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Common Questions About DVOs (Qld)

A domestic violence order (DVO), also known as a protection order, is an order made by a court to protect a person from domestic violence by another person. In Queensland, DVOs are governed by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act. A DVO can be made when the respondent has committed domestic violence against the aggrieved and the order is necessary or desirable to protect the aggrieved from domestic violence.

What Happens if the Protected Person Doesn’t Attend Court?

An application for a DVO may be made by the aggrieved or it may be made by the police. When the police make the application, there is no need for the protected person to attend court for the first mention. The police will attend court and the respondent will also be required to attend to either consent to the order or oppose the order.

If the respondent consents to the DVO, the order will be made on the spot and there will be no need for the protected person to attend court.

If the respondent opposes the order, the matter will be adjourned to a later date for a contested hearing. On that day, the court will hear evidence from both parties as to why the court should or should not make the order. The aggrieved will generally be required to attend the hearing to give evidence, although in some situations they may be allowed to attend by videolink, especially if there are safety concerns about having contact with the respondent.

If the application is made by the protected person, they will be required to attend court each time the matter is in court. However, in some cases, they may be allowed to attend court by phone or videolink. This is most likely to happen where there are concerns about the aggrieved coming into contact with the respondent.

What Happens if the Respondent Named in a DVO Doesn’t Attend Court?

When an application is made for a DVO, it must be served on the respondent. The respondent will be required to attend court on the date the matter is listed. If the respondent has been effectively served but does not attend court, the court may make the order in their absence. The police will then be required to serve the DVO on the respondent. It will not take effect until it is served.

In some cases, a respondent has been served with the application but does not attend court for a good reason – for example, they are dealing with a serious medical issue. In this situation, the court may adjourn the matter so that the respondent can attend. The court may also make an interim DVO if the applicant seeks one.

Does a DVO appear on a police check?

When a DVO is made against a person, this is a civil matter. When a police check is conducted against a person, a DVO that has been made against them does not show up. However, if a person has been found guilty of breaching a DVO, this is a criminal offence and will show up on any police check that is conducted on them.

How to Get the Other Side to Pay Your Legal Costs

In DVO cases in Queensland, parties generally bear their own costs.

However, the court may award costs against a party who has made an application that is malicious, deliberately false, frivolous or vexation (section 157, Domestic and Family Violence Act 2012).

What evidence is needed?

If an application is made for a DVO and the respondent opposes it, the aggrieved will need to adduce evidence that the order is warranted. They will need to demonstrate that the respondent has committed domestic violence against the aggrieved and that the DVO sought is necessary or appropriate to protect the aggrieved.

This evidence will usually include the aggrieved’s account of past incidents of violence, and any threats or intimidating behaviour by the respondent. It may also include evidence from other people who have witnessed this behaviour. Objective evidence, such as CCTV footage, may also be adduced.

What happens if you lie to get a DVO?

Providing false information after taking an oath or affirmation to tell the truth is perjury, which is a criminal offence. A person can be charged with perjury for knowingly giving false information in an affidavit or during oral evidence in court.

In Queensland, the offence of perjury is contained in section 123 of the Criminal Code. It carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 14 years.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Fernanda Dahlstrom

This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

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