In circumstances where one party does not feel safe as a result of various actions by another party, they can consider applying for an intervention order in the Magistrates’ Court. This does not necessarily mean that they need to be subjected to domestic violence, they may feel unsafe due to being subjected to other forms of abuse such as psychological, financial or emotional by the other party. The other party may be their partner, ex-partner, family members or even acquaintances.
The Magistrate will consider the Application for an Intervention Order. The Magistrate will then determine whether an interim intervention order will be granted. Interim intervention orders granted prohibit the Respondent from behaving in a particular way.
Conditions of an Intervention Order
An intervention order generally lists certain conditions that protect the applicant, with the respondent generally prevented from:
- Committing Family violence against the protected person;
- Contacting or communicating with the protected person;
- Attempting to locate or follow the protected person; and
- Approaching or remaining a certain distance of the protected person.
The protected person does not necessarily just include the party who applied for the Intervention Order but can be extended to include children who live with the protected person.
As the Magistrate makes the final decision on the conditions of the order, other conditions can be included to cater for the specific circumstances such as:
- Handing in any firearms or weapons to police; and
- Suspending or cancelling any firearms authority, weapons approval or weapons exemptions.
The main difference between an interim order and a final order is that an interim order is generally a short term order that is made until a Magistrate can hear all evidence. A final order can be made by agreement. If an agreement is not reached, then the matter proceeds to further hearing(s) and a contest hearing where all the relevant evidence is considered by a Magistrate before they make a decision in relation to whether a final Intervention order will be made.
What if they breach the conditions of the Intervention Order?
If the Respondent breaches the order(s) as outlined on the intervention order the police can potentially charge them with a criminal offence, resulting in either a fine, good behaviour bond and in extreme circumstances, where multiple breaches have occurred within a specific time frame a prison sentence.
In the circumstances where you are listed as the protected person on the intervention orders, you should record all the details of any alleged breach including dates and times and report it to the police.
These are just some of the issues you need to consider if contemplating an intervention order. Considering these types of issues can be a difficult and overwhelming experience, it is always recommended that you have an experienced lawyer to help you through the process and ensure that you have the best conditions in place to ensure your safety.
Please note the above is intended to be commentary and general information. Commentary and general information should not be relied upon and substituted for legal advice. Formal legal advice should always be obtained, if you would like to receive advice specific to your circumstances please contact our office on 9743-1333.