RESTRAINING ORDER PERTH
A restraining order is an order made by the Magistrates Court when there has been an act of abuse and such abuse is likely to occur again. Our professional VRO lawyers are experienced in identifying the many forms of abuse which can include physical, verbal, emotional, psychological, and financial.
VRO & RESTRAINING ORDER LAWYER
There are a number of ways to resolve a restraining order matter which will avoid the need for the stress and discomfort of a trial, such as the parties agreeing to a Conduct Agreement Order or an Undertaking.
We have significant experience in advising and representing both applicants and respondents in restraining order proceedings at numerous final order hearings. We have been successful in obtaining positive outcomes for our clients whether that be by way of winning the final order hearing or negotiating favourable outcomes for our clients to alleviate the need for a trial.
CONTACT OUR RESTRAINING ORDER LAWYERS TODAY
If you are the victim of abuse contact us to discuss obtaining a violence restraining order (VRO) to cease the abuse as soon as possible. Our VRO and restraining order lawyers can assist you in completing your application for a restraining order and representing you at the hearing of the application in court, as well as later at the trial.
Alternatively, if you have been served with a restraining order, get in touch to discuss your options to oppose the restraining order or other methods to resolve the matter.
RESTRAINING ORDER FAQs
What is a restraining order?
A restraining order is a legally binding order which stops a person from doing certain things towards another person. For example, restraining orders commonly prevent a person from communicating with or coming near another person.
What types of restraining orders are available?
In Western Australia, there are two types of restraining orders under the Restraining Orders Act 1997. These are:
- Family Violence Restraining Orders (FVROs) – this applies to individuals who are or were in a family or domestic relationship (this includes dating)
- Misconduct Restraining Orders (MROs) – this is intended to restrain people in relation to causing public disturbances and “nuisances” which may lead to a breach of the peace or damage to property. A Misconduct Restraining Order only applies to people who are not in a domestic relationship.
Who can get a restraining order?
If you are over the age of 18, you can apply for a restraining order in the Magistrates Courts. If you apply for a restraining order for your own personal protection, you can also apply to extend the restraining order to include relevant children, if appropriate.
In Western Australia, children are permitted to apply for restraining orders in the Children’s Court.
How do you apply for a restraining order?
A written application must be made to a Magistrates Court by the applicant. The application can be supported by an affidavit. Once the application is filed, a hearing will be listed where the applicant is required to give oral evidence explaining why they are seeking the restraining order. Following this oral application, a decision may be made to either refuse the application, grant an interim order and list the matter for a final order hearing, or list the matter for a final order hearing without granting an interim order.
What do I need to prove to get a Violence Restraining Order?
In order to obtain a Family Violence Restraining Order, you must prove that an act of family violence has occurred and is likely to occur again.
Can I get a restraining order even if there has been no physical violence?
Yes, you may be able to get a restraining order even if there has been no physical abuse. In Western Australia, the law recognises that abuse may be perpetrated in many forms. For example, an act of abuse can include acts such as verbal abuse, property damage, threats and stalking. A Family Violence Restraining Order can also be granted in circumstances where the applicant has suffered ongoing emotional abuse or economic deprivation.
How long does it take to get a restraining order?
Due to the serious and urgent nature of restraining orders or VROs, the Magistrates Court strives to hear such applications as soon as possible, in most cases being the day the application is lodged, in the absence of the other party, in order to determine whether to grant a restraining order on an interim (temporary) basis pending a final order hearing.
If your initial application is not refused, your matter will be listed for a final order hearing in due course, which is usually approximately anywhere between 3 – 12 months later, depending on the availability of the court. If an interim order was granted at your initial application, the order may remain in place for the duration of the waiting period until the final order hearing.
If you are unable to get to court due to your safety being compromised or you are at urgent/serious risk, it is advised that you seek police assistance immediately. Police have the ability to issue a temporary restraining order which may provide you with enough time to attend court to make an application for a restraining order, which, if granted, will be in force for a longer period of time.
How long does a restraining order last?
If an interim (temporary) order is granted, it will be in place until a decision is made by a Magistrate whether to grant your application on a final basis following a final order hearing.
If granted on a final basis, a restraining order is usually imposed for a period of 2 years. However, different lengths can be imposed or agreed between the parties.
What happens if the restrained person breaches the restraining order?
Breaching a restraining order is a criminal offence and can result in penalties being imposed such as fines or a term of imprisonment.
What is an interim restraining order?
An Interim Restraining Order is an order made by the Magistrates Court or Children’s Court imposing a restraining order on a temporary basis, until a final order hearing (trial) can take place. The respondent has 21 days to object against the order. In the event the respondent does not file an objection, the order can be made final for a period of 2 years.
If an interim restraining order is granted, a breach of such an order has the same effect as a final order restraining order, which may attract a fine or a term of imprisonment.
Can a restraining order affect employment?
As restraining orders are between individuals, it is a civil order. Therefore, restraining orders do not appear on a criminal history check. Breaching a restraining order is a criminal offence, therefore if the respondent breaches a restraining order and is convicted, this conviction may show on the respondent’s criminal history.
Jobs that involve working with children, security or policing roles may require the disclosure of restraining order history.
Can I vary or cancel a restraining order?
The person who is protected by the order is able to apply to the Magistrates Court to cancel the order at any time without having to notify the restrained person. This will usually involve the protected person attending court and providing evidence as to why they wish to cancel the order.
The order can also be varied if there is an appropriate reason for doing so and such variation can occur by agreement of both parties or by way of either party making an application to the Magistrates Court.
In some circumstances, a respondent may apply to cancel a restraining order, particularly where the respondent has evidence of the applicant disregarding the order or repeatedly encouraging the respondent to breach the order.