Family Law
Emergency Protection Orders

Emergency Protection Orders

An emergency protection order (EPO) is an order that the Local Authority can apply for if they are concerned that a child is at immediate risk of harm. The Local Authority must show that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is likely to suffer significant harm if he/she is not removed.


How long does an EPO last?

An EPO is a short term order which lasts for 8 days but it can be extended on one further occasion for a further 7 days.

What will happen once the EPO expires?

Once the EPO expires it is more likely that the Local Authority will issue an application for a care order.

Will I be entitled to legal aid?

As a party to EPO proceedings you are automatically entitled to public funding (legal aid) and will be represented throughout the case. Public funding in these cases is non means and non merits tested and there is no requirement to pay the costs back to the Legal Aid Agency.

What should I do if I am served an application for an EPO?

If you are served with an application for an EPO contact a solicitor immediately who will be able to advise you as to the next steps and represent you at the hearing.

Care proceedings and Child Protection Solicitors

It is crucial to obtain legal advice as early as possible whenever the local authority is involved with your family and has taken the decision to issue court proceedings.

Our expert team of family solicitors are specialists in the area of Emergency Protection Order/Interim Care Order applications and are experienced in responding quickly in what is almost always a very rapidly developing situation.

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