do I overturn a Non-Molestation Order?


A victim can apply to the court to discharge (cancel or remove) the Non-Molestation Order with an explanation of the previous and current situation and why the applicant is requesting that the Non-Molestation Order should be discharged, and how it will benefit both parties if the order is discharged.


A Non-Molestation Order can be set aside or overturned by filing an application to the family court in the prescribed format in form FL403. which we at court help limited can help you apply for if you contact us here.


What happens if you contest a Non-Molestation Order?


Contesting a Non-Molestation Order needs careful consideration. Sometimes, it may be easy to become caught up on the matter as it involves an emotional attachment between the applicant and the respondent.


Most of the respondents feel betrayed when they see their ex-partners face to face who have sought to apply for a Non-Molestation Order against them.

Some respondents choose to fight against the Non-Molestation Orders to clear their names. However, in such cases, the respondent must consider the outcome of contesting the Non-Molestation Order.


When the court grants an ex parte Non-Molestation Order against a person, it provides the respondent a 14 days time limit to list the matter for a return hearing where the respondent is allowed to defend themself and respond to the ex parte Non-Molestation Order issued against the respondent.


The court will then analyse the evidence and statement made by the respondent and make a decision on whether to dismiss or discharge the Non-Molestation Order issued against the respondent or list the matter for a further hearing so that the respondent gets more time to show evidence favoring themself.


How do I get a Non-Molestation Order lifted?


When a respondent believes that the Non-Molestation Order granted against him or her is false and is based on lies, the respondent has the right to apply to the court to ask for the Non-Molestation Order to be discharged . Accordingly, the respondent can appeal in the court to lift the Non-Molestation Order and provide evidence to show that the allegations made against the respondent are false and that he or she has been wrongly accused of the claims made by the applicant.


In case an applicant has obtained an ex parte Non-Molestation Order, the respondent is given an opportunity of being heard and provided his defense within 14 days from the date of issuing the Non-Molestation Order. At that time, the respondent can object to the alleged act committed by him and let the court know that he or she has not committed such acts in the first place.


Also, the respondent can explain that the Non-Molestation Order is infringing his or her civil liberties without any justification.


How can we help you in Non-Molestation Cases?


We at Court Help Limited are specialised in family court matters including Non-Molestation Orders by drafting statements and applications on your behalf. Our legal team has rich experience and knowledge to assist you in the preparation of the required documentation and paperwork involved in such cases. We offer a high standard of paralegal support in order to obtain the desired possible outcome for our clients.


Apart from Non-Molestation Orders, we also specialise in various family law matters such asComplex Child Custody and Contact Matters, divorce and settlement.

We provide our services at an affordable rate as compared to others engaged in providing similar services.

To learn more about Non-Molestation Orders in England, check out some of our other related articles on Non-Molestation Orders which are available here.


In case you are facing any such issues concerned with family law matters, do not hesitate to contact us. You can read our reviews here. At the bottom of the page , there is a Quick Contact Form, you can fill this out, email us at help@incourt.co.uk or call us at 07375757510 and one of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible!


Note: This article is not meant as of legal advice and must not be treated as legal advice.