Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders

06 Jul 2021

What should I do if I have received a Non-Molestation and/or an Occupation Order?

Have you recently been served by the Police or a Process Server with an envelope containing a document called a Non-Molestation Order and potentially also an Occupation Order or reference being made to such Orders?

Receiving such Orders can be stressful and confusing. You most likely would have also received other documents with such Orders including the application and a statement full of allegations which you may not necessarily agree with or dispute.

What are the next steps to take after receiving a Non-Molestation and/or Occupation Order

The first point of action is to remain calm and carefully read the paperwork. It is likely that if you are being served with a Non-Molestation or Occupation Order this was made without prior notice being given to you with a hearing having taken place on an urgent basis.

At this hearing the Court would have made a preliminary decision on whether a Non-Molestation and/or Occupation Order needs to be made on an urgent interim basis. You will need to read the paperwork carefully and establish Orders have been made and comply with them.

What should I do if a Non-Molestation Order has been made?

If a Non-Molestation Order has been made it is important that you comply with the Order. The most likely Non-Molestation Order to have been made is that you are not to use or threaten violence against the applicant and/or you should not attempt to make any contact with the applicant. There are other Orders which can be made under a Non-Molestation Order depending on the circumstances.

You may feel the urge to try and reasonably discuss the application with the person who requested it, however, it is important that you refrain from doing so and comply fully with the Orders to ensure that it is not breached as this is an arrestable and criminal offence, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.

What should I do if an Occupation Order has been made?

If an Occupation Order has been made then you will most likely need to vacate the property you are residing in, even if you are an owner of that property.
At this moment and time, the Occupation Order has only been made on an interim basis and is not permanent.

Similarly, to the Non-Molestation Order, the Occupation Order must also be complied with as breaching such Order is a criminal and arrestable offence.

When is the next hearing?

In the paperwork received there will be notice of a hearing listed which you are to attend. It is important to take note of this date as you will need to attend this hearing to state if you are disputing the Orders which have been made. We would also recommend that you seek legal advice prior to attending such hearing.

In some Orders you may find the person applying for a Non-Molestation and Occupation Order but has only been successful with the Non-Molestation Order, at this stage. This is because the criteria to be established to be successful is high for an Occupation Order to be made by the Court. If this is the case, then at the next hearing the Court will also determine whether an Occupation Order should also be made.

At Trethowans we specialise in assisting individuals who have been served with such Orders and can support you with providing the relevant advice and organising representation for the next hearing.

If your require assistance or have any further questions about Non-Molestation and/or Occupation Orders, our team of Family Solicitors can help. Contact us  today to arrange a free consultation here or call on 0800 2800 421.

Author

James Looi

Solicitor