Domestic Violence Injunctions - different types of orders granted by a court

An injunction can be obtained as part of divorce proceedings or separately.

 

 

Married Couples
If you own property together, or if you have an interest in the property, or an agreement allowing you to live in the property. Or the law says you are entitled to live in the property because you have certain rights, for example, because you are married and the property is the matrimonial home. The following injunction orders can be applied for:

1. Non-Molestation Orders
This is an order to stop your partner "molesting" you or your children. Molesting means harassing, pestering or interfering with you or your children in some way, and also includes assault. "Assault" can mean pushing, punching, slapping, throwing objects, spitting at you etc.
The order can also extend to cover anyone your partner tells to molest, harass, pester or be violent towards you or your children.

2. Occupation Orders
These are orders which decide who should carry on living in the home in the short-term after there has been violence or harassment etc.
The orders can include the following:

a) Allow you to remain in the home if your partner is trying to get you out.

b) Allow you back into the home if your partner has already thrown you out or is preventing you going back into the home.

c) Exclude your partner from all or part of the home.

d) Impose a set of rules about living in the home.

e) State that you and your partner must live in separate parts of the home.

f) Exclude your partner from coming within a certain distance of your home.

g) Order your partner to leave the home or a part of it.

h) If you do not own the property and have not paid towards the cost of the property you can obtain an order which says that you are still entitled to live in the property because you have "matrimonial rights". You can also get an order that this right will not end if your partner dies or you and your partner divorce. However, your partner can apply to the court to try and end your "matrimonial rights" or restrict them.

3. Power of Arrest
This can be attached to an injunction and will give the police power to arrest your partner if he or she breaks the order. To obtain a power of arrest you need to show that your partner has used violence against you or has threatened to use violence and he / she is likely to do so again.

 


 

Divorced Couples
If your ex-wife or husband has an interest in the property, or an agreement allowing them to live in the property. Or the law says they are entitled to stay in the property for certain reasons, such as the property was intended to be your matrimonial home.

You can apply for the following orders:

1. Non-Molestation Order see Married Couples for definition.

2. Occupation Order see Married Couples for definition.

Such orders can be:

a) An order stopping your ex-wife / husband from evicting or excluding you from the property or part of it.

b) An order allowing you to enter the property and live there if you have previously been excluded.

c) Impose a set of rules about living in the property.

d) Take away your ex-wife / husband's right to live in the property or part of it.

e) Order your ex-wife / husband to leave the property or part of it.

f) Exclude your ex-wife / husband from an area around the property.

3. Power of Arrest see Married Couples for definition.

 


 

Unmarried Couples and Same Sex Couples Who Live Together
a) If you own a property together, or you have an interest in the property in which you both live, or are allowed to live there because of an agreement. Or because the law says you have certain rights to live in the property.

The following injunction orders can be applied for:

1. Non-Molestation Order see Married Couples for definition.

2. Occupation Order see Married Couples for definition.

Such orders can:

a) Allow you to remain in the home if your partner is trying to get you out.

b) Allow you back into the home if your partner has thrown you out or is preventing you going back into the home.

c) Exclude your partner from all or part of the home.

d) Impose a set of rules about living in the home.

e) State that you or your partner must live in separate parts of the home.

f) Exclude your partner from coming within a certain distance of your home.

g) Order your partner to leave the home or part of it.

3. Power of Arrest see Married Couples for definition.

 

b) Only your partner owns the property, or has an interest in the property, or is allowed to live in the property because of an agreement. Or because the law says your partner has certain rights to the property.

The following injunction orders can be applied for:

1. Non-Molestation Order see Married Couples for definition.

2. Occupation Order see Married Couples for definition.

These orders can include:

a) Preventing you from being excluded or evicted from the home or any part of it.

b) Allowing you to return to the home and to continue to live there.

c) Impose a set of rules about living in the home.

d) Take away your partner's right to live in the property.

e) Order your partner to leave part of the home or all of it.

f) Exclude your partner from a defined area around the home.

3. Power of Arrest see Married Couples for definition.

 

c) Where neither of you owns the property, or has an interest in the property, or is entitled to live in the property because of an agreement and you have no rights under the law.

The following injunction orders can be applied for:

1. Non-Molestation Order see Married Couples for definition.

2. Occupation Order see Married Couples for definition.

These orders can include:

a) Allowing you to return to the home and to continue to live there.

b) Impose a set of rules about living in the home.

c) Order your partner to leave the home or part of it.

d) Exclude your partner from a defined area around the home.

3. Power of Arrest see Married Couples for definition.

 


 

Couples Who Do Not Live Together
Those who have been in "an intimate relationship of significant duration". This includes both heterosexual and lesbian & gay couples who do not live together and do not have children together, but have been involved in a relationship for some time.

The following injunction orders can be applied for:

1. Non-Molestation Order see Married Couples for definition.

2. Occupation Order see Married Couples for definition.

These orders can include:

a) Allowing you to return to the home and to continue to live there.

b) Impose a set of rules about living in the home.

c) Order your partner to leave the home or part of it.

d) Exclude your partner from a defined area around the home.

3. Power of Arrest see Married Couples for definition.

 


 

Others
This includes relatives, engaged couples, people involved in adoption proceedings, divorced couples, unmarried parents of a child, unmarried couples no longer living together.

a) Where you both own property, or have an interest in the property, or an agreement which allows you to live in the property. Or because the law says you have certain rights to the property.

The following injunction orders can be applied for:

1. Non-Molestation Order see Married Couples for definition.

2. Occupation Order see Married Couples for definition.

These can include:

a) Allowing you to remain in the property.

b) Allowing you back into the property if you are being prevented from returning to the property.

c) Exclude the other occupant of the property from all or part of the property.

d) Impose a set of rules about the occupation of the property.

e) State that you and the other occupant must live in separate parts of the property.

f) Exclude the other occupant from coming within a certain distance of the property.

g) Order the other occupant to leave the property or part of it.

3. Power of Arrest see Married Couples for definition.

 

b) Where you do not own the property, and you have no interest in the property, and no agreement which allows you to live there and no legal right to the property

You can only apply for the following injunction orders:

1. Non-Molestation Order see Married Couples for definition.

2. Power of Arrest see Married Couples for definition.

 


 

Other Remedies
Unmarried couples not living together, neighbours, relatives, friends or acquaintances - can also apply for a "Common Law Injunction".
This can include an order to:

1. Stop your opponent assaulting you or harassing you. The harassment must be serious to the point that it interferes with your mental or physical health. The harassment must also be intentional. Repeated phone calls can amount to harassment.

2. Stop your opponent from trespassing on your property. You must show you have an interest in the property, for example you own it or that you are a tenant.

3. Stop your opponent from causing a nuisance.

4. Stop your opponent interfering with your possessions.

5. More recently the courts have also allowed orders to exclude opponents from coming within a certain distance of the applicant's home or place of work.

You cannot get a power of arrest with this type of injunction. If your opponent breaks the injunction you will need to go back to court to get an order to send your opponent to prison. See Committal Proceedings

 


 

 

Anti-Harassment Injunctions
However, it is now possible to apply for "Anti-Harassment Injunctions".

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 makes harassment a criminal and civil offence and gives the police more powers to arrest and charge a person who is harassing you, and can be used instead of "Common Law Injunctions".

Harassment includes, nuisance phone calls, stalking, threats, excessive noise etc. Basically any behaviour which causes you "alarm" or "distress". The harassment has to have happened more than once. In the case of stalking you must show the behaviour caused you to think that person was likely to use violence on you.

The Act can be used to prevent harassing behaviour by neighbours, protesters, family members, the media etc.

If a person is guilty of harassment the police have powers to arrest them and sentence them in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.

If they are found guilty in the Magistrates Court they can be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison and / or up to a £5,000 fine as well as an order preventing them from harassing you.

In the Crown Court they can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison or an unlimited fine as well as an order preventing them from harassing you.

Instead of the police charging the person who is harassing you, you can decide to apply for an "Anti-Harassment Injunction" from the civil courts, e.g. the County Court. You can also claim compensation for "anxiety", "distress", "alarm" or financial loss at the same time.

Undertakings can still be given by a person brought to court on an application for an injunction. See Undertakings

Unlike "Common Law Injunctions" it is possible to attach powers of arrest to "Anti-Harassment Injunctions" injunction, but only once the injunction has been broken. You will need to go back to court to apply for a "warrant of arrest" and the police will arrest the person and bring them back to the civil courts. The person(s) can then be committed to prison. These powers came into force on the 1st September 1998. See Committal Proceedings

Instead of applying for a "Warrant of Arrest" when an injunction is broken, you can ask the police to use their criminal powers to arrest the person and take them to the criminal courts for sentencing.

A person may not be guilty of harassment if they can show that they:

1. Acted reasonably and in order to protect themselves, their property or someone else's property.

2. They were trying to prevent or investigate a serious crime.

3. "National Security" or the "Economic well-being" of the UK was at risk.

4. The law gave them certain powers and it was necessary to act in that way to carry out those powers.
 

How To Apply For An Injunction

Injunctions

 

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