If an application has been made against you

If an application has been made against you

If an application for a family violence intervention order is made against you, the police will give you:

  • a copy of the application, which will describe in detail what the applicant (person applying for an intervention order) says you have done
  • a summons, which includes details about the court date.

At court you will be called ‘the respondent’ because you are responding to an application.

The police may also serve you with:

The police will arrest you if there is a warrant. You can ask to speak with a lawyer if you are taken into custody.

Do not abuse the police, even if you are angry about the application. It will not help the situation.

Getting an application and summons

The police will give you the application and summons in person. If they can not locate you, the police may ask a magistrate to make an order to serve you in a different way (i.e. through another person or through social media).

The summons lists the details of the court hearing, including the date. The application explains why the applicant wants an intervention order. The applicant may be a person who believes they need protecting from you or it  could be the police, a parent or guardian.

Getting an interim order

The police may give you an interim order with the application and summons. This means the applicant has seen a magistrate and the magistrate believes the person needs immediate protection from you until the court hearing. See How intervention orders work.

An interim order starts when the police serve (give) you a copy of the order. See When an intervention order starts.

Once you get a copy of the interim order, you must follow the conditions, even if you plan to argue against the final order being made.

If you break the conditions of any intervention order, including an interim order, the police can arrest you and charge you with a criminal offence. See Breaking an intervention order.

Getting a warrant

If you have seriously threatened the safety of a person, the police can get a warrant to arrest you.

If you are arrested, the police may release you on bail if you agree to:

  • the bail conditions, which are usually the same as the conditions in the application for an intervention order
  • go to court on the date of the intervention order hearing.

You must follow all your bail conditions. If you break them, you can be arrested for breach of bail. A magistrate may then give you more conditions to restrict your behaviour. They may also remand you in custody (lock you up).

If you get a warrant, you must also go to court on the hearing day, whether you agree with the order being made or not. If you do not turn up you:

  • will lose any money paid as surety as part of your bail conditions
  • can be charged with a criminal offence (failure to appear on bail is a serious offence and it can make it harder for you to get bail in the future)
  • can be arrested and the police may keep you in custody until the next hearing
  • may be ordered to pay court costs.

Your options

You need to go to court on the date on the summons or on your bail undertaking. Tell the registrar you are at court and whether you agree or disagree with the order. You can ask to speak with a duty lawyer at court.

An order can be made against you if you do not go to court.

You have a number of options for dealing with intervention orders at court.

Criminal records

You don’t get a criminal record if you have an intervention order taken out against you. You are not being charged with a crime. It is a civil matter, not a criminal offence.

However, if you break the conditions of an intervention order, it becomes a criminal matter. You can be charged by the police with a criminal offence.

Get legal advice

Intervention orders are serious. Get legal advice before you go to court.

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