NON MOLESTATION ORDERS
There is a common misconception that domestic violence must take the form of physical violence but can take many other forms including but not limited to emotional, coercive and verbally abusive patterns of behaviour. If a relevant person has subjected you to any of these behaviours you may eligible to seek protection by way of a Non Molestation Order. We can help you obtain one of these and approach such sensitive areas of law with professionalism and empathy.
The court will consider all circumstances when deciding whether to grant an order which includes the need to secure your health, safety and wellbeing. This means the impact that the behaviour has had on you as a victim is relevant and of paramount importance.
What is a Non Molestation Order?
A Non Molestation Order prevents a person from “molesting” you. Molestation is not defined in the relevant legislation and this is to ensure that the definition is an umbrella term to include a wide ambit of unwanted behaviours including stalking, abusive messages, violence or the threat of violence, pestering, harassment or intimidation. It also prohibits them from instructing another person to do this on their behalf.
A breach of a Non Molestation Order is a criminal offence. This means that any breaches of the order should be immediately reported to the police and the offender can be arrested and can potentially face a custodial sentence, a fine or both. The reason for this is the hope that criminal repercussions stemming from a breach should act as a deterrent from a person acting on these behaviours. This is particularly important in giving victims a sense of security.
Molestation Orders are often obtained against a partner or an ex-partner as domestic violence is most commonly perpetuated by a partner but these orders can also be obtained against any other “associated” persons. This includes:
- Someone you have lived in the same household with
- Family members including your children, your parents, siblings, niece/nephew, aunts/uncles, mother/father in law
- A person with whom you share parental responsibility for a child
If the person you seek protection from does not fall within this category you may still be eligible for protection from the courts by way of a civil injunction which is a another matter we can assist you with.
How can I get a Non Molestation Order?
At Harte Coyle Collins we can provide advice and make your application to the court within the same day that you contact us and provide us with your initial instructions.
If you are fearful of how a person may react if they are aware that you are seeking an order against them then you can apply for an ex parte order. This is essentially an emergency order which the court can grant if they consider it just and convenient to do so without giving notice to the receiving party. This offers immediate protection as the order comes immediately into effect from the moment the other party is served with the court papers and they would be in breach if they attempt to contact you or retaliate.
The closer to the one off or most recent incident the stronger the merits for your application to be granted. It is therefore vital that you act fast. Even if there has been a delay between the time of the incident this is not necessarily a bar to obtaining an order and we can advise you on the prospects of success
How long does an order last?
If you are successful in obtaining a full Non Molestation order whether this is after having successfully obtained an ex parte order or without having obtained an ex parte order at the initial stage then this will usually remain in place for a period of one year. An ex parte order is a court order which is obtained just on your own evidence and without prior notice to your partner/spouse until it is granted.
What if I have been served with a Non Molestation Order?
If you have been served with a Non Molestation Order and you dispute the allegations you have the right to contest the matter. Our experienced professionals can assist you with this.
You may be eligible for legal aid.
If you are not eligible for legal aid we can accept card payments and we allow for payments to be provided in installments given that this may be an unexpected application that you will be making and this method may be more manageable for you.
Do not suffer domestic violence or abuse in silence. You have fundamental rights which the courts will protect.
If you require a Non Molestation Order do not hesitate to contact our family law department and/or solicitor Caitlin Brown on 02890 27822 or on e mail firstname.lastname@example.org