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A person who is victim of domestic violence can seek an injunction from the family court. An injunction is a court order that a named person should or should not do something. Usually, in family law, people want injunctions against a husband, wife or partner. However, we may be able to apply for an order against anyone in your family, or with whom you have had a close relationship, who has used violence against you. You can also seek protection for your child.

An emergency injunction is an informal description for a court order made without notice/ex parte – it means the person you are applying against will not be aware of the injunction until it is served on him/her.

What Orders Can I Get By Applying For An Injunction?

There are two basic types of injunctions the family court can make under the Family Law Act 1996:

A) Non-Molestation Orders

A non-molestation order is a a court order (injunction) that protects you or your child from being harmed or threatened by the person who has abused you. It is a civil order obtained by a victim of domestic abuse from a Judge (or Magistrates) through the Family Court.

Who Can Apply For A Non-Molestation Order?

A person can apply for non-molestation order if he/she has experienced violence, abuse or threatening behaviour from another person who is an 'associated person'. An associated person is usually either a relative or a person with whom you have had a close personal relationship, whether or not you have married or co-habited. This is determined by s.62(3) of the Family Law Act 1996 and covers most relationships, including:

  • Partners and former partners
  • Family relations (including in-laws)
  • People who live(d) together
  • People who have children together

You can apply for yourself or on behalf of a child. Often, it is helpful for a letter to be written to the Respondent before court proceedings are started. We call this a 'letter before action'.

What Is Domestic Violence Or Abuse?

Domestic violence is classed as any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. An adult is someone who is 18 years or over.

Family members, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family, are defined as:

  • mother
  • father
  • son
  • daughter
  • brother
  • sister, and
  • grandparents.

The legal definition of injury is when any harm is done to a person by the acts or omissions of another. Domestic Abuse can be in forms of physical, emotional, psychological and financial abuse. Many people are afraid to express the abuse that they are suffering as they are unaware of the help they can receive. Most victims of domestic violence do not even realise that they are suffering from some form of domestic abuse.

How Non-Molestation Order Protects You?

A non-molestation order usually forbids an abuser from:

  • Using or threatening physical violence
  • Intimidating, harassing or pestering
  • Communicating with you (if appropriate)
  • Instructing or encouraging others
  • Entering the restricted zone e.g. not entering within a certain distance of the victim's place of residence/work place/place of study/child's school, etc. (zonal restrictions)

How To Apply For Non-Molestation Order?

You can apply for non-molestation order (injunction) if you’ve been the victim of domestic violence. Non-molestation order is applied using application form FL401. You can use form C8 if you want to keep your address and telephone number private. You should also submit a detailed witness statement telling the court what has happened and asking for the non-molestation order. The person applying for an order is referred to as the ‘applicant’ and the person against whom orders are sought is known as the ‘respondent’.

There is no court fee for applying for non-molestation order.

For How Long A Non-Molestation Order Is Normally Granted?

A non-molestation order can typically be granted for  6-12 months.

B) Occupation Orders

An occupation order is an order that someone must leave the home where you live, or allow you to return there if you have already left, or is only allowed to occupy certain parts of the home. The duration of the order depends upon the circumstances of your case. The court will make different orders depending on what rights you have to the property - for example whether you are a lodger or an owner-occupier - and the relationship between you and the other person, known as the Respondent. It will also consider the needs of any children.

An occupation order regulates who can live in the family home, and can also restrict your abuser from entering the surrounding area. If you do not feel safe continuing to live with your partner, or if you have left home because of violence, but want to return and exclude your abuser, you may want to apply for an occupation order.

What Relief The Applicant Can Seek From The Court In The Occupation Order?

Depending on the relationship between the parties, an Applicant may apply to the Court for one or more of the following:

  • to enforce the Applicant’s right to stay in the home
  • to require the Respondent to permit the Applicant to enter and remain in the home
  • to regulate the occupation of the home (for example who may use what parts of the house and at what times)
  • to prohibit, suspend or restrict the Respondent’s rights to occupy the home (and in certain cases to terminate those rights)
  • to require the Respondent to leave the home or part of it
  • to exclude the Respondent from a certain geographical distance away from the home.

What Factors The Court Will Consider In Making An Occupation Order?

In deciding whether or not to make an order the Court may consider the following factors:

  • the housing needs and housing resources of each of the parties and of any relevant child
  • the likely effect of the Order/not making an Order on the health, safety or well being of the
  • parties and of any relevant child
  • the conduct of the parties

How Occupation Order Protects You?

An occupation order regulates the family home, such as:

  • Suspending rights to occupy or visit
  • Evicting an abuser from the home
  • Preventing an abuser from returning
  • 100 metres protection around the home

For How Long An Occupation Order Is Normally Granted?

An Occupation Order can be granted for  6-12 months.

How Sunrise Solicitors Can Help With Your Application For Non-Molestation Order And/Or An Occupation Order?

  1. Taking your statement - At the first appointment, our team will take a full statement from you. We will need to take a history of your relationship and details of recent incidents between the Respondent and yourself. Our team of family law solicitors may ask you for your written authority, for example, to write to your doctor, the hospital or the police for a report.
  2. Preparation of documents - Our expert team of family law solicitors will prepare your application, along with a statement, setting out all the relevant facts of your case. If there are witnesses, our team of family law solicitors may also wish to see them to take statements so that further affidavits can be prepared and sworn by them. The application will then be taken by us to the court and a hearing date fixed. This is likely to be about a week ahead, unless your case is so urgent that a hearing same day is required.

How Much Sunrise Solicitors Charge For Non-Molestation Order And/Or An Occupation Order?

Our Fixed Fees For Non-Molestation Order And/Or Occupation Order

Our fixed fees for various stages of the non-molestation order and/or occupation order are given in the table below. The agreed fixed fee will be dependent on the volume of work involved in the case and the complexity of the matter. Please be advised that our fixed fees do not cover the Barrister's fees.

Casework Stage Fixed Fee (Acting For The Applicant) Fixed Fee (Acting For The Respondent)

Injunction Without Notice (Emergency Injunction)

  • preparing and filing an emergency application without notice to the Respondent;
  • attending the court hearing (without involving the Barrister) to get an emergency injunction from the family court.
From £600 + VAT To £1,000 + VAT N/A

Injunction With Notice

All the work until First Hearing date.

 From £800 + VAT To £1200 + VAT From £650 + VAT To £1,000 + VAT
Interim Hearing (if listed) From £500 + VAT To £800 + VAT From £500 + VAT To £800 + VAT
Fact Finding Hearing (if listed) From £1,500 + VAT To £2,500 + VAT From £1,500 + VAT To £2,500 + VAT

Final Hearing

Preparation for Final Heaaring which includes the following:

  • complying with court directions;
  • preparing any witness statements;
  • instructing and briefing the Barrister for the court hearing;
  • attending any pre-hearing conference with the barrister, where necessary;
  • making necessary preparations for the final hearing;
  • attending the family court for Final Hearing to assist the Barrister in the case.
From £2,500 + VAT To £3,500 + VAT From £2,500 + VAT To £3,500 + VAT

Our Hourly Rates For Non-Molestation Order And/Or An Occupation Order

  • Our team of family law solicitors will charge on hourly rate basis with hourly rate starting from £120 + VAT per hour in relation to your application for non-molestation order and/or occupation order. The agreed hourly rate will be dependent on the complexity of the matter.

How Much Is The Court Fee For Non-Molestation Order And/Or An Occupation Order?

  • There is no court fee to be paid for a non-molestation order or an occupation order application.