Domestic Violence Order (DVO)
A Protection Order pursuant to Part 3 of the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Act 2012 is an order of a court, made after an application, which can prevent one person (called the respondent) from behaving poorly toward, or committing domestic violence against, another person (called the aggrieved).
A Protection Order can contain a range of additional conditions, including an ouster condition, which forces the respondent to leave their home in favour of the aggrieved, or an order that the respondent not contact certain people or go to, or near, specified places (normally the aggrieved or the aggrieved’s children).
Once an order is in place, either in a temporary or permanent form, any contravention of its conditions can give rise to severe criminal penalties, including a prison sentence.
If you are a respondent to an application for a Protection Order it is important that you obtain legal advice, and likely legal representation, at an early stage.
If you are a person in need of protection the Queensland Police Service will often make an application for a Protection Order on your behalf, though you are entitled to make the application yourself.
How is a Domestic Violence Order Made?
A Domestic Violence Order, also called a Protection Order, is made after a Magistrates Court receives an application under section 32 of the Act.
Once an application is received either from the police or from a private applicant, the court will normally make a temporary order in whatever terms are asked for. This temporary order binds the respondent until such time as it is made final, or until the application is dismissed.
A temporary order becomes a final/permanent order if the respondent does not appear in court, if the respondent consents to the making of the order, or if the court determines that the order is necessary or desirable to prevent domestic violence at the conclusion of a hearing.
If the respondent is not present in court when a Protection Order is made against them, a copy of the Protection Order must either be served on them, or they must be notified of its existence, before it is valid.
Can I Contest a Domestic Violence Order?
Yes. If you are a respondent to an application for a Protection Order you can contest the making of that final order. You can also contest the making of a temporary protection order in the first instance but, in practice, this is rarely successful.
If you contest the making of a final order, the court will set the matter down for a hearing and you will be required to file affidavit material in relation to your defence and to give evidence at the hearing of the matter (and so, more than likely, will the aggrieved).
It is important to recognise that the ordinary protections of the criminal law do not apply to Domestic Violence matters and you will more than likely be required to provide a positive defence to allegations raised against you if you are to succeed in avoiding the order being made.
Consent Without Admissions
Even if you do not agree with the allegations made against you in an application for a Protection Order, you can consent to the order being made on a “without admissions” basis.
Consenting without admissions means that the order will be made in whatever terms are asked for by the applicant but the court will not make any findings of fact in relation to the underlying allegations and you will not, by your consent, be taken to accept the truth of any of those allegations.
Before you consent, even on a without admissions basis, to a Protection Order being made against you it is important that you obtain independent legal advice. The implications of a Protection Order, even one made without admissions, can be significant.
Which Court Will Hear My Application For A Protection Order?
Applications for Protection Orders are heard and determined in the Magistrates Court.
Whether responding to, or making, an application, Armstrong Legal’s team of experienced domestic violence advocates stand ready to assist you throughout the process, so please contact us.