Your County Court, and occasionally the High Court, considers claims related to injunctions. Therefore, you should first check that the grounds for which you want to make a claim will be considered by a Court. You can call the Court at its public enquiry line for clarifications.
Injunctions are court orders which instruct a person that they are disallowed from committing a certain act. The most common areas in which injunctions are applied for are when a relationship has broken down and one of the parties is harassing, threatening or assaulting the other. This type of injunction is known as a "Domestic Violence Injunction" (i.e. Non-Molestation Order or Occupational Order).
In family cases an injunction can stop someone removing a child from your care or taking them out of the country.
These orders can prevent someone harassing, threatening or assaulting you or prevent them coming within a certain distance of your home. They can also order someone to leave your family home. An injunction can prevent someone from leaving the country or disposing of their assets. An injunction can also prevent somebody publishing something about you which you have not given permission for or which you do not like. Other injunctions can also be taken out against noisy neighbours or stalkers or nuisance phone calls etc.
There are four common injunctions:
Non-Molestation Order - which prevents another person from harming you or a child.
Occupational Order - which will indicate who can live in the family home and can direct another person to leave the home (e.g. Domestic Violence).
Common Law (Assault & Trespass Injunctions) - which will prevent somebody coming onto your property without your permission or assaulting you.
Anti-Harassment - which will prevent someone from harassing you (e.g.. causing you alarm or distress through nuisance phone calls, threats, stalking, excessive noise etc.).
Yes, a Non-Molestation Order will help prevent your partner (or ex-partner) from harming you or any children. The Domestic Violence Crime & Victims Act 2004 has made breaching a Non-Molestation Order a criminal offence. Anyone breaching this court order may be arrested.
An Occupational Order will also determine who can or cannot live in the family home and restrict the access of the harasser to your home. This form of injunction can also have a 'power of arrest' attached, which means that once the injunction is enforced if the defendant breaches the order they can be arrested immediately.
Also known as "Assault & Trespass Injunctions", you cannot attach a 'power of arrest' with these injunctions or an order to force somebody who is living in your family home (e.g. a relative) to leave, if the relative has a right to be there. However, common law injunctions do prohibit somebody from accessing your property without your permission.
Some injunctions state that the Defendant cannot come within a certain distance of your home or, if they are already living in your home, that they must leave and not return. In domestic violence injunctions these are called "Occupation Orders", whereas in common law injunctions these are called "Trespass Orders".
The Children Act allows you to apply for a "Prohibited Steps Order", which is a type of injunction that will prevent someone removing a child from your care.
Before the injunction can begin, your antagonist must personally be handed a copy of the injunction; called "serving" the injunction. You should not serve the injunction yourself; arrange for someone else to do this for you. Therefore, an injunction is only valid when the antagonist has been served with the court order.
There are injunctions created for many problems arising from many diverse situations; both in business and private scenarios.
For example, some injunctions can prevent someone from removing important or sensitive documents, disposing of property or spending money. Other injunctions can prevent something being published about you that you do not like or using information or assets belonging to you.
Another example would be if you are involved in a divorce and you are making a financial claim against your spouse. In this case you may request an injunction to prevent them from selling any shared property or spending or transferring any savings prior to your case being decided by the Court.
You can (a) get a lawyer to apply on your behalf (b) go to your local County Court or Magistrates Court and ask them for forms to apply, or (c) use Injunction Direct to do all the work for you.
For some injunctions you may need to apply to the High Court. Some County Courts are allowed to hear High Court cases, they are known as "District Registries of the High Court". You should check with your local County Court whether they can hear High Court cases. You may need to make a sworn statement, known as an "Affidavit", to explain why you want an injunction. (An Affidavit is a sworn statement made while in Court. You can use a statement rather than an Affidavit when applying for a common law injunction).
Some injunctions can be applied for as an emergency and your antagonist need not be at court when you apply for an injunction against them. You may have to go to Court a second time and this time your antagonist will be present to tell their side of the story to the Court. Some injunctions allow the police to arrest your antagonist if he breaks the injunction.
You will need to complete an Injunction Application (Form N16A) and a Statement of Claim (this is a written statement of exactly what you are complaining about with specific details of what has happened and who was responsible).
If you and your partner were married or were living together at the time of any violence then the injunction can contain a "power of arrest". This allows the police to arrest the antagonist if they ignore the court order. If your partner breaks the court order and you call the police, the police will request to see a copy of the court order and its Power of Arrest. After the police have arrested the antagonist they will be brought back to Court within 24 hours. If a crime has been committed, the police may then charge that person with a criminal offence.
A 'Power of Arrest' can now only be attached to an Occupation Order and not a Non-Molestation Order due to the Domestic Violence Crime & Victims Act 2004, which came into effect in September 2005. This law has now made breaching a Non-Molestation Order a criminal offence. Therefore, the police are obligated to arrest someone breaching this court order.
If the injunction is broken then you can go to Court to apply for your antagonist to be sent to prison; known as "committal proceedings". You will need to have evidence that the injunction has been breached. Therefore, you should write down anything that your antagonist does or says that will help your case. You may be able to apply for a 'Warrant of Arrest' that will allow your antagonist to be arrested and brought before the Court.
If an Injunction Order has been breached, the Court can issue a 'Warrant of Arrest' for the person who has broken the Injunction Order. However, you will need to go back to Court to apply for a warrant. The warrant is sent to the police whom can then arrest that person and may either hold them in custody until they can be take to Court or grant them bail; giving them a date when they must appear before the Court.
An 'Occupation Order' determines who should live in a home after there has been a reported incident of violence or harassment. This court order can be quite specific. For example, the Court can order a person to leave the home, or only live in a specific area of the home, or allow someone back into the home, or exclude a person from a particular part of the home or space around the home.
A 'Non-Molestation Order' prevents a person from causing harassment, nuisance or violence. Unacceptable behaviour would include: constantly pestering someone, annoying someone deliberately, threatening or harassing someone etc.
An 'Anti-Harassment Injunction' is a court order that prevents someone from harassing you. Harassment can include anything which causes you alarm or distress. For example, nuisance phone calls, threats, stalking, excessive or persistent noise.
If somebody applies for an injunction against you and you do not agree with what has been said about you, you can settle the case if you promise an "Undertaking" not to commit a similar act in the future. You do not have to admit that you committed the act in the first place; you simply have to agree that you have no intention of committing that specific act in the future. However, if you break this promise it will have the same effect as if you were to breach a court order and you may be arrested and sent to prison.
You have to pay a fee of £150 to make a claim to the Court. However, there is legal aid provided by the Court, if you qualify. Also, again if you qualify, you can apply for a fee remission if you claim Income Support, State Pension, Jobseeker's Allowance etc. or if the cost of your claim puts an undue strain on your finances.
Note: An Application for Fee Remission form EX160 is included in your pack.
The injunction application form should be submitted to your local County Court either by hand or post.
You can withdraw the application at anytime.
The form requires information such as your and the Defendant's name and address, details about your complaint, the terms of the injunction order and details of all persons that have sworn affidavits or signed statements in support of the application.
No. Injunction Direct submit a LBA (Letter Before Action) to the defendent prior to the application for injunctin to urge the defendent to alter their behaviour. Once your completed Injunction Application and Statement of Claim have been sent to your local County Court, it will be sent to the Defendant. The Defendant then has 14 days in which to respond.
Once your completed Injunction Application and Statement of Claim have been sent to your local County Court, it will be checked by the Courts and issued to the Defendant, along with instructions on how they complete the Acknowledgement of Service documentation in response to the injunction application. The Defendant then has 14 days in which to complete this process.
The Defendant's Acknowledgement of Service will then be forwarded to you by the Courts to allow you time to provide any additional evidence or arguments in response to the Defendant's defence. You have a further 14 days in which to provide any further documentation or a written response.
Once you submit your application to the County Court, the Court will then give you a hearing date. During this hearing the judge will decide on your individual case.
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