How do I apply for a Protection Order?
You will need to complete an application and an affidavit along with an information sheet.
Does it cost me anything to apply for an order?
The Court does not charge any fees for making an application for a protection order. However, you should be aware that the Court may order you to pay another person’s expenses incurred as a result of your application if the Court considers your application to be frivolous, vexatious or not to have been made honestly.
What happens next?
Your application is listed to come back to Court within 2-10 days of filing your application. In that time the Police will attempt to serve the respondent with a copy of your application.
What if my application is urgent?
If your application is urgent you may apply for an interim order. If your application is filed by 11.30 am it will be heard that day. If your application is filed after 11.30 am, it may be heard that day. You will be required to give evidence. If the Court decides that you require immediate protection and an interim order is made, it is not enforceable (does not start) until the Police serve it on the respondent
What if I do not know the respondent’s name?
The Court cannot make a protection order if you are unable to sufficiently identify the respondent. Legal advice should be obtained before applying for a protection order if you are unable to identify the person against whom you want the order.
The Court has made an interim order, what happens next?
After your interim order has been granted the Court will send you a notice of proceedings containing a date to attend Court for a conference. A return conference will be listed within 4-8 weeks of your interim order being granted.
A copy of the interim order and an endorsement copy of the interim order plus a copy of your application and notice of proceedings (document stating the date the matter will come back to Court) will be given to the Police to serve on the respondent. As soon as the respondent is served, the order takes effect.
What happens if an interim order is not granted?
Where an interim order is not granted, your matter will be listed to come back to Court within 14 days for a conference. A copy of your application and notice of proceedings will be served on the respondent.
When will documents be served on the respondent?
Police will attempt service as soon as practicable providing you are able to supply sufficient details about the respondent, for example:
• Date of birth or age;
• Last known place of residence;
• Work address (if known);
• Phone numbers (if known);
• If an incident was reported to Police, the Police job reference number, officer’s name and station.
What happens when I arrive at Court for my conference?
You should advise counter staff that you have arrived for your conference. If you do not wish to be seated in the same waiting area as the respondent, please advise counter staff.
A Deputy Registrar will conduct a ‘shuttle’ conference between you and the respondent. The Deputy Registrar will locate you and the respondent in different areas and talk to you separately to discuss possible outcomes.
What are possible outcomes at the conference?
There are a number of possible outcomes including:
1. Where the parties reach an agreement the matter is settled by an order on a “by consent without admissions” basis. This means that an order is made or varied as agreed by the parties but that the respondent does not admit the allegations contained in your application.
2. The respondent may enter into undertakings. This means that you discontinue your application, no order is made but the respondent has made a promise in similar terms to an order. The terms of the undertakings are as agreed by the parties.
3. Where the parties require more time, for example to obtain legal advice, and the parties agree, the matter is adjourned to another date for a further conference.
4. If the respondent fails to attend, your application will be put before the Court and an order may be made in the respondent’s absence. This will be up to the Magistrate.
5. Where the applicant does not attend, the application may be adjourned or dismissed.
6. The applicant may withdraw the application.
7. Where the respondent opposes any order being made the matter is adjourned for a hearing before the Court on another day.
What happens at the hearing of my application?
If your application is opposed and the matter listed for hearing you will be required to provide evidence to satisfy the Court of your need for an order.
How long will I be at Court?
It will depend on a number of things. If the respondent agrees to the order, then you may only be at Court for a short time. If the respondent does not agree to the order or does not appear at Court or you are at Court for a hearing, then you may be there for several hours.
What happens if I want to change or stop the order?
If you need to change any part of the order or wish to have the order reviewed, you must make an application to the Court. Your application will need to be served on the respondent and will be set down for a conference as before. The order does not change until the application has been dealt with either by agreement or after a hearing.
Interim order: you may apply to amend the order. You may also file a notice of discontinuance at any time before the final hearing of the application. Legal advice should be sought before a notice of discontinuance is filed.
Final order: you may apply to amend or review the order. There may be limitations on applying for a review depending on how the final order was made.
Will the respondent have a criminal record as a result of this order?
Protection orders are not criminal matters so will not give the respondent a criminal record unless the respondent is subsequently found guilty of breaching the order.
I am under 18 years of age.
Unless you are applying for a Domestic Violence order a litigation guardian must make the application for a protection order and attend Court with you. The matter cannot proceed unless the litigation guardian is present. A litigation guardian is a person over 18 years who can represent you in the proceedings, for example your mother or father.
If you do not have a parent who is able to be appointed as your litigation guardian, you should contact the Public Advocate.
How long will my order last?
A personal protection order can last up to 12 months and a domestic violence order up to 24 months.
How do I extend an order?
If you have grounds for doing so, you may apply to the Court to amend your order by extending it. This should be done at least 21 days before your order is due to expire. The application will be listed for a conference within 2 weeks of being filed.
If you work, live or travel interstate, you will need to register your order in that state or territory in order for the Police to investigate any alleged breaches while you are interstate.
What if the respondent disobeys/breaches an order?
Any breach should be reported to the Police immediately on 13 14 44. If the Police are satisfied the respondent has breached the order, the respondent may be charged with a criminal offence. If they are convicted then they will have a criminal record.