It is a sad fact that domestic abuse occurs across our society and the greatest risk is at separation. Although it is not often talked about we are only too aware that it is also men who can suffer domestic abuse. At EMD Law we understand the sensitive nature of this issue and will assist you and advise you in the most sympathetic way throughout the process of obtaining a civil injuction.
Please note that we only deal with the civil side of domestic violence and if someone has been violent towards you this is a criminal offence and you are entitled to report any violence to the police and press charges. This can be a slow process and often does not offer effective or immediate protection whereas civil law can provide the required protection. You can press charges under criminal law as well as apply for an injunction under civil law and we would advise that you do both.
An injunction is a Court Order which is designed to protect the applicant and/or any relevant child from domestic abuse by an ‘associated person’ and to regulate the occupation of a family home. There are 2 types of injunction:
This prohibits a person from intimidating, threatening, harassing, pestering or using violence against you and/or any children of the family.
This can order a person to leave the home they have shared with you and forbid them to return to it. The person may also be forbidden from coming within a certain distance from the home.
The type of protection that is available to you will depend on your circumstances and we will advise you on this once we have obtained the full background to your case.
In order to obtain a Non-Molestation Order you and the proposed Respondent must be ‘associated persons’ and these are as follows:
You have been married to each other or are civil partners of each other
You live together or have lived together as husband or wife or as if you are civil partners
You live or have lived together is the same household (other than one of you being an employee, tenant, lodger or boarder of the other)
You are relatives – parents, step parents, children, grandparent, grandchildren, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew or that person’s husband or wife
If you are a child the proposed Respondent must have or have had Parental Responsibility for you
You have agreed to marry one another or enter into a civil partnership agreement whether or not that agreement has been terminated (but not later than 3 years after termination)
You have had an intimate personal relationship with one another which is or was of significant duration
In order to apply for an occupation order the property to be subject to an order must have been occupied as your joint home or acquired with the intention that you should live there together. The type of occupation order that can be made and the criteria for granting the order depend on the relationship between the Parties and the legal rights that either of them have to occupy the home. Therefore you must be associated with the other person in accordance with the above list and also either:
Have an existing right to occupy the property
Be a spouse/civil partner or former spouse/civil partner
Be a cohabitant or former cohabitant
In both Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders the Court will take into account different criteria when assessing your application. We will advise you on these as they will depend on your particular circumstances.
Can I obtain an injunction as an emergency?
Yes it is possible to make the application ‘ex parte’, which means without notice to the proposed Respondent. A hearing can be arranged very quickly and if appropriate the Court can make an order based upon your evidence only. A further hearing will then be arranged so that the Respondent has the opportunity to give their evidence.
It is more usual for the Court to make a Non-Molestation Order in these cases than an Occupation Order, as the Court usually prefers to hear both Parties’ evidence before making an Occupation Order. However, obviously in certain circumstances it will be appropriate for the Court to make an Occupation Order without notice.
This is an outline of the rules relating to applying for a Civil Injunction to protect you from Domestic Violence and is by no means everything you need to know. It is very important to stress that we would need to advise you on your individual circumstances and we therefore suggest that you contact one of experienced team to discuss your situation.