Domestic abuse – injunctive relief
Domestic abuse can be physical and or mental abuse, threats and or intimidation from a family member. It can be a pattern of behaviour over many years or it can be a one-off incident. You do not have to suffer physical violence to obtain legal protection. If you are being harassed verbally, over the telephone or via social media, such as Twitter, then you may still able to obtain protection.
Parslows Jersey will help by listening sensitively and giving you straightforward confidential legal advice so you can weigh up your choices and what will work best for you to prevent any further violence or abuse.
Injunctive relief is available in a range of family law situations
Injunctive relief is commonly sought in domestic violence cases, and non-molestation orders and ouster orders both relate to domestic violence situations.
What is an injunction?
An injunction is an order by the court by which a person is required to do, or refrain from doing, a particular act.
Types of injunctions
There are three types of injunctions which are particularly relevant to family law:
- Non-molestation orders.
- Ouster orders.
- Non-removal orders.
The purpose of a non-molestation order is to prevent the perpetrator from molesting, interfering, assaulting, harassing, threatening or pestering the other person or the children.
In deciding whether to grant a non-molestation order, the Royal Court needs to be satisfied that there is evidence of molestation, that the applicant needs protection and that the intervention of the Court is required.
Ouster orders require the other party to leave the family home and/or not to come within a specified distance of the home. An Ouster order is not limited to circumstances where there has been physical violence. The behaviour of the other person which causes mental distress has also been held by the Court to be sufficient.
Non-Removal orders prevent a person from removing a child from the jurisdiction. There must be a reasonable belief that the removal is about to take place.
Getting an injunction
Legal advice must be obtained, as you will be required to provide a sworn document setting out the facts of the case, which requires a lawyer to witness. Your lawyer will also draft the Order of Justice, which will be submitted by your lawyer to the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff. You must disclose all relevant matters, including adverse information.
Power of arrest
The Powers of Arrest (Injunctions) (Jersey) Law 1998 permits the Court to attach a Power of Arrest to an injunction. This gives police officers a power of arrest in relation to the injuncted person where they have acted, are acting, or are about to act in breach of an injunction. The Power applies to injunctions which restrain a person from using violence or molesting another and refraining a person from taking a child out of the Island. A Power of Arrest will only be attached to an injunction where the Court considers it necessary to protect the person at risk.
If a defendant breaches the injunction, then the applicant (now the plaintiff) should apply to the Royal Court for the defendant to be dealt with for contempt of court. It is important that you contact the Police and your lawyer to inform them if the defendant has acted, is acting or is about to act in breach of an injunction. Your lawyer will then make the necessary application to the Court.