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Court Services & Facilities > Guide to Court Services > Family Court > How to Apply for Injunctions Under the Domestic and Cohabitation Relationships Violence Ordinance (Cap 189)

How to Apply for Injunctions Under the Domestic and Cohabitation Relationships Violence Ordinance (Cap 189) pdf version (846 KB)

Who may apply under the Domestic and Cohabitation Relationships Violence Ordinance?

  1. (i) If you are a person who has been molested by your spouse or former spouse, who is of opposite sex (“spouse/ former spouse”);
  2. (ii) If you are a person who has been molested by your partner or former partner in a cohabitation relationship, (“partner/ former partner”);
  3. (iii) If you are a person who has been molested by a relative (“relative”) as hereinafter defined;
  4. (iv) If a minor (whether a natural child, adoptive child or step-child of yours or of your spouse/ former spouse/ partner/ former partner) or any minor living with you, who is under the age of 18 years (“the Specified Minor”) and has been molested by your spouse/ former spouse/ partner/ former partner,

you may make an application to the Family Court for an injunction against your spouse/ former spouse/ partner/ former partner/ relative (hereinafter called “the Other Party”).

You may make such an application, with or without any other Matrimonial Proceedings or Family Proceedings being issued or having been issued.

If you wish to make an application for injunction and you yourself are a minor, you will have to make the application by a “Next Friend”, who must act by a solicitor, unless the Official Solicitor is acting as the Next Friend. In such a case, you are advised to contact either a solicitor or the Official Solicitor as soon as practicable.

Who is a “relative”?

“Relative” means:

  1. (a) the applicant's father, mother, grandfather or grandmother (whether natural or adoptive);
  2. (b) the applicant's step-father, step-mother, step-grandfather or step-grandmother;
  3. (c) the applicant's father-in-law or mother-in-law who is the natural parent, adoptive parent or step-parent of the applicant’s spouse;
  4. (d) the applicant's grandfather-in-law or grandmother-in-law who is the natural grandparent, adoptive grandparent or step-grandparent of the applicant’s spouse;
  5. (e) the applicant’s son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter (whether natural or adoptive);
  6. (f) the applicant's step-son, step-daughter, step-grandson or step-granddaughter;
  7. (g) the applicant's son-in-law or daughter-in-law who is the spouse of the applicant’ natural child, adoptive child or step-child;
  8. (h) the applicant's grandson-in-law or granddaughter-in-law who is the spouse of the applicant’ natural grandchild, adoptive grandchild or step-grandchild;
  9. (i) the applicant's brother or sister (whether of full or half blood or by virtue of adoption);
  10. (j) the brother or sister (whether of full or half blood or by virtue of adoption) of the applicant’s spouse;
  11. (k) the applicant's step-brother or step-sister;
  12. (l) the step-brother or step-sister of the applicant’s spouse;
  13. (m) the applicant's uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or cousin (whether of full or half blood or by virtue of adoption);
  14. (n) the uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or cousin (whether of full or half blood or by virtue of adoption) of the applicant's spouse; or
  15. (o) the spouse of any person mentioned in paragraph (i), (j), (k), (l), (m) or (n).

What are the Remedies?

Non-molestation Order

If the Court is satisfied that the Other Party has molested you and/ or the Specified Minor, the Court may grant an injunction containing any or all of the followings:

(a) a provision restraining the Other Party from molesting you;

(b) a provision restraining the Other Party from molesting the Specified Minor;

Ouster Order

(c) (i) where you have been molested by the Other Party, a provision prohibiting the Other Party from entering or remaining in:

  1. (A) your residence;
  2. (B) a specified part of your residence; or
  3. (C) a specified area whether or not your residence is in that area,
  4. whether or not the residence is the common residence or matrimonial home of you and the Other Party;

(ii) where the Specified Minor has been molested by the Other Party, a provision prohibiting the Other Party from entering or remaining in:

  1. (A) the residence of the Specified Minor;
  2. (B) a specified part of the Specified Minor’s residence; or
  3. (C) a specified area whether or not the residence of the Specified Minor is in that area,

whether or not the residence is the common residence of the Specified Minor and the Other Party.

Re-entry Order

(d) a provision requiring the Other Party:

  1. (i) where you reside with the Other Party, to permit you to enter and remain in the common residence or matrimonial home of you and the Other Party or a specified part of such common residence or matrimonial home;
  2. (ii) where the Specified Minor resides with the Other Party, to permit the Specified Minor to enter and remain in the common residence of the Specified Minor and the Other Party or in a specified part of such common residence.

Orders in (a) and (b) above are commonly called “Non-molestation Orders”, and orders in (c) and (d) are commonly called respectively “Ouster Orders” and “Re-entry Orders”.

Examples of “a specified part” of the residence/ common residence/ matrimonial home referred to in (c)(i)(B)/ (c)(ii)(B)/ (d)(i)/ (d)(ii) above could be, say, a bedroom.

Examples of “a specified area” referred to in (c)(i)(C)/ (c)(ii)(C) above could be the lobby of the building where you/ the Specified Minor live, or the estate where the building is situated, or a work place, or a school.

Participation in Programme Order

In the event that the Court grants you a Non-molestation Order, you may seek an order that the Other Party to participate in a programme, approved by and as arranged by the Director of Social Welfare, that is aimed at changing the attitude and behaviour that lead to the granting of such injunction.

Variation/ Suspension of Custody/ Access Order

If the Court grants you an injunction containing an Ouster Order that concerns the Specified Minor, and at the time when the Court determines your application, there is in force an order which grants custody of the Specified Minor to the Other Party or an order that allows the Other Party to have access to the Specified Minor, you may apply for such order to be varied or suspended in such manner as the Court considers necessary.

In considering such variation/ suspension of an existing Custody/ Access Order, the Court shall regard the welfare of the minor as the first and paramount consideration; and in having such regard, give due consideration to:

  1. (i) the wishes of the Specified Minor if, having regard to the age and understanding of the Specified Minor and to the circumstances of the case, it is practicable to do so; and
  2. (ii) any material information, including any report of the Director of Social Welfare available to the Court at the hearing.

Such variation/ suspension shall cease to have effect upon the expiry of the validity period of the injunction.

What are the application procedures?

You have to attend personally at the Family Court Registry to file the injunction application. If there are other Matrimonial Proceedings or Family Proceedings which have been issued or to be issued at the same time, you should apply for the injunction by way of summons under those proceedings, unless the Other Party is not already a party to the existing proceedings, e.g. the existing proceedings concerns your spouse while this application for injunction concerns a relative. In all other cases, you may issue a fresh application by way of an originating summons.

Under normal circumstances, after issuing an inter-partes summons or an originating summons, such has to be served on the Other Party. Upon issue, a hearing date will be fixed which you have to attend.

In an urgent case, you may issue an ex-parte summons either with or without notice to the Other Party. Service on the Other Party is not required. Upon issue, the Family Court Registry can make arrangement for you to see a judge as soon as practicable.

You are required to file a supporting affirmation/ affidavit at the same time when issuing the summons.

You are also expected to present to the Judge a draft order containing the remedies you seek, and if you seek a variation/ suspension of any existing Custody/ Access Order, a copy of the Custody/ Access Order endorsed with the particulars of the variation will need to be attached to the injunction.

If the initial injunction has been obtained by way of an ex-parte summons (with or without notice) to the Other Party, you have to issue an inter-partes summons shortly thereafter. This needs to be served on the Other Party together with the injunction. There will be a return date for both you and the Other Party to appear before the Court and the Court will then decide whether the ex-parte injunction should continue.

What information is required for a "Non-molestation Order"

In support of the application for a Non-molestation Order, you must in your supporting affirmation/ affidavit provide all the details of the molestation and relevant information.

If there are any photographs, medical/ hospital reports or other documentary evidence in support of your allegations, you should attach them to your affirmation/ affidavit.

What information is required for an "Ouster Order" or a "Re-entry Order"

Where the Other Party is a spouse/former spouse/partner/former partner in a cohabitation relationship

In the supporting affirmation/ affidavit of an application for an Ouster/ Re-entry Order against the Other Party who is one of the above, again you must provide all the details of the molestation, and all relevant information, including sufficient details to enable the Court to consider:

  1. (i) the conduct of the parties, both in relation to each other and otherwise;
  2. (ii) the parties' respective needs and financial resources;
  3. (iii) the needs of the Specified Minor; and
  4. (iv) all the circumstances of the case.

It is further common for the details in the affirmation/ affidavit to include:

  • evidence of the ownership and occupation of the common residence/ matrimonial home
  • reasons why it is not practical for the parties to remain living in the same place
  • whether any alternative accommodation is available to you, the Specified Minor, or the Other Party

In case you wish the Court to grant an Ouster/ Re-entry Order in the above case, you have to satisfy the Court that having regard to the permanence of your relationship with the Other Party it is appropriate in all the circumstances to grant that injunction. You will have to include in your supporting affirmation/ affidavit details and/ or evidence of such relationship.

Where the Other Party is a relative

For applications for Ouster/ Re-entry Orders against the Other Party who is a relative, you will need to provide in your affirmation/ affidavit the following details:

  • (where you reside with the Other Party) who has

    1. (i) the legal or beneficial interest in; or
    2. (ii) the contractual or legal right to occupy,

      the common residence of you and the Other Party

  • (where you reside with the Other Party) the impact of the injunction on the relationship between you, the Other Party and your other family members who reside with you and the Other Party
  • the conduct of the parties, both in relation to each other and otherwise
  • the respective needs and financial resources of the parties
  • all the circumstances of the case

Normally, in an application for an Ouster/ Re-entry Order, you should give notice to the Other Party unless it is impractical or dangerous to do so. In exceptional circumstances, if on a balance of probability, there is a risk of harm to you or the Specified Minor if an order is not made immediately, the Court may grant an Ouster/ Re-entry Order on an ex-parte summons without notice to the Other Party. Such order, if granted, may be for a very short duration i.e. perhaps only for one or two days.

An Ouster/ Re-entry Order shall have effect for a period, not exceeding 24 months, as the Court considers appropriate.

The Court may, on an application, extend the validity period of an injunction which contains an Ouster/ Re-entry Order, but only during the validity period of the injunction concerned, and such validity period may not be extended beyond the second anniversary of the date on which the injunction was granted.

What information do you need to provide if you wish to apply for variation/ suspension of an existing Custody/ Access Order?

You will need to provide a copy of the Custody/ Access Order, and set out the terms you wish to vary/ suspend, and provide reasons for such variation/ suspension.

What is an "Authorization of Arrest"?

Where the Court grants an injunction which contains:

  1. (i) a provision restraining a person from using violence against another person ("protected person"); or
  2. (ii) an Ouster Order,
  1. (a) if the Court is satisfied that the Other Party has caused actual bodily harm to the protected person; or
  2. (b) if the Court reasonably believes that the Other Party will likely cause actual bodily harm to the protected person,

the Court may attach to the injunction an "Authorization of Arrest".

An Authorization of Arrest attached to an injunction shall have effect for a period, not exceeding 24 months, as the Court considers appropriate; and expire upon the expiry of the validity period of the injunction.

The Court may, on an application, extend the validity period of an Authorization of Arrest but only during the validity period of the injunction. The validity period of any injunction or an Authorization of Arrest may not be extended beyond the second anniversary of the date on which the injunction was granted.

If the Court grants an injunction, and attaches the order with an Authorization of Arrest, this will empower a police officer to arrest a person whom the police officer reasonably suspects of being in breach of the injunction, without a warrant of arrest. This may be because of that person's use of violence or, as the case may be, his/ her entry into any premises or area specified in the injunction. The police officer shall have all the necessary powers including the power of entry by the use of reasonable force to effect that arrest.

If you wish the Court to attach an Authorization of Arrest to the injunction, you should include in your supporting affirmation/ affidavit such evidence of any actual bodily harm caused to you by the Other Party e.g. medical/ hospital reports/ photographs evidencing the injuries, police reports etc. or if there has not been any actual bodily harm, then you should set out the reasons why you believe that the Other Party will likely cause actual bodily harm to you.

In the case you wish the Court to attach an Authorization of Arrest to an injunction against the Other Party, you have to satisfy the Court that having regard to the permanence of your relationship with the Other Party it is appropriate in all the circumstances to attach that Authorization of Arrest. You will have to include in your supporting affirmation/ affidavit details and/ or evidence of such relationship.

How do you effect service of the Injunction?

If the injunction is granted, you are required to serve it on the Other Party personally, unless otherwise directed.

You may request the Court Bailiff to serve the injunction and any related documents on your behalf.

A copy of any Authorization of Arrest or order relating to such Authorization of Arrest shall be served on the Commissioner of Police by:

  1. (i) the Registrar of the High Court; or
  2. (ii) the solicitor of the party on whose application the Authorization of Arrest or order is granted.

When a person is arrested under the Authorization of Arrest, he shall be brought before the Family Court before the expiry of the day after the day of his arrest.

Where can you obtain Legal Advice?

You will find it helpful to seek legal advice before making the application. In seeking legal advice, you may wish to take advantage of the Legal Aid Scheme administered by the Legal Aid Department (Tel: 2537 7677). For details, please refer to the "How to Apply for Legal Aid in Civil Cases" leaflet which is available at all Courts, Legal Aid Department office and Public Enquiry Service Centre at District Office.

Please note that while the staff of the Family Court Registry will seek to give you every assistance relating to the application procedures, they are not lawyers and they are not permitted to offer legal advice or to fill in the required forms for you.

What are the Forms to fill in?

To apply for an injunction, you need to fill in:

  • an inter-partes originating summons, where there are no other pending Matrimonial/ Family Proceedings or your application is against a relative who is not already a party to any existing proceedings
  • an inter-partes summons, where there are pending Matrimonial/ Family Proceedings
  • an ex-parte summons (whether there are any pending proceedings or not), but only in case of an urgent application, e.g. if there is an imminent risk of harm
  • a supporting affirmation/ affidavit
  • a draft order containing the remedies you seek
  • after personal service has been effected, an affirmation/ affidavit of personal service to be filed by the server

The above forms are available at the Family Court Registry and you may fill in the form in Chinese or in English. When you have completed them, please present them to the Family Court Registry for filing.

What are the Fees payble?

The filing fee for an originating summons/ ex-parte summons is HK$630.

The filing fee for an inter-partes summons is HK$630.

The filing fee for an ex-parte summons/ inter-partes summons is HK$630.

If you wish the Court Bailiff to serve any documents on the Other Party, the fee for service of each document is HK$72.

How to contact us

Business Hours

Mondays to Fridays 8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

(Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)

Duty Judge

Each week, there will be a Judge on duty to deal with urgent applications.