Someone has applied for a domestic violence protection order, what do I do?

If someone (or the police) has taken out a domestic violence protection order against you, you may feel confused, angry or upset. A domestic violence lawyer in Brisbane can help you work through your options and decide what to do next.

If someone lodges an application

If someone (‘the aggrieved’) has lodged an application for a domestic violence order, you will be given a copy of the application. It will include:

  • The details of the allegation/s
  • The date and time of the court hearing to decide whether the order will be granted.

You should get legal advice from an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Brisbane to understand your options. You can go to court on your own behalf, or with your lawyer.

If you don’t attend court, the Mention may go ahead without you and an order will likely be made in your absence. This might be a temporary protection order, or a final protection order. A temporary protection order lasts until the next mention date, which means the next time the case is before the court. A final protection order will be in effect for five years.

What happens at a protection order hearing?

At the first Mention, you can:

  1. Consent to the order without admissions. This does not require you to admit to the facts or plead guilty to a charge of domestic violence.
  2. Oppose having the protection order made. The magistrate will then list your matter for Trial and order disclosure dates. These disclosure dates will be for the filing of affidavit material by the aggrieved and then by you as the respondent. All material that you intend to rely upon must be in affidavit form. A domestic violence lawyer in Brisbane can help you prepare your case.
  3. Ask for an adjournment while you seek legal advice. The magistrate will then schedule a second mention to give you time to do so.

If the matter is adjourned, the magistrate may grant a temporary protection order in the meantime in order to protect the aggrieved person.

If an order is made against you

It is very important that you abide by the terms of the order. Read it carefully to make sure you understand all the conditions. Breaching a domestic violence order is a criminal offence with penalties that may include a period of imprisonment.

The order will require you to be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against anyone named on the order. It will generally also prevent you from approaching the aggrieved person. If you ordinarily share a home, you may be required to leave.

Common conditions include:

  • Not contacting the aggrieved or asking another person to contact them on your behalf, including by remote methods (telephone, social media, SMS)
  • Staying a certain distance away from their home and/or place of work
  • Restrictions on seeing your children, especially if the court believes that they have been, or are at risk of being exposed to domestic violence

If you hold a weapons licence, it will be suspended for the duration of the temporary protection order. If a final protection order is granted, your weapons licence will be canceled.

Appealing a protection order

You can lodge an appeal at the District Court within 28 days of the decision. You should seek assistance from a domestic violence lawyer in Brisbane if you want to appeal.

You (or the aggrieved) may also apply to the court to change the conditions of an order over time. This usually occurs where circumstances change, and the original order is no longer workable.

For help understanding a protection order, responding to a protection order or applying to a protection order, get in touch. Our experienced domestic violence lawyers service Brisbane and the Gold Coast and are here to help.