New Practice Guidance: duration of without notice injunctive orders

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has issued new Practice Guidance on the duration of injunctive orders made by the Family Court or by the Family Division, irrespective of the subject-matter of the proceedings or the terms of the order, where they are issued on a without notice (ex parte) basis. Key points are:

  • a without notice injunctive order must never be made without limit of time - there must be a fixed end date
  • it is not sufficient merely to specify a return day, the order must specify on its face and in clear terms precisely when it expires (eg, 4.30pm on 19 November 2014)
  • the duration of the order should not normally exceed 14 days
  • the order must also specify the date, time and place of the hearing on the return day - it is usually convenient for this date to coincide with the expiry date of the order (eg, list the return day for 10.30am on 19 November 2014 and specify that the order expires at 4.30pm on 19 November 2014)
  • the order (per Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), 18.10(3)) 'must contain a statement of the right to make an application to set aside or vary the order under rule 18.11.' - the phrase 'liberty to apply on 24 hours’ notice' is not sufficient for this purpose and the order must spell out that the respondent is entitled, without waiting for the return day, to apply on notice (the details of which and the need for which must be set out on the face of the order) to set aside or vary the order
  • if the respondent does apply to set aside or vary the order the court must list the application as a matter or urgency, within a matter of days at most

The full guidance can be viewed here: Practice Guidance - Family Court - Duration of Non-Molestation Orders.

 

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