I’ve been served with a Protection Order Application or a Temporary Protection Order. What should I do?
It’s important to take the matter seriously and make an appointment to see a lawyer.
Domestic Violence Applications are treated seriously by the Courts in Australia. Once an Order is in place (temporary or final), the terms set down in it must be followed. The terms of the Order ordinarily places limits on the respondent’s behaviour. If the terms of the Order are not followed, this will result in breach of the Order and the police can charge the respondent with a criminal offence. The behaviours set out in the terms of the Order are not ordinarily considered to be criminal behaviour, however, because they are contained within the Order issued by a Court, a breach of those terms may result in criminal sanctions. A criminal offence carries severe penalties, which can include a term of imprisonment. If you have been served with a Protection Order application, Corney & Lind can assist you to respond in the best possible way to the application.
What are my options for responding?
There are circumstances where simply agreeing and consenting with the Order may be the best approach, even if you disagree with the allegations contained within the Order. This is called “consenting without admission”. Even if you agree with the Order however, it is a good idea to seek legal advice about the terms of the Order. It is important that you are represented and provided the opportunity for input about the terms that are included in the Order.
However, there are also circumstances when you should disagree with the Order being made. If you disagree with the making of the Order, you will need to appear in person at the Magistrates Court and contest the Order. The Court will then set down a hearing date (which can sometimes be months later) but you will need time to prepare your case. You can then make important choices about what evidence and documents, such as photographs and doctors’ reports, you are going to put before the Court, and who you should subpoena as witnesses in order to support your case. You may also need assistance with drafting your affidavit or sworn statement in support of your case.
Ultimately, the Court will decide on whether or not to make a Protection Order, and on what terms, once it has heard all the evidence. It is strongly recommended you seek legal advice before opposing an Order. At Corney & Lind we believe that everyone should get a ‘fair-go’.
If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our family law and protection order lawyers, please contact us.