Contesting a Non Molestation Order
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What is a Non Molestation Order?
A non-molestation order is a legal injunction that aims to protect a person from being harassed, intimidated, threatened, or assaulted by another individual. It is a civil order that can be obtained through the family courts under the Family Law Act 1996.
The purpose of a non-molestation order is to provide immediate protection to a person who has been a victim of domestic violence/ domestic abuse, harassment or abusive behaviour. It can be granted if the court believes there is a risk of further harm or harassment occurring.
A non-molestation order can prohibit the person named in the order (the respondent) from:
- Using or threatening violence against the person applying for the order (the applicant).
- Communicating with the applicant in a way that is intimidating, harassing, or pestering. This includes the use of text messages, emails, telephone or in-person communication.
- Coming within a certain distance of the applicant’s home or place of work.
These orders are typically granted on a temporary basis and can be obtained without notice to the respondent in emergency situations. However, a full hearing will usually be scheduled at a later date, where both parties can present their cases before a final decision is made.
Violating a non-molestation order is a criminal offence and can result in criminal charges.
It’s important to consult with a solicitor or legal professional for advice specific to your situation, as family law can be complex and individual circumstances may vary.
Reasons for contesting a Non-Molestation Order
A Non-Molestation Order can have a significant impact on the life of the person in receipt of the order, especially if there are children involved. In some circumstances, contesting a Non-Molestation Order is possible.
A person may wish to contest a non-molestation order for several reasons, including:
- False allegations: The respondent may believe that the allegations made against them are untrue or exaggerated. They may argue that they have not engaged in the behaviour described in the application.
- Misunderstanding or miscommunication: There may be a misunderstanding or miscommunication between the parties involved, leading to actions being perceived as threatening or harassing when they were not intended to be.
- Self-defence or justification: The respondent may claim that they were acting in self-defence or that their actions were justified in response to the behaviour of the applicant.
- Custody or access issues: Contesting the order may be linked to a desire to maintain contact with children or access to a shared residence, and the respondent may argue that the order would unduly restrict these rights.
- Impact on reputation and employment: A non-molestation order can have significant consequences on a person’s reputation and employment prospects. Contesting the Non-Molestation Order or applications may be an attempt to mitigate these effects.
- Challenging the evidence: The respondent may believe that the evidence presented in support of the application is insufficient or unreliable, and they may seek to challenge it during the court proceedings.
- Seeking a variation or removal of the Order: Instead of contesting the order outright, the respondent may wish to seek a variation (modification) of the order, such as changing the terms or conditions.
It’s important to note that contesting a non-molestation order does not mean the respondent is automatically denying that there have been problems in the relationship. Rather, they are disputing the specific terms and conditions of the order as applied to them.
Ultimately, contesting a non-molestation order is a legal process, and individuals involved should seek advice from a solicitor or legal professional to navigate the proceedings properly. Keep in mind that this information is general in nature and not legal advice for any specific situation.
Contesting a Non-Molestation Order
If you wish to contest a non-molestation order, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a solicitor or a legal professional. That being said, here are some general steps you might take:
- Consult a solicitor: It’s highly recommended to consult with a solicitor who specialises in family law. They will be able to provide you with tailored advice based on your specific situation and guide you through the process to dispute the Order.
- Gather evidence: Collect any evidence that supports your case. This could include text messages, emails, witness statements, police reports or any other relevant documents or records that may help demonstrate your perspective.
- Prepare Your case: Work closely with your solicitor to prepare a strong case. They will help you identify the key arguments and evidence that can be presented in court.
- File a response: Your solicitor will help you draft a formal response to the court, outlining your reasons for contesting the order. This will usually need to be filed within 14 days of receipt of the Order.
- Attend Court hearings: Depending on the circumstances, there may be one or more court hearings. It’s crucial to attend these hearings, as they provide an opportunity to present your case and respond to any evidence or arguments presented by the applicant.
- Negotiation or mediation: In some cases, it may be possible to resolve the matter through negotiation or mediation. Your solicitor can advise you on whether this is a viable option in your situation.
- Consider an undertaking: Instead of contesting the order, you may choose to offer an undertaking to the court. This is a formal promise to abide by specific conditions, which can provide a resolution without the need for a contested hearing.
- Abide by the Interim Order (if applicable): If an interim non-molestation order has been issued pending a full hearing, it’s crucial to abide by its terms until a final decision is reached.
Remember, this is general advice and should not replace the guidance of a qualified legal professional who is familiar with your specific situation. Family law cases can be highly sensitive, and legal advice tailored to your circumstances is crucial.
How can Expert Family Law assist?
If you are seeking legal advice regarding contesting a Non-Molestation Order, then our team at Expert Family Law are happy to assist. We work with a range of experienced firms across the country to provide our clients with the most appropriate legal professional for their case.
Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors. We have a panel of family law firms who we may pass your case onto for a fee. Expert Family Law will not charge you, the client, for our service of passing on your case.
We ensure that the family law solicitors on our panel have the skills and experience required to assist in your legal case. We can assure you that your case will be dealt with in a compassionate and understanding manner.
Each solicitor we work with is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Get in touch today using the form at the top of the page to speak to a member of our team.
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