What to do when served with a Family Violence Restraining Order
I’VE BEEN SERVED WITH A FAMILY VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER! WHAT DO I DO?
If you have been served with a Family Violence Restraining Order (“FVRO”) this may have been the first time you have found out about the Application.
It is important to note that once you have been served, the FVRO will immediately come into force.
You should read the Order carefully and thereafter immediately obtain legal advice regarding your obligations pursuant to the Order. If you do not follow the Orders or if you are found to have breached the Orders, you may be charged with an offence.
Upon receiving legal advice, you will have the opportunity to consider whether you would like to oppose the Order becoming final and your various other options.
Contact Perth Family Lawyers on (08) 9325 8675 for further information.
WHAT IS A SUMMONS TO ATTEND COURT FOR A RESTRAINING ORDER?
If you have received a ‘summons’ to attend Court for a Restraining Order, this generally will mean that no interim Order has been made. Accordingly, the Court will grant you an opportunity to have your say about whether the Order should be made or not.
Your options include:
1. Not attending the hearing;
2. Agreeing to the Order being made; or
3. Objecting to the Order being made.
It is important that you obtain legal advice in relation to your options and consequences of any decisions you make, which can be significant.
Contact Perth Family Lawyers on (08) 9325 8675 today for an obligation free consultation.
WHO CAN OBTAIN A FAMILY VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER (“FVRO”)?
You may seek an FVRO if someone has:
1. Projected Intimidating or offensive behaviour towards you;
2. Has stalked you;
3. Has damaged property that belonged to you; or
4. Has emotionally abused you.
An FVRO can be obtained by yourself or the police. In certain circumstances, parents can obtain FVRO’s protecting their children.
Once your application is lodged, the Court may grant an ‘interim’ order if they can be satisfied that the Respondent (the person perpetrating the abuse) will continue to commit an act of abuse.
An interim order is a temporary order that will stay in place until a decision about the final order is made.
Seek legal advice as soon as possible on applying for a FVRO. Contact Perth Family Lawyers on (08) 9325 8675
WHAT IS AN UNDERTAKING?
Do you have a FVRO in place?
An undertaking can be used to resolve your FVRO matter, preventing the parties from attending any further hearings. An undertaking can be made at any time during the proceedings.
An undertaking is a ‘promise’ to the Court to not do certain things or to act in a certain manner. It is not a Court order.
Should you choose to enter into an undertaking, this will replace the existing FVRO that is in place. However, both parties must agree to resolve the matter by way of an undertaking.
Contact Perth Family Lawyers today for further information regarding your options.
I AM CONCERNED ABOUT MY CHILD’S SAFETY – WHAT CAN I DO?
The Restraining Orders Act 1997 (“The Act”), under section 10 E provides that:
A FVRO may be made for the benefit of a child if the Court is satisfied that:
a) the child has been exposed to family violence committed by or against a person with whom the child is in a family relationship and the child is likely again to be exposed to such violence; or
b) the applicant, the child or a person with whom the child is in a family relationship has reasonable grounds to apprehend that the child will be exposed to family violence committed by or against a person with whom the child is in a family relationship.
Once the Court is satisfied that a FVRO should be granted, the Court may consider implementing restraints on the Respondent’s behaviour or activity. Some examples of ‘restraints’ can be found under Section 10G(2) of the Act:
a) being on or near premises where the person seeking to be protected lives or works; and
b) communicating, or attempting to communicate (by whatever means) with the person seeking to be protected.
HOW LONG DOES AN FAMILY VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER LAST?
Under s16 (1) of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 (“the Act”) a Family Violence Restraining Order (“FVRO”) will come into force when it is served on the person who is bound by the Order (unless another time is specified in the Order).
If the Order has not been served on the person who is bound by the Order, then the FVRO will lapse within 2 years.
Interim vs Final orders
An interim order will remain in force until:
a. A final order has been made;
b. A final order hearing has occurred, and it was ordered that no final order be made; or
c. The interim order has expired.
A final order (unless varied or cancelled) will remain in force until:
a. The period specified in the order from the date on which the final order came into force; or
b. If there is no date period specified, then 2 years from the date on which the final order came into effect.
It is possible to make an application to either cancel or vary an FVRO if your circumstances have changed.
If the person who is bound by the Order makes an application to vary or cancel the Order, then a hearing will usually take place where they will be granted leave to proceed. Only if they are successful will you notified, and a summons will be sent to you to attend Court.
It is crucial you are fully aware of your rights and responsibilities in relation to any Violence Restraining Order matters. Make an appointment with one of our experienced solicitors today at Perth Family Lawyers by calling 08 9325 8675.