The key terms of injunctions

An Injunction

A court order that requires someone to do, or not do, something. There are 2 types of injunction.

A Non-Molestation Injunction

Aimed at preventing your partner, or ex-partner from using or threatening violence against you or your child, or intimidating, harassing or pestering you, in order to ensure the safety and well-being, and health, of you and your children.

An Occupation Order

Regularises who can live in the family home. It can restrict an abuser from entering the family home, and from entering the surrounding area.

Associated Person

In order for you to apply for one of these orders you must be an ‘associated person’. This means you and your partner or ex-partner must be related or associated with each other in one of the following ways:

  • You are or have been married to each other
  • You are or have been in a civil partnership with each other
  • You are cohabitants or former cohabitants (including same sex couples)
  • You live or have lived in the same household
  • You are relatives
  • You have formally agreed to marry each other (even if that agreement has now ended)
  • You have a child together (this can include those who are parents of the same child, and those who have parental responsibility for the same child)
  • Although not living together, you are in an “intimate relationship of significant duration”
  • You are both involved in the same family proceedings (eg. divorce or child contact).

Power of Arrest

If your abuser has used or threatened physical violence, and the court accepts this at a final hearing of the case, then it must attach a power of arrest to the order. The order will be filed at your local police station, and the police can arrest immediately if the order is broken. A breach of a non molestation order is a criminal offence, but a power of arrest should be attached to an occupation order.

Length of Injunction Order

Injunctions are normally for a specified period of time, quite often 6 months but can be 12 months. An extension of an Occupation order beyond 12 months is only possible if you have a legal right to occupy the property, ie. you lived there as your former matrimonial home, or you are an owner or co-owner, or tenant or co-tenant of the property.

Breach of The Order

If the abuser breaks the non molestation order then you should call the police, and if they consider that the abuser has breached the order then the police will arrest and bring them before the court within 24 hours. If there is no power of arrest, then you will need to apply to the court for an arrest warrant. The court may fine, impose a suspended sentence, or (rare on a first offence) commit to prison.

Please contact our specialist family law team, to discuss this issue, or any other issue of family law or relationship breakdown.

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