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Hearing Applications

When hearing an application, the court will require evidence on such matters as the actions or behaviour of the respondent you are seeking the order against, the circumstances of the parties, the welfare of any children, the addresses of the parties, whether there is a history of actions or behaviour of a similar nature and the potential effect of any orders made.

It is important that you tell the police or the court if any orders have been made between the parties in the Family Court or any other court.

Restraining orders can be made to cover a wide range of situations and can include a direction that the respondent:

  • Keep away from your home
  • Keep away from a school
  • Stop behaving in a certain way or
  • Stop interfering in the way you live.

Where an application for a family violence restraining order or violence restraining order is made in person to a court, you can choose to have the initial hearing of the matter without the other person being present (this is called an ‘ex parte’ hearing).

At this hearing the court may:

  • Make an order of 72 hours duration or less, which must be served on the person against whom the order is made within 24 hours of the making of the order or it lapses.
  • Make a temporary order of more than 72 hours duration. The person on whom the order is served has 21 days after service to lodge an objection to the order and, if an objection is received in this time, the matter will be listed for further hearing with both parties present. If no objection is received in the period, the order becomes final and remains in effect for the period specified in the order and if no period is specified, for a period of 2 years.
  • Adjourn the matter to a hearing date or
  • Dismiss the application.

Alternatively, you may ask that your application proceed to a hearing in the presence of the other party. If, in the hearing, the court is satisfied that reasonable grounds exist for the making of the order, it will make a final order.

Where a family violence restraining order or violence restraining order is sought by a police officer on your behalf (whether or not the police officer makes the application in person or by telephone), the magistrate can make similar orders to those made if the application was made by you in person.

Telephone orders only remain in force for 3 months, or less if specified in the order.

Applications for misconduct restraining orders can only be made to a Magistrates Court or Children's Court (as applicable). Hearings for these applications can only proceed after a summons has been served on the respondent.

A misconduct restraining order only remains in force for a period of one year, or less if specified in the order.

Last updated: 6-Jul-2018

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