FL401 Form: Non-Molestation Applications and Costs Recovery

 

 

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What is an FL401 Form?

An FL401 Form is used in family law cases to apply to the Court for a Non-Molestation Order to be made against a party. This type of injunction is used to protect a person or child from abuse or harassment and can prevent a person from coming into, or close to your home. If a party wishes to vary a Non-Molestation Order, they should submit an FL403 Form.

 

Recovery of costs for an Non-Molestation Application

Although a Court fee is not payable for this type of application, other costs may be incurred, such as solicitor fees and disbursements.

The general rule in family matters, is that each party bears their own costs and often in legal aided funded matters the appropriate order made will be a detailed assessment of the parties’ legally aided costs. In some cases; however, where there has been unreasonable conduct, an inter partes costs order may be granted by the Court.

This type of order states that one party will be required to pay the other party’s costs, or at least a portion of them. It is important for any privately funded or legal aid solicitor to take note of which costs are being paid from the Paying Party Defendant/Respondent, so that the remaining costs can be recovered from the Legal Aid Agency.

If an inter-partes costs order has been made, a Bill of Costs should be drafted. In contrast to a non-legal aid funded matter, hourly rates are not covered by the indemnity principle if the Receiving Party was legally aided. As a result, hourly rates can be charged in accordance with what is reasonable on the case as opposed to what is stated in the Guideline Hourly Rates document or in the Solicitors’ funding agreement.

Negotiations can then commence with the Defendant, as they can assess the Bill and respond by submitting their Points of Dispute. Replies can then be prepared in response to these points and if necessary, a detailed assessment hearing may need to be arranged if an agreement cannot be reached.

If the usual ‘no order as to costs’ principle applies and the only order for detailed assessment is for the parties’ legally aided costs, then the Solicitor will need to have their costs quantified, and it determined whether fixed fees apply, or an exceptional hourly rates claim can be made. This is then submitted to the LAA (usually via the CCMS Portal is the most cost and time effective matter of doing this) to be processed, and once submitted, costs usually take 2 – 3 weeks to be assessed.

 

How can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs can assist in all legal costs matters, including costs incurred in respect of FL401 form applications, irrespective of whether you are a legally aided party, or a Paying/Receiving party under an inter-partes costs order. If a costs order is made, you should seek the assistance of a costs specialist immediately.

We also regularly provide assistance to law firms in legal aid funded cases, ranging from fixed costs matters, to exceptional costs claims and Very High Costs Cases (VHCCs).

We are highly experienced Costs Draftsmen/Costs Lawyers and have been successful in recovering substantial amounts in legal fees for all our clients.  As independent costs experts, we can also represent either Paying or Receiving parties in inter-partes litigation, to reduce/maximise the recovery of legal fees.

We can be contacted via email at info@arccosts.co.uk, or by telephone on 01204 397302.

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