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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
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My nephew has had a major argument with the mother of his baby

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My nephew has had a major argument with the mother of his baby who he lived with. He left the premises, did not touch her, and she will not let him return. He is in B&B accomodation with no money or belongings.

He has been told by his ex partner's mother that a restraining order is being/has been served and he must have no contact with his former partner or the baby and that this applies to all his relatives as well.

He wants to end the relationship with the woman but wants to have future contact with the child.

He has a criminal record some years ago for being involved in a violent incident in a club which probably doesn't help matters.

How should he proceed? Should his views have been sought? Can he see what has been accused of and how does he do this? Is there any point appealing the order?


Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Have there been any reports to the police?

is this just a young lady who gets restraining orders out all the time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He doesn't know if they have referred to the police. Should he contact them?


The young lady has a previous history of a failed relationship which was violent. I don't know how many restraining orders she has had in the past. She is vindictive and uses facebook accordingly. When arguments have occur she resorts to you will never see the baby again routine.



No, do nothing.

Except, of course, impress upon him the importance of finding sensible girlfriends who don't have a background of making allegations of abuse. We all have rows. We don't all get the police involved and make a song and dance about it.

Has he ever been contacted by the police about her nonsense?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No the police have not asked him about any thing that has occurred between them but they won't know his address as he is in B&B


He does want to be able to see the baby again. Also he would like to recover his belongings. How does he ensure that he can?

Thank you.

If the facts are as you say then it is very unlikely that she will be able to get a non-molestation order against him. She's never made any complaints to the police that he knows of and he probably would if she had. She might well try to apply. Unfortunately women like her tend to do so. But there are no grounds.

If she makes an ex parte application and lies then it is possible she could get an interim order. It certainly wouldn't be the 1st time that one had been obtained by those means. If that does happen then there will be dates set down for consideration of the full order that he should attendance.

There are no grounds here for a restraining order as there is no allegation of harassment and anyway she means an injunction order. The anyway she could get that is to lie which, of course she may do.

In terms of contracts with the baby, that's got nothing to do with these ridiculous threats. That is just a normal family law matter. I'm not a family lawyer but he will get a contact order. She probably will try to frustrate it by making lots of wildly exaggerated allegations but they will fail.

In terms of getting his goods, it has 4 options.

The 1st is to just write them off. Unless he has anything really valuable there or something unique like his passport or driving licence, this property is in a bad idea. I know that it's an appealing that's it's a lot safer than the other options.

The 2nd option is to book an appointment with a police officer to attend with him to prevent a breach of the peace. That sounds like a wonderful idea but it does have limitations. The 1st problem is that he will have to sit for hours in the front office of the police station waiting for an officer to become available because they will all be out mediating domestic squabbles like this nonsense. The 2nd is that even if an officer does attend within, the officer has no powers of enforcement. All an officer can do is act as a witness to prevent allegations. Of course, the practical reality is that when uniformed officers turn up on a person's doorstep the occupier tends not to resist the other persons wish to collect goods but the young ladies like her tends to be quite well aware of their rights which is very interesting because they tend to be blissfully ignorant of their responsibilities.

The 3rd is to sue at the Small Claims Court for the exact value of the goods that are left there. This is surprisingly effective because often the goods are returns.

The 4th option is to seek a mandatory injunction order forcing the hands back anything that is there. It's not a good idea. It's very expensive and she will only deny that he left anything.

He's absolutely right to end this relationship. He should not be putting up with this nonsense. It is just as abusive to call the police every time you can't have what you want as it is to be violent.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much for your advice. One last query - when the contact order gets considered as he has virtually no money will he receive legal aid to help with getting a solicitor?


No but he doesn't need one.

People make these applications unrepresented all the time and he will be fine.

She won't get legal aid either unless she makes allegations of domestic violence which, no doubt, she will probably do.

The trick is to find girlfriends who don't seek out opportunities to be a victim all over the place. Plenty of sensible women about. Look for the ones that haven't had social workers, and haven't had previous abusive relationships and do have a job.
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