Georgia McWilliam


DATE PUBLISHED: 19 Sep 2023 LAST UPDATED: 24 Jan 2024

Can I contest a Non-Molestation Order?

What is a Non-Molestation Order (‘NMO’)?

A NMO is a court order prohibiting a person (the respondent) from molesting another person who is associated with the respondent or a relevant child. Such orders are used to protect a party (the applicant) from any form of harassment, threats or violence. NMOs are frequently used in cases of domestic abuse.

A NMO can prohibit the respondent from communicating with the applicant and/or entering into the applicant’s home.

It is a criminal offence to breach a NMO.

Can I contest a NMO?

If you have been served with a NMO, it is important that you seek legal advice immediately, especially if the order has been made ‘without notice’ as a hearing will be listed shortly thereafter.

There are a few options available:

  1. Accept the NMO on a no admissions basis. This means that the order will remain in place for a set period of time (usually 6 months to a year), with no findings of fact being made against you. This means that you are letting the Judge know that you do not accept the allegations made against you but that you agree to accept the terms of the order.
  2. Provide an undertaking. An undertaking is an official promise to the Court. Undertakings are a legally binding promise and if breached, can carry consequences. A breach of an undertaking can be punished as contempt of court with a fine or imprisonment. The difference is that an undertaking does not have a power of arrest.
  3. Contest the NMO. You can contest the NMO and the Court will list a final hearing. Until a final hearing has been listed the order will remain in place. Therefore, it is important that you abide by its terms. If you are successful, the order will be discharged. However, if you are unsuccessful, there could be effects on any other legal proceedings regarding your children and/or finances.

If you receive a NMO, then you should seek legal advice as soon as possible to discuss your options.

If you require advice or assistance in relation to a NMO, then please contact our Family Team on 01202 525333 or email

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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