Barring Order: what is it and how do I get one?

Question: I am married to a man who is physically violent with me at times and I do not feel safe in my home. I have been told I should get a Barring Order. What does that entail?

Answer: A Barring Order is a Court Order which requires the person to leave the family home. To get a Barring Order, you must attend before the Judge of the District Court for the hearing of your case and the Respondent (in this case your husband) has also the right to be in attendance. It is a very strong Order, and because of that, the Court when considering the Application must be of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the safety or welfare of the person (in this case being you) requires the making of the Order.
A Barring Order, if granted can last for up to three years, or such shorter period as the Court may specify. All Family Law matters including Applications for Barring Orders are heard in private. The Order, if made by the Court prohibits the person it is made against from:

  • using or threatening to use violence against the Applicant or any dependent person;
  • molesting or putting in fear the Applicant or any dependent person;
  • attending at or in the vicinity of, or watching or besetting a place where the applicant or any dependent person resides.

In some cases, the Court can make an Interim Barring Order before the actual hearing of the case. The criteria here, is that there is an immediate risk of significant harm to you if the Order is not made immediately and that the granting of a Protection Order, (which would be the Order that would be granted by the Court between your first attendance there and the actual hearing) is not sufficient to protect you.
Whilst waiting for your case to be heard before the Court, the Court can grant a Protection Order. A Protection Order can be made ex parte and this means, that you alone will be attending the Court and giving evidence to the Court that you are living in fear and you require a Barring Order but in the meanwhile, the Judge would grant your Protection Order to protect you between that date and the date of the hearing for the Barring Order.
You can make an Application for a Protection Order which will be accompanied by your Application for a Barring Order through the District Court Office or your own Solicitor.