Yesterday, the President of the Family Division Sir James
Munby released Practice Guidance relating to the duration of ex parte (without
notice) orders: Practice Guidance: Family
Court – Duration of Ex Parte (Without Notice) Orders.
The guidance confirms that there must be a fixed end date to
such orders and that the practice of granting any ex parte injunctive order in
the Family Court or in the Family Division for an unlimited time must
stop. The Practice Guidance can be found
The guidance examines the relevant case-law and sets out
certain principles that must be complied with.
An ex parte (without notice) injunctive order
must never be made without limit of time and there must be a fixed end date.
The order must not merely specify a return day
but must say in clear terms precisely when it expires.
duration of the order should not normally exceed 14 days.
order must also specify the date, time and place of the hearing on the return
day. It is usually convenient for this date to coincide with the expiry date of
The order must contain a statement of the right
to make an application to set aside or vary the order under FPR 2010 rule
the respondent does apply to set aside or vary the order the court must list it
as a matter of urgency.
To ensure compliance with the above principles the Practice
Guidance suggests an appropriate form of order to be used.