A Non-Molestation Order prevents an associated person from using or threatening violence against you and from intimidating, harassing, or pestering you. For example, it prevents the person from contacting you via telephone, social media or in person. This Order prevents the person from instructing a third person to intimidate, harass or pester you. In addition, it is a criminal offence to breach this Order.
As mentioned above you can only obtain a Non- Molestation Order against what is known as an associated person. This includes the following:
- If you are married or were married to the person.
- If you are or were in a civil partnership with the person.
- If you live with or lived with the person.
- If you are related to the person.
- If you agreed to marry the person.
- If you agreed to form a civil partnership with the person.
- If you both are parents or have parental responsibility for a child.
- If one of you is a parent of a child and the other has parental responsibility for the child.
- If both of you are parties to the same family proceedings.
If the person you wish to obtain an Order against does not fall under one the associated person categories, for example a friend, then you can apply for a Civil Injunction. We can also provide assistance if you require a Civil Injunction.
If an ex-parte Order is applied for it means the other person, known as the Respondent, will not be notified of your Application until it is granted. Ex-parte orders are granted only in emergency situations. The last incident must have happened within the last week when applying for an ex-parte Order.
An inter-parties Hearing will be listed if an ex-parte Non-Molestation Order has been granted. This Hearing allows the Respondent to attend Court with or without legal representation and give their version of events and provide any evidence they may have.
An ex-parte Order will last until first inter-parties Hearing. If a full Order is granted after this, it can last up to one year. This year can be from the date of the ex – parte Order or from the date of the Hearing, the Court makes this decision.
Legal aid is available to both apply for a Non-Molestation Order and defend one. This is dependent on your disposable income. Depending on your financial circumstances you may be required to make a small contribution towards your legal fees as well as receiving legal aid. Emergency legal aid can be applied for these Orders, which provides for immediate funding, allowing the Application to be submitted to the Court quickly.
An Occupation Order controls who can live in a property and can prevent the Respondent from entering the home and surrounding areas. If you have left your home because of the behaviour of you partner and wish to return but without your Partner, an Occupation Order can be applied for. When deciding if it will grant this Order, the Court will consider a number of factors such as the housing needs and resources of you and the Respondent, the financial resources of you both and your behaviour to one and another. As with a Non-Molestation Order, Occupation Orders can be made ex-parte in emergency situations.
An Occupation Order can be obtained on the following grounds:
- If you own or rent the home and it is, was or intended to be shared with your husband or wife, a civil partner, cohabitant, family member or parent of your child.
- If you do not own the home but have matrimonial home rights, for example you are married to the owner.
- If your former husband, wife or civil partner is the owner of the house and it is, was or was intended to be a shared matrimonial home.
- If the person you cohabited or cohabit with is the owner of the house and it is, was or was intended to be a shared home.
Legal aid is available to both apply for an Occupation Order and defend one. This is dependent on your disposable income. Depending on your financial circumstances you may be required to make a small contribution towards your legal fees as well as receiving legal aid. Emergency legal aid can be applied for to obtain an Order, which grants legal aid immediately, allowing the application to be submitted to the Court quicker.
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Northern Ireland. BT23 4LU
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Falcon Road, Belfast BT12 6SJ (By Appointment)
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