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Restraining order

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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

A restraining order is an order that no person is to dispose of (or attempt to dispose of), the property specified in the order, except in such manner as is specified in the restraining order.

When Can A Restraining Order Be Made?

If a person:

  • has been charged with a serious offence, or
  • is about to be charged with a serious offence, or
  • has been convicted of a serious offence,

an application may be made to the Supreme Court of NSW for a restraining order in relation to property that is suspected to be tainted property.

Tainted property means property that was:

  • Used in, or in connection with, the commission of a serious offence; or
  • Obtained, either directly or indirectly, by the defendant as a result of the commission of a serious offence.

A serious offence includes any offence against the laws of NSW that may be prosecuted on indictment.

The Supreme Court may make a restraining order if the application for the order is supported by an affidavit stating the grounds for the applicant’s belief that:

  • The person whose interest is the subject of the application committed the serious offence; and
  • The property to which the application relates is tainted property; and
  • The property belongs to the person who the application relates to

and the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for holding those beliefs.

Contravention of a restraining order is a criminal offence if the person had notice that the property was subject to the restraining order. The offence is punishable by a fine equivalent to the value of the interest in the property and/or by imprisonment for up to 2 years.

What Orders May Be Made In A Restraining Order?

The Supreme Court may make one or more of the following orders:

  • That no person is to dispose or otherwise deal with the property except in such manner as the court specifies.
  • That the property or interest in the property be transferred to the Public Trustee.
  • That a person be examined under oath concerning the nature and location of certain property.

A person being examined under oath is not excused from answering any question, or from producing any document, on the ground that the answer or production might incriminate the person or make the person liable to forfeiture or penalty. However, answers given or documents produced may not be admissible in any future criminal proceedings.

What Happens If A Restraining Order Is Made?

Once a restraining order has been made, written notice of the order must be given to any person whose interests are affected by the order. Once an order has been made, written notice of the order must be given to any person whose interests are affected by the order.

Payment Of Legal Costs

In some circumstances, a restraining order may provide for paying for a person’s reasonable legal costs. However, the Supreme Court must be satisfied that the person is unable to pay their legal costs out of their unrestrained property. In some circumstances, a may provide for paying for a person’s reasonable legal costs. However, the Supreme Court must be satisfied that the person is unable to pay their legal costs out of their unrestrained property.


where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

Leading Criminal Law NSW 2017 ISO 9001 Legal Best Practice Accredited Specialists Criminal Law Sydney Business Awards Winner 2011