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Interdicts in Scotland

If your relationship with your ex-spouse or partner, or any other person, has become a nuisance or has turned abusive, there are legal steps you can take to help protect yourself.  In such circumstances, especially if you are being harassed by your partner following a difficult break-up, the Sheriff Court may award an Interdict to prevent them from carrying out specific actions or from coming to a specific place. This could prevent them from coming to your home, approaching you against your will, or treating you in an abusive way. 

Frequently asked questions

The following are some of our most frequently asked questions when it comes to Interdicts.

An Interdict is an order made by your local Sheriff Court to prevent another individual from carrying out particular acts or actions, or from entering a particular location, if it causes fear, alarm or distress to you. 

If a person has behaved in a violent or aggressove way towards you, or assaulted you and the police have charged them, you may be protected if bail conditions were placed on them. These acts could, for example, include assaulting you or behaving in a violent or aggressive way towards you. The court might also make an order preventing that person from approaching you in the street against your will, coming to your home or contacting  you by any means including telephone calls, text messages and social media.

In addition to an order for Interdict, the court can also attach a ‘Power of Arrest’ to any order made by them. This basically means that if the person breaches the terms of the Interdict, they can be arrested and potentially face criminal charges or be taken to court to answer to the Sheriff for the breach committed. For example, if the court granted an Interdict preventing your spouse from coming to the matrimonial home and they were then found at the property in violation of the order, the police could arrest them immediately.

To get an Interdict an action has to be raised in your local Sheriff Court.  This is a complicated process. A Solicitor can help you with the application.   

The court action or writ will explain the background of your case.  That document would include details about your relationship with the individual concerned, their behaviour which justifies an Interdict and why you believe that they will continue to behave in this way. To obtain an Interdict there has to be a course of conduct by the individual concerned that would justify the granting of the Interdict and that conduct has to be detailed in the court action. 

If you feel that you are in imminent danger from any person, the Sheriff Court may be willing to grant you an Interim Interdict while the formalities of the court case for the Interdict are ongoing.

An Interim Interdict is a temporary Interdict Order granted by the Sheriff Court which would remain in place while the full substantive case is awaiting being heard. This would protect you in the interim period should the individual intend to defend the court action. 

How can Thorntons help?

If you or someone you know if suffering from abuse or harassment, speak to a Solicitor about the legal options available to give protection, including an Interdict. Our Family Lawyers can guide you through the application process for an Interdict and help you deal with any breach of the order or application by your ex to change the order.

At Thorntons Family Law, we offer an initial free no-obligation chat over the phone to outline your options and the possible costs.

Depending on your case and circumstances, the next step is to come into one of our local offices to meet a Family Law Solicitor about your case and the way forward.

Call us on 03330 430 150 for a chat or contact us to book an appointment.

How much will it cost?

We are always clear to clients about the potential costs of any option and offer a range of payment options. In some cases we can offer clients a fixed price package.  If we cannot offer a fixed price service, we charge based on the time we spend on your case, including meetings, emails, phone calls and court representations. Depending on your case and circumstances, you may also need to cover outlays, such as court costs or payments to independent experts. We will set out our fees and likely extra costs for you at the start and keep you informed of any possible changes as your case progresses.

Please note we do not offer Legal Aid for this service.