Devjee v Patel: CA 18 Aug 2006

The appellant challenged findings that he had broken a non-molestation order. He said that the order had been obtained by means whch were procedurally defective. The original order had been made without notice, and with a power of arrest attached. He had later been arrested for contempt and had sought legal representation, but without success, sought an adlournment which was refused.
Held: The judge had been correct to proceed even though the applicant had not been able to arrange legal representation. He had a discretion, and had balanced also the interests of the complainant, and ‘whilst in relation to matters relating to the liberty of the subject procedure is important, the importance of procedure is to ensure that a person who is charged with contempt has a full knowledge of the allegations made against him or her and the opportunity to address them. The fact that there may not be the relevant piece of paper or that the precise procedure had not been followed does not mean that the procedure is unfair to the contender.’ The judge had been entitled to go ahead as he did, and to impose the sentence he did.
Keens LJ, Wall LJ
[2006] EWCA Civ 1211
Family Law Act 1996 Part 4
England and Wales
CitedCambridgeshire County Council v D CA 26-Oct-1998
When sentencing for breach of injunction, amounting to contempt, the court should sentence for the circumstances of the breach only, and not seek to punish for the circumstances leading to the injunction upon which it had been based. . .
CitedHale v Tanner CA 22-Aug-2000
When attaching a power of arrest on a non-molestation order the court should consider attaching it only to that element which restricts violence or proximity rather than to any part relating to harassment. When considering sentence for a breach, the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 May 2021; Ref: scu.244760