What is a barring order?

Simply put, a barring order is an order issued by the court requiring an abusive or violent individual to leave the family home or place of residence.

In addition to removing this person from the home, a barring order will also prohibit them from:

  • Committing further violence or threats of violence
  • Watching or being near the family home/place of residence
  • Following or communicating with you or a dependent person, such as a child.

Who can apply for a barring order?

Those eligible to apply for a barring order include spouses, civil partners, and co-inhabitants (i.e., a couple that is living together). Parents are also eligible to apply for a barring order against their children once the abusive or violent child is non-dependent.

How can I apply for a barring order?

In order to apply for a barring order, you must bring your case before the Judge of the District Court for a hearing.

Upon visiting the district court in the first instance, the office staff will provide you with the relevant forms needed to make your application. This is the initial application that you will be required to fill out and submit prior to a full court hearing of the case. It is at this point that you should note any evidence that you may wish to provide at the full hearing, including medical reports or statements you gave to the Gardaí.

Once these have been filled out and submitted, the court clerk will arrange a court date for a hearing of the case, which both the applicant and the respondent are entitled to attend.

What happens after I apply?

While waiting for the hearing of the case, an interim barring order, also known as a protection order, can be made in the meantime if there is a significant risk likely to take place during this waiting period.  This interim barring order is effective immediately and prohibits the same behaviour as a barring order.

On the date that the actual case is due to be heard, the court will consider a list of factors when determining whether to grant a barring order, including but not limited to:

  • Any history of violence by the respondent towards the applicant and/or other dependent family members within the home.
  • An increase in levels of violence towards such persons.
  • Exposure of children to violence or molestation, either against them themselves or towards the respondent.
  • Visible substance abuse taking place within the home.

If the court has made the decision to grant the order, a written document is then produced which is called an ‘order’ and sent to the respondent by post. The Gardaí will also be notified by the court office of the granting of the order, a copy of which will be sent to the local Garda station by post.

A barring order can last up to 3 years, and is punishable by a class B fine, a prison term of up to 12 months, or both, if broken by the respondent.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*