Picture the scene, you are packing up for the day and are approached in the street by someone who asks you your name and then hands you an envelope. He invariably tells you to ‘seek legal advice quickly’. Upon opening the envelope, you realise it contains what looks like a Court Order, a lengthy statement from your ex-partner making all sorts of allegations against you and other bits of papers, you are unsure of what they mean. What does catch your eye are the words ‘the respondent must not use or threaten violence towards the applicant or any relevant children. Intimidate, harass or pester the applicant…’ along with reference to an Occupation Order.
What does this all mean and why have you been served with this envelope in this way?
The above is an example of a Non-Molestation Order and Occupation Order. Due to the fact that one of the criteria for being granted legal aid is successfully securing a Non-Molestation Order against the other party, we are seeing more clients being served with Non-Molestation Orders in the way described above.
Non-Molestation Orders can be obtained relatively easily, within a day from the court and are initially based purely on the version of events given by one party (the applicant/ the person applying for the Order). Most importantly they can be obtained without the other party (the respondent) having any notice. The first the respondent will know about the Non-Molestation Order is when they are handed the envelope after the Order has already been granted as in the scenario above. Such orders restrict what the respondent can do and where they can go. Most often than not the applicant will be receiving legal aid to fund the whole application, the legal aid agency will often not fund the respondent regardless of their low income or response. Unfair you may think?
This is the reason at J M Wilson Solicitors we offer FREE advice to all clients for their first family law appointment with us. The fact legal aid is often not granted to a respondent means they are already at a disadvantage. Most often the applicant has a solicitor for free whilst the respondent cannot access this service. At J M Wilson you will receive honest, realistic advice from an experienced solicitor. Your options to challenge the order or try and seek an undertaking (a legal promise) to bring the matter to an end will be discussed with you. If a challenge is required, we can represent you at court and ensure you are not having to face the other side’s solicitor without legal representation.
Contact Us for Information on Non-Molestation & Occupation Orders
For more information about non-molestation and occupation orders, please contact our experienced solicitor Jenny Sharma at J M Wilson Solicitors on 0121 356 4556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.