What Happens in Court for a Non-Molestation Order?

what happens in court for a non molestation order
Legally reviewed by: Jonathan Pollard In: Child Care

What is the Process of Providing Evidence for a Non-Molestation Order (UK)?

The process of getting a non-molestation order can be very emotionally taxing for all involved. Whether you’ve been forced to apply for one against a person that you feel threatened by, or you’re arguing your side in a case against you, it is important to understand what happens in court for a non-molestation order.

If your distressing living situation has left you with no other options, we can help guide you through the process, and we can also help you understand what happens in court for a non-molestation order.

Cartwright King has offices based in the UK and is a provider of legal aid services, so legal aid may be available to you.

What is a Non-Molestation Order?

A non-molestation order is a civil order that can be obtained by someone who has been the victim of domestic abuse. There are a few different reasons that someone might consider taking out a non-molestation order.

These can include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Controlling behaviour
  • Intimidating behaviour
  • Harassment

Someone who is a victim of this kind of abuse can apply to the court for a Non-molestation Order against someone in their life who would be described as an ‘associated person’. This can include:

  • Spouses/Ex-spouses
  • Civil partners/Ex-civil partners
  • Cohabitees/Former cohabitees
  • Family members

The order states that the accused cannot take certain actions against the victim, such as approach them or visit their house. It can also be ordered that they do not contact the victim on the phone or on social media. There is a time limit on how long this order lasts, but you can apply for an extension before it expires if you feel that you would still need protection. Do contact us for expert help with your non-molestation order application.

What is the Process of Providing Evidence for a Non-Molestation Order?

If you are wondering what happens in court for a non-molestation order, you are probably wondering what evidence you will need to provide.

Every case is a unique situation with different things to be considered, but the court will need to be able to see evidence of the unreasonable behaviour of the accused. The victim will most likely have to provide a written statement in support of their application, explaining what has happened to them and why they feel that they need protection to be ordered by a court. This statement could include:

  • Descriptions of acts or threats of violence against them
  • Photographs and/or medical reports of any injuries
  • Descriptions of threatening behaviour
  • Copies of any threatening or harassing messages received on a phone or on social media

There are two different kinds of non-molestation orders. These are known as ‘ex parte’ or ‘on notice.’

Ex Parte

This is also known as ‘without notice’ and means that the person who has been accused will not be notified. The courts always prefer to take this more cautious approach if they think that the victim might be put at any risk.

On Notice

This means that, if the court has decided that it is not unsafe for the victim, the accused will be served with the application and the supporting documents before the order is made. This means that they will be told the date of the hearing so that they can attend and make their own case to the court.

What Happens in Court for a Non-Molestation Order?

On the day of your hearing, as a victim, you will be expected to provide your evidence and statement to the court that explains the reasons that you feel you require a non-molestation order.

If you have been served with a non-molestation order, you will be given the opportunity to present your own case in defence. With our expert knowledge, we can help you construct a strong case.

What Happens Next?

It varies on a case-by-case basis, but the standard length for an order to last is generally 12 months. You can reapply in court for a non-molestation order extension if you feel that you need further protection after this point.

Contact us for Support Providing Evidence for a Non-Molestation Order

We understand that the process of acquiring a non-molestation order and providing evidence for a non-molestation order is traumatic for the victim, and potentially for those who also feel that they may have been wrongfully served. It can be difficult to navigate this kind of situation without specialist help. Our family law solicitors are here to answer any questions you may have and help you achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Contact our family law and domestic abuse solicitors today.

Legal Disclaimer.

All advice is correct at time of publication.