Applying for an Intervention Order
by Lajita Allan-Agnew
You can apply for a family violence intervention order at any Magistrates’ Court in Victoria if you are over 18.
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.
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 get 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. They can also help you tell your story clearly.
Take any evidence to support why you need an intervention order with you to court.
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 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.
If you are applying for a family violence intervention order, you will also be asked if there is an associate of the respondent you think you need protection from.
If you include another person on your application, they become an ‘additional respondent’. This means that they have to follow the same conditions as the respondent.
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 it might happen again.
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. They can suspend the respondent’s gun licence. This means the respondent must hand in all guns to police.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW:
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 court hearing 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 faxes a copy of the application, summons and any other court documents to the police. The police find and serve the respondent the documents.
If the registrar or magistrate issued a warrant, the police will also arrest the respondent.
Going back to court
The summons will say the date of your court hearing. A hearing is when a magistrate listens to your application for an intervention order.
It’s important to go to the court hearing 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 hearing, 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.