WHAT IS A VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER?
A Violence Restraining Order is a legally enforceable court order which if granted to an applicant, by the Magistrates Court, will be in place for a maximum duration of two years.
A violence Restraining Order will be granted to an applicant when that person can satisfy the Court that another person with whom they are not in a domestic or family relationship (for example a friend, work colleague or associate) has committed or is likely to commit an act of violence or abuse against them or their personal property.
HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR A VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER?
A person who wishes to apply for a Violence Restraining Order must make an application to their local Magistrates Court. This process is of no cost to the applicant and will usually involve that person attending at the Magistrates Court most local to their home residence and completing an application form or Affidavit in support of their application for a Violence Restraining Order.
The application will need to list the details of the person the applicant is seeking to be protected from along with the details of any incidences of personal violence which have occurred and/or any behaviours the person they are seeking the order against has engaged in. The more detailed the application the more likely it is that an Interim Violence Restraining Order will be granted by the Court to protect the applicant.
Should you be a person who is seeking the protection of a Violence Restraining Order our team of experienced lawyers can help you in completing your application and/or Affidavit and can represent you at the Interim Hearing.
WHAT IS AN INTERIM HEARING?
Once an application has been filed, or handed into, the Court Registry the Court will then set a date for an Interim Violence Restraining Order Hearing. Usually this will occur on the same date that the application is submitted by the applicant.
The Hearing will take place in closed court which means that only the applicant will be present at this Hearing. The public will not be able to watch or listen to the things said in the Hearing. The person the applicant is seeking protection from (the respondent) will not be present at this Hearing.
At the Interim Hearing a Magistrate will consider the information contained in the application and/or Affidavit and will ask the applicant questions relating to the information contained in that application. Upon consideration of all the information, if the Court is satisfied that the applicant requires the protection of an Order the Court will then grant the applicant an Interim Violence Restraining Order which will remain in place until the matter is resolved or until the date of the Final Orders Hearing.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF AN INTERIM ORDER IS GRANTED TO THE APPLICANT?
If an Interim Order is granted by the Court this Order will then be served on the respondent by the Western Australian (WA) Police.
Once the Order is served on the respondent, the respondent will have a period of twenty-one (21) days to object to that order.
If the respondent doesn’t object, the order will become a Final Order and will be in place for a period of 2 years.
If the respondent objects to the Order, within the requisite 21 day period, the matter must be heard at a “Final Order Hearing” which is essentially a trial.
WHAT FACTORS WILL BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION BY THE COURT WHEN DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT TO GRANT A FINAL ORDER:
Section 12 of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA) sets out that the Court must take into account the following factors when deciding whether, or not, to grant a person a Violence Restraining Order. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following types of considerations:
- The need to ensure that the person seeking to be protected is protected from personal violence;
- The need to prevent behaviour that could reasonably be expected to cause the person seeking to be protected to apprehend that they will have personal violence committed against them;
- The need to ensure the wellbeing of any children by protecting them from being exposed or subject to personal violence;
- The accommodation needs of the respondent and the person seeking to be protected;
- Hardship that may be caused to the respondent if the order is made;
- Criminal convictions of the respondent;
WHERE ARE OUR LAWYERS LOCATED?
We have offices in Perth, Joondalup, Mandurah, Bunbury, and Albany, but have experience representing and advising clients throughout regional and remote areas in WA. Our criminal defence lawyers can travel to any court in WA, and are willing to assist you no matter where in WA you may be.