Using a former partner or relative bring Non-Molestation proceedings against you is a distressing situation. It is easy to get caught up in the emotional aspects of the full case, particularly if you are feeling that the applicant is laying or delivering evidence that is considered completely out of context.
The Order could even have been made ‘ex-parte’ therefore you were not in a position to defend yourself or even knew about the application form until the Order appeared on your doorstep.
A Non-Molestation Order is a court order used to protect a victim of local violence (known as the applicant) from a specific person – usually a former partner or a close relative.
The Order can avoid the subject (known as the respondent) from doing things such as approaching the victim and heading with their home.
Non-Molestation Orders are only designed to protect victims of domestic violence, whether it be from physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, erotic abuse, or coercive control.
However, there may also be a threat of a Defending False allegations in a Non Molestation Order being made even where the allegations of local violence aren’t true or have been exaggerated.
For example, a job candidate may obtain a Non-Molestation Order if indeed they perceive the problem in a different way to the respondent or because they think they’ll get an improved deal out of financial arrangements after divorce or arrangements for children.
The courts require evidence before they will make a Non-Molestation Order always. However, many applications are created ‘ex-parte’, meaning the respondent is not given an opportunity to defend themselves before the Order is manufactured. This is to allow genuine victims of domestic violence to get an urgent Order and immediate cover from their abuser.
In these cases, the court will usually list another reading around 7-14 days and nights following the primary Order is manufactured. This is actually the respondent’s chance to dispute the Order.
The very first thing to do is to get hold of an expert family law solicitor, particularly if the Order was made ex-parte as there will only be a brief period of time between your granting of the Order and the court reading. Your solicitor will be best located to advise you on how to proceed next and how to dispute the Order.
Your solicitor shall draft a statement aiming your version of occurrences and providing evidence, for example, texts, emails, bank statements and other things that backs up your side of the storyplot.
You may have a few options for responding to the Non-Molestation Order:
Defend the entire case and have the courtroom to rule that the allegations are false
You will need to attend judge with the applicant where in fact the judge will think about your statement and decide. If you’re successful, the Order will be discharged. However, if you don’t succeed, there could be negative effects on any other legal proceedings regarding your finances or children after divorce/civil partnership dissolution. We will provide detailed advice about your potential clients of success always.
Offer an ‘undertaking’
An undertaking will point out how you would like to behave in the years ahead and will will often have the same wording as the Non-Molestation Order. For example, you will agree with the fact never to have any connection with the applicant for a fixed time period (usually around 6 months).
Providing an starting does not mean that you say that to the applicant’s allegations. The point of providing an executing is simply to avoid the stress and cost of attending a court hearing with your former partner where you will both have to go over allegations of domestic violence.
The court hearing will be private, meaning only you, the applicant, as well as your respective legal representatives can attend.
At the reading, the judge will consider the applicant’s evidence and statement and your statement and evidence. You will be given the possibility to cross-examine the applicant and they in turn shall cross-examine you.
The judge has heard all the data Once, they will decide such as:
To concern an Order (or uphold an Order if you have recently been made, either in its original conditions or as varied)
To dismiss the applicant’s application or discharge the Order
To need you to make an undertaking
To adjourn the reading so the applicant can collect more info (they could make an interim Order before next ability to hear)