Information for those responding to a Protection Order

You have been served with a copy of an application for a Domestic Violence Order, Personal Protection Order or Personal Protection (Workplace) Order (protection orders). You may also have been served with an interim order (which may not be in the same terms as the application).

If you have been served with an interim order, then the order is now in effect. This means you must comply with the terms of the order. Failure to do so may result in you being prosecuted for breaching the order.

What happens next?

Interim order:

As well as the interim order and application, you will have also received an endorsement copy of the interim order and notice of proceedings (document stating the date the matter is to come back to Court).

The endorsement copy is to be completed and returned to the Court. Failure to return the endorsement copy within the time required may prevent you taking further action to oppose the application.

If you return the endorsement copy stating you wish to object to the application, you must attend Court on the day specified in the notice of proceedings. If you fail to attend, a final order may be made in your absence.

If you return the endorsement copy stating that you do not object to the application, the interim order will become a final order that day for the period specified in the application. You need not attend Court on the date specified in the notice of proceedings.

No interim order:

If the applicant did not obtain an interim order, the matter has been listed for a conference on the date set out in the notice of proceedings. If you wish to oppose the order, you must attend Court on that date. Failure to attend may result in an order being made against you.

I am under 18 years of age

A litigation guardian must attend Court with you. The matter cannot proceed unless the litigation guardian is present. A litigation guardian is a person over 18 years who can represent you in the proceedings, for example your mother or father. The Public Advocate will also be notified that an

application has been made against you. If you do not have a parent or guardian who is able to be appointed as your litigation guardian, you should contact the Public Advocate (see overleaf ).

What happens when I arrive at Court for the conference?

You should advise counter staff that you have arrived for your conference. If you do not wish to be seated in the same waiting area as the applicant, please advise counter staff.

A Deputy Registrar will conduct a ‘shuttle’ conference between you and the applicant. The Deputy Registrar will locate you and the applicant in separate areas and talk to you individually to discuss possible outcomes.

What are the possible outcomes at the conference?

There are a number of possible outcomes including:

1. Where the parties reach an agreement the matter is settled by an order on a “by consent without admissions” basis. This means you have agreed to the order, or a varied order, but do not admit to the allegations.

2. You may enter into undertakings. This means that the applicant discontinues their application, no actual order is in place but you have made a promise in the same terms as the order, or varied terms as agreed by the parties. These may also be made on a mutual basis.

3. Where the parties require more time, for example to obtain legal advice, and the parties agree, the matter is adjourned for a further conference on a later date.

4. I f you fail to attend, the application will be put before the Court and an order may be made in your absence. This will be up to the Magistrate.

5. Where the applicant does not attend, the application may be adjourned or dismissed.

6. Where the applicant no longer wishes to proceed with the order, the applicant withdraws the application.

7. Where the parties do not agree on an order or undertakings, the matter is adjourned for a contested hearing before a Magistrate on another day.

What happens if I want to change the order?

If you need to change any part of the order or wish to have the order reviewed, you must make an application to the Court. Your application will be set down for a conference as before. Your application will need to be served on the applicant before the date for the conference. The order does not change until the application has been dealt with either by agreement or after a hearing.

Interim order: you may apply to amend the order.

Final order: you may apply to amend or review the order. There may be limitations on applying for a review depending on how the final order was made.

Will I have a criminal record as a result of this order?

Protection orders are not criminal matters and will not give you a criminal record. However, if you breach (break) the order, you may be charged with a criminal offence. If you are convicted then you will have a criminal record.

Likewise, if the applicant does anything to assist you breaching the order, they may be charged with aiding and abetting the breach of the order.

Gun licence

If an interim order is made, your gun licence is automatically suspended and your firearms seized by the Australian Federal Police.

If a final order is made, you may be prohibited from holding, or applying for, a gun licence for up to ten years from the date the order expires.

You may seek exemption from this provision at the time the final order is made for Personal Protection or Personal Protection (Workplace) Orders only.

How long will I be at Court?

It will depend on a number of things. If you agree to the order, then you may only be at Court for a short time. If you do not agree to the order or are at Court for a hearing, then you may be there for several hours.

What if a suitable outcome cannot be negotiated?

If you and the applicant do not agree to a resolution of the matter, the application is set down for hearing on another date. If agreed, the interim order may be extended without admissions to the hearing date. The Deputy Registrar will extend the interim order and set the application down for hearing.

However, if you do not agree to the extension of the interim order, then the matter will be put before the Court on the same day just for a decision regarding the extension of the interim order.

How long will my order last?

A Personal Protection Order can last up to 12 months and a Domestic Violence Order up to 24 months.

The applicant can apply to extend an order.

If the applicant has grounds for doing so, they may apply to the Court to amend the order by extending it.

You will be given an opportunity to oppose an extension of the order.

Interstate registration

If the applicant works, lives or travels interstate, they can register the order in that state or territory without any notification to you.

Breach of an order interstate may be an offence in both the ACT and in the state or territory where the breach occurs.

The above material is also available in PDF form as a brochure.