Contesting a Protection Order
What is a protection order?
Commonly referred to as a domestic violence order or a Protection Order, if someone lodges one against you it can be of both criminal and civil significance. Civilly you could be subjected to a Protection Order, and criminally you may face assault or other charges.
You must comply with the conditions of a Protection Order, even if the Protection Order is a temporary one. If you breach a term, you’ll find yourself back in front of the Magistrate, and this time, it’s a criminal offence. If you don’t contest a Protection Order, there are real and potential consequences including:
- contacting the ‘aggrieved’;
- contacting or visiting your children;
- approaching the aggrieved at work (what if you work near them or regularly attend their workplace for alternative reasons?);
- staying in a home, you currently share (even if the house is owned or rented in your name);
- approaching relatives or friends (if named in the order);
- holding a weapons licence;
- going to a child’s school or day care centre; and
- any other conditions deemed necessary or desirable.
Definition of aggrieved
The ‘aggrieved’ or the applicant in domestic violence case is the person that requires protection from the ‘respondent’. An aggrieved can be a husband, wife, spouse, former spouse. They are the person that is applying to the Magistrate court.
What is an ouster order?
An ouster order is one of the main reasons to contest a Protection Order. It’s a condition concerning a Protection Order that forces you to leave the family home.
How long does a Protection Order last?
Most Protection Orders last for two years however the court can extend the order if it feels it’s appropriate.
What is a temporary Protection Order?
A temporary Protection Order is like a Protection Order, but it’s for a shorter time to protect those in danger up until the date that a magistrate can decide, the application for the full Protection Order. A hearing for a final order will follow afterwards, but it is usually a long wait. It’s essential to follow and obey the temporary order and obtain legal advice as soon as possible.
Can I contact the applicant under a Protection Order?
No, usually a ‘no contact’ order is added to the Protection Order. Commonly used in circumstances when an Aggrieved person doesn’t want to talk to you. If you’ve sent text messages containing abuse to your ex-partner, it’s more than likely these will be annexed to an Application and used to justify the handing down of a ‘no contact’ provision.
Each Magistrates court has its version of a ‘no contact’ clause which states, generally, the following:
- That you cannot contact or attempt to reach the Aggrieved by any means (including phone, text message or via the internet).
- As an exception to the condition, you can generally contact the other person if it is to have contact with children by written agreement.
Can I contact my children under a Protection Order?
Usually, you will only be able to speak to your children during a time in which the Aggrieved person has agreed to in writing.
At this point, you might need the intervention of a Family Lawyer, who can attempt to negotiate a written agreement with your ex-partner.
If you have a ‘no contact’ Order on you, it’s important you seek legal advice as soon as possible as it could be weeks, or even months, before you reach a written agreement allowing you to speak to your children again.
If you disregard a ‘no contact’ provision via a careless text message, it is a criminal offence.
Why is it important to consult with a domestic violence lawyer?
Every DVO has a standard condition that the respondent must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved or any other person named in the order, including children, relatives or friends. When a court makes a DVO, it can set out specific conditions that must be followed and obeyed by the person who has committed the violence. These rules can impact on your life, and it’s essential that you be fully aware of the consequences of these rules before the court makes the order.
How to get an AVO or Protection Order Dropped or Removed
- Firstly follow and obey the Temporary Protection Order, even if you feel that you have a valid defence and will defeat an attempt to turn the temporary order into a permanent Protect Order.
- Gather any physical evidence relating to any incidents or events the aggrieved application refers to, such as clothing, photos, videos, and objects.
- Assemble any documents or records that could relate to the case, such as letters, emails, phone and GPS files, computer records, and records that might show where you were at the time of an incident; and
- Make a list of possible witnesses—include every person you think has information about the event, the accusations or the petitioner—and obtain the witnesses’ contact information.
- Even if you plan on consenting to the order, these items could prove useful in negotiating the terms of the Protection Order.
What not to do when faced with a Protection Order
It’s a criminal offence to contravene any of the conditions of a temporary Protection Order or Protection Order.
- Do not destroy evidence that you think could hurt you, as this may cast you in a suspicious light with and can lead to criminal charges;
- Do not try to talk to the aggrieved or witnesses you expect will testify for them, (including text messages or email);
- Do not disregard a temporary restraining order in any way making it even harder for you to defend against the request for a permanent Protection Order.
You should never ignore a restraining order request. Instead, you should get information about your rights and options, consult with a lawyer, and participate in the court process.
How much does it cost to contest a Protection Order?
Our domestic violence lawyers (Brisbane DV Lawyers) can help if you’ve been served with an application.
|Consent to Protection Order or adjourn the matter at court||Negotiate the terms of a proposed Protection Order||Defend and contest Protection Order at Trial|
|This package includes:
|This package includes
|This package includes:
This is the second step if we are unable to negotiate with the other side to drop the application the matter must go to trial:
|$800 – $1,200||$800 – $3,500||$3,500 – $8,000|
|These packages do not include disbursements (such as court fees, document retrieval fees etc.) and travel costs.|
Domestic Violence Fact Sheet
Below we have prepared a simple fact sheet to help you with contesting a protection order.