October 2, 2018
What is a Non Molestation Order?
A Non Molestation Order is an order that prevents a person from ‘molesting’ another person.
Person A can apply for an order to prevent Person B, who is connected to them, from molesting them or a child who is connected to them.
‘Molesting’ means behaviour where Person B has been physically violent but can also include intentional harassment including using or threatening violence, intimidation or pestering. The dictionary definition of ‘molestation’ is ‘to cause trouble to; to vex; to annoy; to put to inconvenience’ and can include behaviour by Person B which has an indirect impact on the life of a child.
A Non Molestation Order is an order of the court which contains requirements preventing Person B from certain behaviour set out in the Non Molestation Order.
The types of behaviour that a Non Molestation Order can prevent include:
- Contacting by telephone, text, email or social media;
- Using or threatening violence;
- Intimidating, pestering or harassing;
- Entering Person A’s home;
- Damaging Person A’s property;
- Going to a child’s home or school.
The purpose of a Non Molestation Order is to prevent the behaviour that was leading to Person A or a child being molested.
When a Family Court is considering whether to make a Non Molestation Order it will look at all of the circumstances of the case as well as the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of Person A and any child.
How long does a non molestation order last?
There is no maximum period for a Non Molestation Order but it is likely that a Family Court will make a Non Molestation Order for a specific period.
If Person B does not comply with the requirements in the Non Molestation Order they may have ‘breached’ the Order which is a criminal offence.
Applying for a Non Molestation Order
Person A can apply for a Non Molestation Order by filling out court Form FL404a and sending this to the Family Court along with evidence to support the application. The application will be issued by the Family Court and sent to Person B unless Person A is applying ‘without notice’.
‘Without notice’ means that Person B is not sent the application and does not know about Person A’s application for a Non Molestation Order. The Family Court will consider a without notice application for a Non Molestation Order if there is a risk of significant harm to Person A or a child; or if Person A will be prevented from making an application otherwise; or if Person B is aware of the application but cannot be sent the application.
Applications for Non Molestation Order can be factually sensitive and it is important that all of the relevant circumstances are known to the Family Court when making any order.
Cases about domestic abuse can be difficult both emotionally and technically. The support of a lawyer with specialist experience who can advise and represent you could assist in achieving the outcome you want.
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By Kate Richmond | Family and Children
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