A Non-Molestation order is a type of injunctive order issued by the Courts of England and Wales to protect someone who has experienced domestic abuse.
The Non-Molestation Order prohibits the person named in the Order (the ‘Respondent’) from harassing, intimidating, threatening, or using violence against the person who sought the order (the Applicant), or any children involved. It may also include provisions such as preventing the Respondent from contacting the Applicant, coming within a certain distance of their home or workplace, or a child’s school/nursery. Such Orders also prohibit the Respondent from instructing or encouraging any third party to do any of the things they are prohibited from doing.
A Non-Molestation Order is intended to provide a level of protection to the Applicant (and any persons named within the Order) and in exceptional circumstances, can be issued ‘without notice’ against the Respondent if the Court is satisfied that it is ‘just and convenient’ to make such an Order.
When considering whether to make an Order ‘without notice’ the Court needs to consider all of the circumstances including any risk of significant harm to the Applicant or relevant child if the Order were not made immediately; whether the Applicant would otherwise be deterred or prevented from pursuing the application and/or where there is reason to believe that the Respondent is aware of the proceedings, but is deliberately evading service and delaying the application would be prejudicial.
A ‘without notice’ Non-Molestation Order is usually made on a temporary basis and is subject to review at a later hearing when both parties can attend and present their cases to the Court. Wherever possible, return date hearings should take place within 14 days of the initial hearing.
Non-Molestation Orders can be made for a fixed period, such as six months or a year, or until the Court decides otherwise.
If, once served, the Respondent breaches the Order, they may be arrested and charged with a criminal offence. The Order can also be enforced through civil proceedings, which could result in a fine or term of imprisonment.
If you need to obtain a Non-Molestation Order, it is crucial to seek the advice of an experienced family law solicitor who can guide you through the legal process and make sure your rights are protected. Contact the team to schedule a consultation