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Intervention Orders

If you have been subjected to family violence or threatened in some way you can apply to the court for an intervention order to protect you. A lawyer can help you apply for an intervention order and represent you in court if you have received a summons.

The application is heard in the Magistrates’ Court and can be done at the Court closest to you.

There are two types of intervention orders:

  • Personal Safety Intervention Order; and
  • Family Violence Intervention Order (where the protected person or respondent are family members).

If the intervention order is a part of a family law dispute, then your family lawyer can assist you in the application or defend you in court. It is best for them to understand all the circumstances surrounding the details of your case. We can also assist with intervention orders for other disputes such as neighbour disputes.

Getting the right legal advice from an experienced intervention order lawyer is crucially important to make the process much simpler and less stressful. It is important to engage an experienced lawyer to represent you whether you are applying or have received a summons for an intervention order.

How do I get an intervention order?

The process for applying for a personal safety intervention order is the same as applying for a family violence intervention order.

If you are under the age of 18, or are applying for an order for your child who is under the age of 18 who is not part of your application, you will need to apply to the children’s court instead.

The Application Form

You will be asked for information such as:

  • the names and birth dates of any other persons who also need protection (such as your children), your relationship with the respondent;
  • if the respondent has a gun or a firearms permit;
  • if there are any other previous or current court orders (such as family law orders);
  • what the respondent has done to make you feel unsafe (including details);
  • if there is anyone associated with the respondent who may also pose a risk to your safety and should also be a respondent (for family violence matters);
  • what orders you are seeking from the Court.

Interview with the Court Registrar

Once you have completed and filed the application you will need to have an interview with the Court registrar about the information supplied in your application and your application will be finalised.

If you feel unsafe and need immediate protection, you will need to apply for an interim intervention order. Only a magistrate can grant an interim or final intervention order so the registrar is there to simply assist you with your application and to give you a court date for your hearing (called a summons). A copy of the summons will also be served on the respondent by the police, which requires the respondent to attend the hearing. The respondent will have the opportunity at the first court date to oppose the intervention order being made.

If an intervention order is made

If an intervention order is made (interim or final), a copy of the order will be given to both the protected person and the respondent. Most intervention orders are not indefinite and so will only last for a certain period of time. The order will list what the respondent cannot do and for what period of time the order will be in place.

It is a criminal offence for a respondent to breach an intervention order. You should keep detailed records and proof of any breaches and immediately report the breach to the police.

How Do I defend an Intervention Order?

Defending an intervention order involves attending Court and disputing the allegations made against you. This means that you need to show that the Applicant (whether it be the Police applying on behalf of your former partner or your former partner applying for themselves) is not able to prove that family violence has occurred or that family violence is likely to continue to occur.

Once you are served with a copy of the intervention order from the Police you should contact a lawyer immediately. It is important in defending an intervention order to get the right advice early.

The first step would be to take action before the first Court date. This is because you want to be able to put your case to the Applicant (the Police or your former partner). Many interim intervention orders (being the first order that is made by a Magistrate usually without you present) include a clause that prevents you being able to communicate with your former partner. If you do then you can be charged with breaching the order and may be sentenced to imprisonment. It is therefore crucial that you appoint a lawyer as soon as possible as the lawyer can communicate with your former partner for you.

The entire intervention order process usually takes between 6 months and a year, depending on the Magistrates Court that is hearing the matter. This can mean that you may be involved in two or three Court hearings over this time.

The final hearing is called a contested hearing and this involves both parties, and any other witnesses, giving evidence about what occurred. The Magistrates will need to be satisfied that family violence has occurred and that it is likely to continue to occur again. This must be satisfied before a final intervention order can be made.
Intervention Orders have consequences and if you require assistance and legal advice contact one of our lawyers to assist you in applying for or defending an intervention order.

Contact a family lawyer on 1300 907 335 or complete an enquiry form on our website and we will contact you shortly. Your enquiry and information will be private and confidential.

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