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Contents of Emergency or ex parte Orders for Protection

  • The emergency or ex parte order should restrain the violent offender from causing further violence to the survivor, her relatives or other relevant persons.
  • The emergency or ex parte order should provide that the police or courts may order the violent offender and his relatives, if necessary, to stay away from the complainant/survivor, her children and her parents (and other people if appropriate) and the places that they frequent.
  • The emergency or ex parte order should prohibit the violent offender from contacting the survivor and her parents or from arranging for a third party, including his relatives, to do so.
  • The emergency or ex parte order should require the violent offender to vacate the family home, without ruling on the ownership of property, and to provide the survivor with the use of a means of transportation, financial assistance, counseling, shelter fees, mortgage, rent, insurance, alimony and child support.
  • The order should prohibit the violent offender from alienating or disposing of dowry and any assets and property enjoyed, used or held by the offender and/or the survivor.
  • The emergency or ex parte order should prohibit the husband and his relatives from making any explicit or implicit dowry demands of the survivor or her parents.
  • The emergency or ex parte order should prohibit the violent offender and his relatives, if necessary, from purchasing, using or possessing a firearm, acid or any such weapon specified by the court.
  • Legislation should provide that emergency or ex parte orders for protection may be issued in both criminal and civil proceedings.
  • The UN Model Framework, IV, includes these specific provisions for emergency or ex parte orders for protection:

29. The ex parte temporary restraining order may:

(i) Compel the offender to vacate the family home;

(ii) Regulate the offender's access to dependent children;

(iii) Restrain the offender from contacting the victim at work or other places frequented by the victim;

(iv) Compel the offender to pay the victim's medical bills;

(v) Restrict the unilateral disposal of joint assets;

(vi) Inform the victim and the offender that if the offender violates the restraining order, he may be arrested and criminal charges brought against him;

(vii) Inform the victim that, notwithstanding the use of a restraining order under domestic violence legislation, she can request the prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against the offender;

(viii) Inform the victim that, notwithstanding the use of a restraining order under domestic violence legislation and application for criminal prosecution, she can initiate a civil process and sue for divorce, separation, damages or compensation…

32. Non-compliance with an ex parte restraining order shall result in prosecution for contempt of court proceedings, a fine and imprisonment.

Example: India’s domestic violence law authorizes the magistrate to issue a protection order that also prohibits the perpetrator from “alienating any assets, operating bank lockers or bank accounts used or held or enjoyed by both the parties, jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent or singly by the respondent, including her stridhan or any other property held either jointly by the parties or separately by them without the leave of the Magistrate” (Article 18(e)).