Applying for an intervention order

Applying for an intervention order

You can apply for a family violence intervention order at any Magistrates’ Court in Victoria if you are over 18.

Intervention orders can also protect your children if you include them in your application.

You can apply for an intervention order at the Children’s Court if you are:

  • aged between 14 and 18, or
  • applying for your child who is under 18 and where you are not applying for an order for yourself in the Magistrates’ Court.

When applying for a family violence intervention order you need to:

  • talk to the court registrar
  • fill in an application form
  • provide information about the people included in the application and the respondent.

Applying for an intervention order at court can take a long time. It is a good idea to make an appointment with the Magistrates’ Court to do this. It is not just a matter of filling in a form. 

Get legal advice

Get legal advice before you go to court to make the application. We can help you with free information and advice about family violence.

Making an application

Go to court

Call the Magistrates' Court to make a time to have your application processed. The court's website can help you find your nearest Magistrates' Court.

Many courts also accept applications online, depending on where you live. You might prefer not to go to your nearest court for safety reasons – explain this to the court staff.

If you are not comfortable using English, tell the court staff straight away. They will organise a qualified interpreter for you.

It is a good idea to go to court with a friend, relative or someone who can provide you with support. 

Take any evidence to support why you need an intervention order with you to court (for example, abusive text messages, photos of property damage, doctor’s reports).

Fill in the application form

You need to fill in an application form for a family violence intervention order. You can get the form when you go to court or you can download it from the Magistrates’ Court family violence website.

You will be asked for information about:

  • names and birth dates of your children and other family members who need protecting and their relationship to the respondent
  • the respondent, including information that can help identify and find them
  • information about your relationship with the respondent
  • if the respondent has a gun or a firearms permit
  • previous court orders, such as parenting orders or intervention orders
  • how the respondent has behaved, including details about the incidents and why you think they are likely to occur again.

You will also be asked what you want the respondent to be prevented from doing. There are standard conditions on the form to help you.

You can apply for any conditions you want. Think about what you need to make you feel safe.

Interview with the court registrar

Once you have filled in the application form, you will be interviewed by the court registrar. The registrar is a person who works for the court and helps you apply for an intervention order.

Give the registrar details about what happened, including dates, times and places. Start with the most recent event. Explain why you are afraid the family violence might happen again.

Tell the registrar if you do not want the respondent to know where you are living.

Some of what the registrar needs to know may be extremely personal – be prepared for this. Tell the registrar as much as you can. This helps the registrar write up your application.

Tell the registrar if the respondent has used or threatened to use a weapon or has access to a gun. An intervention order can suspend the respondent’s gun licence. This means the respondent must hand in all guns to police.

Also tell the registrar if you want to change parenting orders. See Family violence orders to protect children.

If you do not feel safe and want immediate protection, speak to the registrar about getting:

Getting an interim order

To get an interim order you will need to see a magistrate. You may be able to see a magistrate after your interview with the registrar, however, you may need to wait. If the court is busy, you may have to come back another day.

You can ask for the same conditions you included in your application for an intervention order.

An interim order has the same power as a final order. See When an intervention order is made.

Getting a warrant

If the registrar believes your personal safety is seriously threatened, or that your property is likely to be damaged, they can issue a warrant. A warrant is a court order that means the police can arrest the respondent. A magistrate may also issue a warrant.

Get a copy of your application and any other court documents

After the interview, the registrar types up your application. Check the details are correct and the conditions are what you want. Once you agree with the application, you will be asked to sign it.

The registrar will give you a copy of the application and the summons that tells you and the respondent when the next court date is.

You will also get a copy of any other court documents that the registrar has prepared. This may include an interim order or a warrant.

The registrar then gives a copy of the application, summons and any other court documents to the police. The police find and serve the respondent with the documents.  An interim intervention order starts when the police serve (give) them a copy of the order. See When an intervention order starts.

If the registrar or magistrate issued a warrant, the police will also arrest the respondent.

Going back to court

The summons will include information about when your next court date is (called a ‘mention’). This will be an opportunity for both parties to receive legal advice and try to finalise the matter. If the matter is unable to be finalised, a magistrate can set a date for a contested hearing. A contested hearing is when a magistrate listens to your application for an intervention order, hears evidence and makes a decision about whether a final order should be put in place.

It's important to go to all court dates that relate to your matter so that you get to have your say. If you don't turn up, the magistrate can still make an order, but you may not get an intervention order that works for you.

If you have not heard from the court a few days before the court date, call the registrar to check that the respondent has been served with the court documents. If the police can’t find the respondent, the court date may be changed.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with family violence.

Was this helpful?