M50 Barrier Free Tolling
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The Domestic Violence Act, 1996 came into operation to deal with instances of domestic violence. The preamble of this Act states that it aims to protect spouses and children and other dependent persons, and persons in other domestic relationships where their safety or welfare is at risk because of the conduct of the other person in the domestic relationship. It also aims to increase the power of the Garda Siochana to arrest without warrant in certain circumstances and finally to provide for hearing at the same time of an application to court for other Orders regarding custody and access, maintenance, conduct leading to loss of the family home.
Section 3 of the 1996 Act deals with Barring Orders. A barring order is an Order directing a dangerous party to a relationship, if he or she resides with the fearful party in the relationship to leave such residence, and prohibit that dangerous party from entering that residence until the court directs otherwise. In appropriate circumstances, the court may also, pursuant to subsection (3), prohibit that dangerous party from using or threatening to use violence against the fearful party, from molesting or scaring that fearful party or indeed any dependant person, and finally from attending at or in the area of, or watching or besetting the fearful party or dependent person’s home.
It is important to note that before a Court will grant a Barring Order, it must have reasonable grounds to believe that the safety/wellbeing of the fearful party or any dependant person requires that such Order is made. The Order can last for up to three years and it may be subject to various conditions as the court sees fit in the circumstances.
(a) A Health Board on behalf of an entitled person who maybe an adult or a dependent person.
(b) Spouse and former spouses, including divorced spouses;
(c) Co-habitants who had lived as husband and wife for a total of six months out of the previous nine months.
(d) A parent of the dangerous party and that party is not a dependent person.
Section 2 of the 1996 Act deals with Safety Orders. The main difference between a Safety Order and a Barring Order is that the Safety Order does not put the dangerous party out of the fearful party’s residence. A further difference is that a Safety Order can be made for up to five years. The main function of a Safety Order is to prohibit the dangerous party from using or threatening to use violence against the fearful party, molesting and scaring the fearful party or a dependent person, and finally if the dangerous party resides in a different place to the fearful party, the court forbids that dangerous party from watching or besetting the fearful party or dependent person’s home.
An important point to note is that a Safety Order cannot be granted in place of a Barring Order unless both remedies are sought at a Court Application. Therefore, if you apply to the Court for a Barring Order and it is refused, unless you have also applied for a Safety Order, the Court will not grant same.
(a) The Health Board on behalf of a person so entitled. This person may be an adult or a dependent person.
(c) Co-habitants as husband and wife for six out of the previous twelve months;
(d) The parent of the dangerous party and that party is not a dependent child;
(e) Persons of full age residing in non-contractual relations, for example, adult brother and sister residing in the same house.
In addition to granting Safety Orders and Barring Orders, the Court also has power to grant Interim Barring Orders and Protection Orders. An Interim Barring Order is an Order granted by the Court until the outcome of Barring Order proceedings. Such Interim Barring Orders are generally only granted in exceptional cases, for example where there is an immediate risk of considerable harm to the fearful person or dependent person.
The Protection Order does not put the dangerous party out of the family home but it does order that person not to use violence or threaten to use violence against, molest or scaring the fearful party or any dependent person. Also, if the parties do not reside together, that dangerous party is forbidden from watching or besetting the fearful party or dependent person’s home. It is important to note that a Protection Order only lasts until the outcome of Barring Order or Safety Order proceedings.
Orders under the 1996 Domestic Violence Act are enforced by the gardai and the gardai have Powers of Arrest under this Act. The gardai have a duty to investigate quickly all reports of domestic violence. The garda investigating an incident should provide the victim with a copy of the Domestic Violence information leaflet and make that victim aware of the relevant services in the area, for example, Victim Support Groups, Social Workers, women’s aids refugees, Legal Aid Board etc. The gardai have additional powers under this Act where they have Powers of Arrest where they have reasonable cause to believe that a person is being assaulted and that person is someone who could apply for a Safety or Barring Order.