RESTRAINING ORDERS FAMILY/DOMESTIC VIOLENCE THE LAW W HAT CAN THE POLICE DO? RESTRAINING ORDER TYPES
Restraining Order Types
Violence restraining orders are the more serious of the orders and are
intended to restrain a person who:
you believe is likely to either commit a violent personal offence against you, or a person for whom you
have legal responsibility - such as a child; or
behave in a way to create a fear that such an offence will be committed.
If you have already been attacked or threatened with violence, a criminal offence may also have been
committed. You should tell the police and ask for an offence report number.
Under special circumstances, a violence restraining order can be sought by the police on your behalf by
telephone, at any time, any day. Your first action in an urgent situation should be to call the police. If
considered appropriate, the police will then seek an urgent telephone hearing with a magistrate.
Life-long restraining orders can also be granted in extreme cases.
Ongoing intimidation or emotional abuse are also considered to be forms of domestic violence.
There is no fee payable when you apply for a violence restraining order.
When a violence restraining order is made, the court or magistrate will also make an order prohibiting the
respondent from having a firearm licence or any guns. It is therefore essential that you inform the police or
court if you are aware that the respondent has access to a gun. A firearms order may also be made at the
hearing of a misconduct restraining order.
Consent is also no longer a defence to breaching a violence restraining order. Even if the victim says it is okay
to get together, it is considered a breach of the order and may lead to time in prison.
Misconduct Restraining Orders
Misconduct restraining orders are intended to restrain a person:
from behaving in a way that is intimidating or offensive to you or a person for whom you have legal
likely to cause damage to your property; or
from committing a breach of the peace.
There is a fee for the lodgment of a Misconduct Restraining Order. If you are experiencing financial difficulties,
apply to the clerk of courts for a waiver of the fee.
When hearing an application, the court will require evidence on such matters as the actions or conduct of the
respondent who has caused the order to be sought, the circumstances of the parties, the welfare of children,
the addresses of parties, whether there is a history of actions or conduct of a similar nature and the effect of
any orders made.
It is important that you tell the police or the court if any orders have been made between the parties in the
Family Court or any other court.
Orders can be made to cover a wide range of situations and can include a direction that
Keep away from your home;
Keep away from a school;
Stop behaving in a certain way, or
Stop interfering in the way you live.
Where an application for a violence restraining order is made in person to a court, you can choose to have the
initial hearing of the matter without the other person being present.
At this hearing the court may:
Make an order of 72 hours duration or less, which must be served on the person against whom the
order is made within 24 hours of the making of the order or it lapses;
Make a temporary order of more than 72 hours duration. The person on whom the order is served has
21 days after service to lodge an objection to the order and, if an objection is received in this time, the
matter will be listed for further hearing with both parties present. If no objection is received in the
period. the order becomes final and remains in effect for the period specified in the order and if no
period is specified, for a period of 2 years:
Adjourn the matter to a hearing date: or
Dismiss the application.
Alternatively, you may ask that your application proceed to a hearing in the presence of the other party. If in
the hearing the court is satisfied that reasonable grounds exist for the making of the order, it will make a final
Where a violence restraining order is sought by a police officer on your behalf whether or not by telephone,
the magistrate may make similar orders to those made if the application was made in person.
Telephone orders only remain in force for 3 months, or less if specified in the order.
Applications for misconduct restraining orders can only be made to a Magistrates Court or Children's Court
(as applicable). Hearings for these applications can only proceed after a summons has been served on the
Any order made only remains in force for a period of one year, or less if specified in the order.