It has previously been the practice of many family courts to grant injunctions without notice to the respondent for a lengthy or in some cases unlimited period of time.
Recently the fairness of this has been questioned, and the President of the Family Division Sir James Munby PFD issued a Practice Direction in the Family court on 13 October 2014. The Practice Direction simply stated that this must stop and that such injunction orders must have a clear end date, suggesting 14 days as a maximum, with an early hearing date for reconsideration when the respondent may make representations to the court. The order must also contain a clear reminder to the respondent of the right to apply to vary or set aside the injunction.
Previously respondents have been personally served with injunction orders without any prior notice and have been subjected to what they may view as draconian measures sometimes obstructing continued contact with their children. Often this situation is exacerbated by lack of knowledge of what respondents might do to wipe out or change orders which are expressed to continue for many months or years. This may result in injustice continuing for an unnecessary length of time.
Now without notice injunction orders should only be made for a limited time with an early hearing date, usually within 14 days, and with a clear notice to the respondent of what they can do to have the case reconsidered.
The Family Law team at SAS Daniels consider this a return to fairness. Respondents will now be better equipped to obtain vital legal advice enabling them to put their case to the court properly.
If you would like to discuss the options open to you regarding injunctions or any other family law matters please our Family team 0161 475 7676.