My ex-partner and I separated 18 months ago. At first, the break up was amicable. However, I began a new relationship six months ago and my ex-partner has harassed me ever since. Initially I received threatening phone calls but he follows me to work in his car and he has been found hiding in my garden watching my house. He has even been to my work place and asked to speak to me. I’m terrified of what he will do next. I rang the police but no further action was taken. Can I take him to Court?
Ongoing harassment from an ex-partner can be remedied by applying for a Court order called a Non Molestation Order, more commonly known as an injunction. An application for this order can be made in one of two ways:
- A without notice application can only be made in appropriate cases. Your partner will not be present at Court.
- Alternatively, you can apply to the court on notice, which means that your partner will have notice of your application and will be present at the first Hearing
If the application is granted by the Court, it will forbid your partner from using or threatening violence and intimidating, harassing or pestering you and your children, if necessary. It can also prevent your partner from contacting you or coming near your home.
After the Court Hearing, your partner will be need to be personally served with a copy of the Order. If the application was made without notice to your partner, the Court will set a date for a return hearing, which you must attend. If your partner does not attend Court, any Order can be made in their absence.
A copy of the Non Molestation Order will be lodged with your local police station. If your partner breaches any of the terms of the Order you must notify the police.
The order will usually last for 6 or 12 months. It is possible to renew the Order if you can demonstrate to the Court that your partner’s behaviour has continued in the manner complained of.
The Respondent may deny the allegations and seek to oppose the application. In these circumstances, the matter will need to be listed for a contested hearing, where both you and the Respondent will give evidence to the Court about the allegations.
Breach of a Non Molestation Order is an arrestable criminal offence. If the police feel there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the Respondent for the breach, the Respondent will be arrested and brought before a Court.
Please note that this advice was correct at the time of writing. However there may have been changes in the law or procedure since that date. If you are in doubt you should obtain up to date legal advice.