What is a Non-Molestation Order?

Non-Molestation Order – Section 42 of the Family Law Act 1996. It prohibits someone from using violence against the other person, threatening them, coming to the victim’s property within a certain distance, damaging the victim’s property or communicating with the victim whether by telephone, letter or any other means of communication. The Order usually also prevents the Respondent from instructing or encouraging anyone else to do any of those things on their behalf.

This Order can be obtained on an ex-parte basis which means that the Respondent is not initially aware of the application being made.

If the Order is granted by the Court, the same will have to be personally served upon the Respondent to be in full force and effect. Sometimes the Court allows a different type of service: by telephone, email or even text message. The police will also be provided with a copy of the Order.

If any conditions within the Order are breached, the Applicant (victim) must report them to the police. Any incidents should immediately be reported to the police even if the Order has not yet been served upon the Respondent.

How do I apply for a Non-Molestation Order?

To apply for a Non-Molestation Order the relationship between the victim and perpetrator must fall within the ‘associated person’ category. This means that they are for example married or were married; civil partners or were civil partners; are currently cohabiting or were cohabiting; both lived within the same household or are related. They Applicant also must be a victim of any form of domestic abuse: physical, emotional, financial, sexual or controlling and coercive behaviour. There must also be a very recent incident of domestic abuse.

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