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Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2849
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Can I disclose the essence of a non-molestation order to solicitor

Customer Question

can I disclose the essence of a non-molestation order to solicitor to prevent a breach of the order
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
Can you explain the situation a bit more so that I can assist you? Are you the applicant or respondent in the non-molestation order matter?
Harris and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I secured a non-mol order - in what circumstances could a solicitor or myself advise another solicitor - about the order to prevent a breach of it.
Accepting the general confidentiality of a order from the family court - in what circumstances can you disclose the essence of the order to prevent a breach?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
If the respondent's solicitors were representing him in relation to family matters then the non-molestation order should be disclosed to them. In any event, if there were a breach of the non-molestation order the enforcement and liability for arrest would be on the respondent and not his solicitors.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It not a question about liability - the question is - in what circumstances can someone disclose the nature of a non-molestation order to third parties in order to prevent a possible breach.
For example if a paper were to publish something which would represent a breach of a non-mol order - could I inform for example, that paper of the order in order to prevent a breach ( this is a hypothetical)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In this case - both sets of solicitors were informed - it is about third party confidences - can you take someone into the confidence of a court order in order to prevent them unwittingly breaking it - the question is not about liability but can I or indeed the other sides solicitor, inform a third party of the essence of a court order which under normal circumstances should be confidential ( proceeding in family court general are confidential ) to prevent a possible breach?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
They cannot be disclosed to third parties such as newspapers without a direction from the court.
The non-molestation order is only to be disclosed to the respondent (or respondents), their legal representatives and the police. For disclosure to any third parties there has to be a specific direction made by the court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any exceptions to this - in order to prevent a breach? for example could the respondent's solicitor contact a newspaper's solicitor and explain that there are orders in place in a certain division of the courts which cannot be disclosed which gives a hint but does not disclose the matter -
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
No, unless there is a specific direction from the court for it to be disclosed, or for the contents to be disclosed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
and is there any obligation on either solicitors as officers of the court to inform the court of concerns about an imminent breach?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
No, if a breach takes place it is a criminal matter and the police need to be informed. If a breach is expected then the Respondent/his solicitors need to be reminded of the order
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
final question - in the event of a breach should you inform the court about a possible contempt and is it up to the Judge to prosecute the contempt or do I have to?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
If a breach has occurred it will be a criminal offence for the police to deal with and prosecute, so no application for contempt is required.