FAMILY AND DOMESTIC RESTRAINING ORDERS

Action can be taken to prevent someone being violent or intimidating or threatening you or your property if you expect the behaviour to continue.

The legislation enables a court to make three types of orders being;

Family Violence Restraining Orders

These orders apply to people who are in a family relationship such as, married, de facto, ex partners, related to each other, or otherwise in an intimate or family type relationship.

These orders are meant to protect persons when they are in a family or domestic relationships such as a marriage, de facto or other intimate relationship, or to protect children of such relationships from being exposed to such behaviour. 

Violence restraining order;

These orders apply if the violent behaviour is that of someone other than a family member eg a friend, neighbour, work colleague.

 

Misconduct order

These orders may be made if a person is likely to;

  • Behaving in a manner that is intimidating or offensive particularly to children under your care;
  • Cause damage to property; or
  • Be a breach of the peace.

These orders do not apply to persons when they are in a family or domestic relationships.

Restraining Orders Generally

If your application is successful, the court can make orders that a person;

  • Keep away from you;
  • Stop communicating with you;
  • Hand over any firearms;
  • Keep away from your home or a child’s school;
  • Cease certain behaviours.

For further information go here 

What to do if you are served with a Restraining Order

You will be served with some documents if proceedings are taken against you for a restraining order.

You should read the papers carefully or seek legal advice immediately.

If you are served with an application for a violence restraining order (and no orders have been made), you may consent to the proposed restraint by completing a form…link to the prescribed form.

If a temporary order (called an Interim order) has already been made, you will have an opportunity to oppose the order being made more permanent but you must complete the form called “Objection” (link to form) and return it to the court within 21 days from the date you were served with the papers. If you don’t do that, the court will assume that you do not object and the orders will become final.

In some cases, the court will make an order applying for only 72 hours.

If you are served with an application for a misconduct restraining order, the application will include the hearing date. Again, you should seek legal advice if any of the information on the form is unclear or you are uncomfortable about representing yourself.

Generally, you may decide to oppose an application for various reasons eg there might be a dispute on the facts or you may consider the application is not necessary for various reasons including that there is no risk of the behavior being repeated.

If a restraining order is made, you are entitled to appeal but you must lodge the appeal papers in the District Court within 21 days from the date of the decision.

If you are served with any form of restraining order and want to object to the order and have it changed or cancelled, you can also make an application to a Magistrate. A person is likely to make such an application if for example,

  • The orders are causing a person serious and unnecessary hardship;
  • Circumstances may have changed since the orders were made or
  • The person protected by the orders is persistently invited or encouraged you to disobey the order.

The forms are available at your local Magistrates Court or can be accessed by referring to the Forms in the Regulations here.

Your application is listed for a hearing before a Magistrate initially in the absence of the other party. If you are granted permission to proceed, the application will eventually be heard by a Magistrate and the other party will be served with the application and given an opportunity to respond.

What Happens if Someone Ignores a Restraining Order

It is an offence to disobey a restraining order. The maximum penalties are;

  • Breach of a violence restraining order (including a police order) is a serious matter; $6000 or imprisonment for 2 years or both
  • Breach of a misconduct restraining order: $1000