This blog post explains what a Section 91(14) order is, the circumstances in which it may be appropriate for such an order to be made and to consider whether or not a Section 91(14) applies to your case.
If made, a S91(14) order means that an individual will be unable to make a further court application in respect of a child(ren) without first obtaining permission from the court. In practice this means that you should have no knowledge of the application until it has first been considered by the court.
Only once the judge is satisfied that the relevant conditions discussed below are met, and that permission should be given for the application to be made, you will, as the respondent, receive notice of the application. The S91(14) will effectively ‘shield’ the other party from unwarranted court applications.
When can a Section 91(14) be made?
A S91(14) order can be made by a judge when considering an application in respect of a child(ren). The judge can make a S91(14) within Children Act proceedings, even if such an order has not been applied for.
To make a S91(14) order the judge must be satisfied that if an individual was to make a further application to the court, the making of such an application would put the child concerned, or another individual, at risk of harm. For example, making repeated applications with the intention to harass, exert control or criticise the other individual could cause distress and emotional harm. This may also put the child(ren) at risk of harm if the respondent is their primary carer.
It is in the judge’s discretion whether they decide to make such an order and the child(ren)’s welfare shall be the court’s paramount consideration.
Who can apply for a Section 91(14) order?
An application for a S91(14) order can be made by the respondent to the application(s), by (or on behalf of) the child(ren) involved or by any other person who is party to the proceedings. An S91(14) may also be imposed by the court on its own motion, without anyone having applied for such an order.
When would permission to apply for a further order be granted?
If a S91(14) exists against a party who wishes to make another court application, the judge may allow that individual to do so if there has been a material change in circumstances since the S91(14) order was originally imposed.
Parenting after separation can be difficult and, unfortunately, sometimes the court process can be misused by applicants. If you believe that a S91(14) may be of benefit to you and/or your child(ren), you can reach out to a specialist children lawyer who will be able to assist.
Need some advice? Get in touch today