Got a question? Ask Lawmail

Send your questions to Lawmail

Can't find the info you are looking for?Got a problem you can’t solve?

If you're under 25, or an adult asking on behalf of a person under 18, you can send your questions to Lawmail and we will email an answer to you in under 10 days. Urgent matters are dealt with more quickly.

Go to Lawmail. It’s free and confidential.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Restraining orders

1  What is an intervention order?

2  When can I apply for an intervention order?

3  How do I get an intervention order?

4  What happens once I have the intervention order?

5  What should I do if someone has applied for an intervention order against me?

1          What is an intervention order?

 An intervention order is an order made by a court. It prevents one person from acting in a certain way towards another.

If you are concerned that someone will commit an act of violence or harassment against you, an intervention order can prevent that person from making contact with you or your property, going to your home, work or other places, or doing specified things.

2          When can I apply for an intervention order?

 You can apply for an intervention order against a family member, guardian, carer or other person in a domestic relationship with you (called a Family Violence Intervention Order) or against someone other than a family member (called a Personal Safety Intervention Order). Examples of when you may seek to apply for an intervention order include:

Domestic violence: if you are being subject to violence or harassment by someone in your family, an intervention order can restrict their behaviour, e.g. prevent them from coming close to you, or threatening you or your property.

Child abuse: if you are being subject to abuse by a parent or guardian, an intervention order can restrict their behaviour, e.g. prevent them from speaking to you, coming close to you, or threatening you or your property.

Bullying – at school: if you have already tried lodging a formal complaint with your school, but are still being bullied then, an intervention order can restrict their behaviour of someone at your school, e.g. prevent them from coming close to you, or threatening you or your property.

Bullying – online: an intervention order can prevent someone from contacting you both online as well as offline, e.g. commenting on your profile, sending messages, or tagging you in a photo.

3          How do I get an intervention order?       

Who can apply?

You can seek an intervention order if another person has been violent towards you, or harassed, intimidated, or stalked you (including online) and the court considers that the person is likely to do so again.

How do I apply?

  • If you are under 14, a parent, police officer, or other person with consent of yourself and your parents or consent of the Children’s Court, may apply for an intervention order.If you are over 14 but under 18, you can make a private application to the Children’s Court after getting the Court’s permission. You can find more information on applying through the Children’s Court here.
  • If you are 18 or over, you can make a private application to the Magistrates’ Court. You can find more information on applying through the Magistrates’ Court here.

After filling in the application form, you will be interviewed by the court registrar. The registrar will ask you about incidents that have happened any why you are applying for the order.

A copy of the application will be given to the person you are seeking the intervention order against. You must both go to court for the intervention order to be made by a magistrate or registrar. You can find details on how the court process works here.

There is no fee for applying for an intervention order. However, if you engage a lawyer to represent your application in court, you will have to pay the lawyer’s legal fees. Community Legal Centres will sometimes assist in representing intervention orders without charge.

If you urgently require protection you may be able to obtain an interim order which will apply until your next court hearing.

4          What happens once I have the intervention order?

The other person must obey the orders set out in the intervention order. If they do not, you should report this to the police. Breaching an intervention order is a criminal offence which can be punishable by a fine or a prison term.

 You can apply to the court to add or remove orders in the intervention order, to shorten or extend how long the intervention order will last for, and to remove the intervention order.

5          What should I do if someone has applied for an intervention order against me?

An intervention order is not a criminal charge. It will not appear on your criminal record.

However, if an intervention order has been made against you, and you knowingly breach one of the conditions in the intervention order, this will be a criminal offence. You may have to pay a fine of up to $37,310.40, be placed on a good behaviour bond, or be imprisoned for up to two years.

When the intervention order application is being heard in court, you can ask to postpone the hearing to get time to see a lawyer, agree to the intervention order, or disagree to the intervention order (if you disagree, the Court will hear evidence from both sides and decide whether an intervention order should be made). If you do not go to court on this day, the court may make an intervention order against you even though you are not present.

You can find more information about responding to an intervention order here.

If the court makes an intervention order against you should read it very carefully. You must obey all the orders in the intervention order, for the period of time stated in the intervention order.

You should not do something inconsistent with an intervention order even if the person who the order is aimed at protecting consents to, encourages you to or asks you to do that thing. For example, if you are prohibited from communicating with a person do not answer their calls or reply to their SMS messages or else you may breach your restraining order. If the person being protected would like you to behave in a way which is inconsistent with the intervention order they can seek to have it removed or changed.

You can apply to the court to have the intervention order withdrawn, changed or shortened.

 

NCYLC would like to express thanks to the law clerks and volunteers who assisted with the preparation of this material: Ray Aryal, Hayley Johnson, Jaslyn Ng, Katherine Warner.

This page was last updated in January 2017.

 

   
**************************************************************************************
  Insert text regarding ALL STATES here.
  You can choose to insert either:
     · Content that directly applies to ALL STATES of Australia.
     · A footnote that will be seen below the existing content of each state.
**************************************************************************************