THE COURT HEARING: The panel will hold your hearing ‘in chambers’. In simple terms, that means a private room at the court.
The rules on who can attend courts in the United Kingdom are strict.
But, as a rule it will be the victim [you], the respondent [the abuser], and any legal representatives [e.g. solicitors].
If you already asked for an interpreter the court will provide one for you.
A court interpreter can translate what happens during the hearing. But, they cannot represent you or give you any legal advice.
Note: Help is available if you are going to court as a victim or witness to give evidence. But, the court will need to know in advance if you need any support or
extra protection at your court hearing.
Getting a Court Decision
The court will make a decision after your hearing has finished. There can be several different outcomes but the court will decide (either):
- To get an ‘undertaking’ from the person you applied for an injunction against (e.g. they ‘promise’ to do – or not do – something).
- That they need extra information from you or from the respondent. The court usually issues an ‘interim order’ in cases such as these. A short term order is for victim protection while the court waits for more information.
- To issue an injunction order. When that order ends the court may hold another hearing to decide whether to renew it.
Note: You would get a copy of the order if it gets issued. It states what the respondent can do and cannot do. You would need to apply for an injunction again to get extended protection
if the order expires.
After Your Hearing
In most cases, the court will grant the application. If so, you must arrange to ‘serve’ a copy (along with any other court documents) on all respondents and any other persons named in the order. You can either:
- Ask the court to serve (deliver) the documents to the respondent. They will often use a court bailiff to carry out this service.
- Deliver or ‘serve’ the documents yourself. You should only do this if it does not put you in any danger.
You must download and fill in a statement of service form FL415 if you serve the documents
yourself. Send the form to the same court. This paper gives the court details of where and when you served the documents.
Note: The officer in charge at your neighbourhood police station will also need a copy of the order and statement of service. You may need to contact a police station named in
the court order instead.
Making Complaints and Appeals
If you are not happy with the service that they provided at your hearing you can complain to the same court.
As a rule, there needs to have been a serious mistake for you to appeal against a decision. You would need to get permission and there may be some costs incurred. You should read the guidance notes on completing form N161 before
appealing a decision.