APPLYING FOR AN INJUNCTION: In simple terms, it is an authoritative warning. The main purpose in obtaining an injunction from the court is to:
- Protect the victim or children from the harm or violent threats of an abuser. This type of injunction is a ‘non-molestation order‘.
- Determine who can live inside a family home or be present in the surrounding area. This type of injunction is an ‘occupation order‘.
Note: Police can arrest a person named in an injunction for breaking the conditions stated in it.
There are several domestic abuse charities that also offer expert advice on applying for an injunction (e.g. Refuge, and the Men’s Advice Line). In some cases, the victim may qualify for free legal representation through the legal aid system.
6 Steps of Applying for an Order
- The first step is to check whether you qualify to apply for a non-molestation order or an occupation order (see below).
- You must ask the court to make the order. Use the application Form FL401 and make at least two copies.
- You will need to write a witness statement. The purpose of this is to inform the court what happened so they issue the most relevant order.
- The bottom of the witness statement must contain a ‘statement of truth’. Write in these exact words: [I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.] Remember to sign and date your statement of truth.
- You can use form C8 ‘Family Procedure Rules 2010’ to keep your (or a child’s) address and telephone number private.
- The final step is to deliver or send the documents to a court. There is no charge for this part of the process but it must be a court that deals with domestic violence cases.
Emergency Court Injunction Order
Ask the court for an emergency order when you apply if you need immediate protection. There is no requirement to inform the person that you want protection from about this type of application. Emergency orders get issued on an ‘ex-parte’ basis. It means the respondent (abuser) would not get notice of the application.
The court will arrange a hearing for your case – and you must attend it. As a rule, an application for an injunction for domestic violence would get issued at the hearing.
Note: The process still involves telling people about the application after the court issues the order. Even so, an emergency order should last until you attend your court hearing.
Victims Aged 17 or Younger
Victims under the age of sixteen (16) need permission from the High Court to apply for an injunction. Sixteen and 17 year olds would need to appoint a ‘litigation friend‘ to represent them in the court. As a rule, a parent, a family member, or even a close friend can act as a litigation friend.
Notice of Proceedings (after the application)
After applying for an injunction, the court will present you with a document called a ‘Notice of Proceedings’. It will inform you when to attend the court so you can discuss your case at the hearing.
Domestic Violence Court Orders
Apply to Court for Non Molestation Order
The relationship that the victim has with the abuser affects how to proceed with an injunction. Find out who can apply to court for non molestation order in the United Kingdom.
Application to Court for Non Occupation Order
As a victim of domestic violence, you can also apply for an occupation order if you meet the requirements. These types of injunction orders state conditions that the respondent must not break.
The Court Hearing
The guide explains what to expect at your court hearing after applying for the injunction. Find out the best way to prepare for a protection court hearing.