What Is an Injunction?
A court injunction is a very powerful and serious tool. In UK law, an injunction is an order issued by the court to one or more parties in a civil trial to refrain from doing something, or less commonly to do something.
If you would like to know what an injunction is, the different types of injunctions and how to get an injunction against someone then keep reading to gain a wider knowledge of injunctions.
Orders are obtained under the Family Law Act 1996 and forbid one party from molesting the other. This is known as a Non-molestation Order.
There is another type of Order which can made by the Court to prevent one person from reaming in the home, this is known as an occupation Order.
A non-molestation order aims to prevent your partner or ex-partner from using or threatening violence against you or your child.
This includes violence, threats of violence, pestering behaviour via calls, texts or social media, loitering, financial abuse, intimidation and instructing a third party to contact you. Under the new legislation, a breach of a non-molestation order is now a criminal offence.
These Orders are usually time limited to 6-12 months but can be for longer, the end date is decided by the Court when granting the Order.
An occupation order is to deal with who occupies the family home, it excludes the other party from the home, and it is common practice to obtain an occupation Order with a non-molestation Order at the same time if they are needed.
If you do not feel safe continuing to live with your partner or if you have left an abusive relationship because of violence but you want to return to the home, you should apply for this order as it can exclude your abuser from entering the household.
To apply for this Order the applicant must satisfy the Court that they are an associated person, and that the property must have been intended to be the home of both parties.
What is an Associated Person?
In Order to obtain either of the above Orders Ss63 of the Family Law Act 1996 states that the injunction must be against someone who is classified as an associated person. This would be spouses, ex-spouses, cohabitants or former cohabitants, parties who have been in an intimate relationship, other family members such as Mother, father, siblings, auntie, uncle, children.
How to Obtain a Non-molestation Order
The application is made in two different ways. The first is a Without Notice application (known as ex parte). This is used in an urgent situation whereby the Order needs to be made on the same day and the Court will consider the circumstances of the case. This would be used when the party fears that making any application would make their situation worse or there would be a threat to their safety. If the Judge grants an ex parte Order the matter will be listed for a hearing to give the Respondent a chance to attend and make representations to the Court.
The second way is an on-notice application. This means the application is made and the other party is served with the application so has prior notice. This can sometimes leave the victim at risk of harm.
To obtain an injunction a formal application needs to be made to the Family Court, this is known as a FL401. The application is support by a witness statement which will set out the background and circumstances of the case.
What Funding is Available?
Legal aid is available if you have been a victim of domestic abuse. Therefore, funding an application for a Non-Molestation Order will be covered by legal aid providing a financial assessment shows that you are eligible.
Bell Lamb & Joynson
At Bell Lamb & Joynson we have a dedicated expert team of family law solicitors that can help guide you if you need help with attaining an injunction against somebody. Call us today for a consultation, a friendly and professional member of our team will be waiting to help you.