FOCUS ON ... the protection order

We are inaugurating a new series of articles, entitled FOCUS.

These are short, non-technical articles, aimed at highlighting and explaining procedures and legal facts, for the benefit of the greatest number of people. We hope that you will enjoy this series and you can find it using the "category" tool in the margin of the page.
Today's focus is on: the protection order

Created by law n°2010-769 of 9 July 20101 , the protection order is issued by the family court judge.
It enables the victim of domestic violence (whether or not they are a married couple) to obtain, as a matter of urgency, a judicial protection order for themselves and their children and measures relating to the exercise of parental authority and the allocation of the couple's housing.
The judge may be seized by the party making the request, possibly assisted by a lawyer, or directly by the public prosecutor with the victim's consent.
The defendant is then summoned to the hearing at which separate hearings may be held.

The family court may order various measures, for a maximum period of six months, renewable, as listed in article 515-11 of the Civil Code:

(1) prohibit the defendant from receiving or meeting with certain persons specially designated by the family court, or from having any contact with them in any way whatsoever

1° bis Prohibit the defendant from going to certain places specially designated by the family court in which the plaintiff is habitually located

(2) prohibit the defendant from possessing or carrying aweapon and, where appropriate, order him to hand over to the police or gendarmerie service designated by him the weapons in his possession with a view to depositing them at the registry; where the protection order prescribes the measure provided for in paragraph (1), the decision not to prohibit the possession or carrying of a weapon shall be specially motivated

2° bisTo propose to the defendant a health, social or psychological care or a training course to make him/her responsible for the prevention and the fight against domestic and gender-based violence. If the defendant refuses, the family court shall immediately notify the public prosecutor of this refusal.

3° Torule on the separate residence of the spouses. At the request of the spouse who is not the perpetrator of the violence, the enjoyment of the conjugal dwelling is granted to him or her, except in special circumstances, upon a specially motivated order, and even if he or she has benefited from emergency accommodation. In this case, the violent spouse may be required to pay the related costs.

4° To decide on the common housing of partners bound by a civil solidarity pact or of cohabitants. At the request of the partner bound by a civil solidarity pact or of the cohabitee who is not the perpetrator of the violence, the use of the common dwelling shall be granted to him, except in special circumstances, upon a specially motivated order, and even if he has benefited from emergency accommodation. In this case, the violent partner or cohabitee may be required to pay the related costs.

5° To decide on the modalities of exercising parental authority and, within the meaning of Article 373-2-9, on the modalities of visiting and accommodation rights, as well as, where applicable, on the contribution to the expenses of the marriage for married couples, on material assistance within the meaning of Article 515-4 for partners in a civil solidarity pact and on the contribution to the maintenance and education of children; Where the protection order enacts the measure provided for in paragraph 1 of this article, the decision not to order the exercise of visiting rights in a designated meeting place or in the presence of a trusted third party shall be specially motivated

Allow the plaintiff to conceal his domicile or residence and to elect domicile with the lawyer who assists or represents him or with the public prosecutor at the First Instance Court for all civil proceedings in which he is also a party. If, for the purposes of the enforcement of a court decision, the bailiff in charge of enforcement must be aware of the address of the person concerned, it shall be communicated to him, without his being able to reveal it to his principal.

6° bis Authorize the plaintiff to conceal his domicile or residence and to elect domicile for the needs of everyday life with a qualified legal person

7° Pronounce the provisional admission to legal aid of the claimant in application of the first paragraph of Article 20 of Law No. 91-647 of 10 July 1991 on legal aid.

The main aim is to organise the protection of the victim, and to organise his or her accompaniment, through referral to specialised associations.