Hands holding domestic violence ribbon

Application for Protection Order
filed by the Police?

The police have filed an Application for Protection Order naming me as the Aggrieved – what can I do?

In Queensland, the Police can file an Application for Protection Order (commonly referred to as a DVO) against an individual (the ‘Respondent’), if they believe that the person has committed domestic violence against another person (the ‘Aggrieved’), and that an Order is necessary to protect the Aggrieved from domestic violence occurring in the future.

At times the Aggrieved does not want the Police to file or proceed with the Application.  An Aggrieved may not want the Order for a number of reasons including:-

  • they do not believe that the Respondent has committed domestic violence against them; or
  • they do not believe a Protection Order is necessary to prevent further domestic violence from occurring;
  • they want to remain in a relationship and are worried about the strain associated with the Application on the relationship;
  • they are being pressured by the Respondent or family not to proceed with the Application.

Below are the answers to some commonly asked questions an Aggrieved may have about a Police Application.

Will the Police withdraw the DVO Application if I tell them I don’t want it?

While the Aggrieved’s wishes will be taken into account, the Police can still proceed with an Application for Protection Order, even if the Aggrieved does not want the Order in place.

The Police may choose to proceed in circumstances where they consider it necessary to protect the Aggrieved from further domestic violence occurring in the future.

Can I tell the Magistrate I do not want the DVO in place?

Even though the Police are making the Application, the Aggrieved can still attend Court and appear before the Magistrate.  On the first Court date, the Magistrate will ask the Respondent what they want to do.  The Respondent can:-

  1. Consent to the Order being made;
  2. Consent without admission to the Order being made;
  3. Contest the Application and have the matter set down for Hearing; or
  4. Request an adjournment.

The Aggrieved will then have the opportunity to tell the Magistrate whether they are supportive of the Order being made.

While the Aggrieved’s wishes can be taken into consideration, the Police can still proceed with their Application.

What if I would like a DVO, but I do not want the conditions sought?

The mandatory conditions for a Protection Order are that:-

  1. The Respondent must be of good behaviour towards the Aggrieved; and
  2. The Respondent must not commit acts of domestic violence against the Aggrieved.

In some circumstances the Police may apply for additional conditions to be included on a Protection Order, for example that the Respondent is prohibited from contacting the Aggrieved or from going to the Aggrieved’s home or place of work.

If the Aggrieved wishes to continue to spend time with the Respondent, but is otherwise supportive of the Protection Order being made, the Police can agree to the inclusion of an exemption clause in the Order, for example that the Respondent is prohibited from contacting the Aggrieved except with the written consent of the Aggrieved.

If you would like more information about your rights and obligations, either as a Respondent or an Aggrieved to an Application for Protection Order, contact our office to make an appointment today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Lara Tom, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Lara Tom
Solicitor
Family Law

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black and white image of an unhappy man and a women - family law

Domestic Violence Is Not Just Physical Violence

Respondents to an Application for Protection Order sometimes say “but I never physically hurt them“.  Domestic violence is more than just physical violence and includes a variety of behaviours which are controlling, dominating, or cause a person to fear for their safety or wellbeing.

Under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, domestic violence includes:-

  • physical or sexual abuse – hurting or threatening to hurt someone, damaging or threatening to damage property, forcing a person to engage in sexual activity;
  • emotional or psychological abuse – threatening to commit suicide, excessive text messaging, stalking, controlling who a person talks to or their appearance, name calling, making abusive comments;
  • economic abuse – controlling or withholding money, or threatening to do so;
  • threatening behaviour – acting in a way to cause fear to another person;
  • coercive behaviour – acting in a controlling or intimidating way to force compliance.

Children named on a Protection Order

If a child is named on a Protection Order, that does not necessarily mean that the Respondent has hurt them physically.  It may mean that the child was present when the Respondent committed an act of domestic violence against the Aggrieved which could include behaviour such as threatening to harm them.

Get Advice

Determining whether behaviour is domestic violence is dependent on the circumstances of each individual case.  You should obtain legal advice should you want assistance in filing, or responding to, an Application for Protection Order.  Our team has extensive experience in this area and we invite you to make a fixed fee appointment today to discuss your circumstances.

Lara Tom Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Lara Tom
Solicitor
Family Law

If you are suffering any form of domestic violence
seek help and don’t suffer in silence.

(07) 4963 2000
ONLINE ENQUIRY
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man in handcuffs

Breach of Protection Order

A Protection Order is also referred to as a Domestic Violence Order (“DVO”). The Applicant in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order can be either the person applying for the DVO or an authorised person, such as a Police Officer, who is acting on their behalf.  The person who will be primarily protected by a DVO is known as the Aggrieved.  The person who the DVO will affect is known as the Respondent.

The purpose of a DVO is to protect the Aggrieved by requiring the Respondent to be of good behaviour towards the Aggrieved, and preventing the Respondent from committing acts of domestic violence against the Aggrieved. There may be further conditions of the DVO, such as conditions preventing the Respondent approaching or contacting the Aggrieved.

An Application for a Protection Order is a civil matter. However, if you are the Respondent to a DVO and you breach the DVO, you will be charged with a criminal offence.

What is a Police Protection Notice?

A Police Protection Notice (“PPN”) may be issued by a Police Officer if they reasonably believe a person has committed an act of domestic violence.

The purpose of a PPN is to provide an Aggrieved with temporary protection, and will require the Respondent to be of good behaviour towards the Aggrieved, and not commit acts of domestic violence against the Aggrieved.

The PPN may also include a “cool-down” condition, which prevents the Respondent from contacting or approaching the Aggrieved for a period of 24 hours. The PPN may also include further conditions to prevent the Respondent from contacting the Aggrieved or approaching the Aggrieved for a further period.

The PPN will be treated as an Application for a Protection Order, and will remain in place until the matter is heard by the Magistrates Court of Queensland.

What happens if I breach a Protection Order or Police Protection Notice?

You may be charged with an offence if you do not comply with the conditions of your DVO or PPN. You will be required to attend Court if you are charged with an offence. If you do not attend Court when you are required, a warrant may issue for your arrest.

There are significant penalties for breaching a DVO or PPN. The maximum penalty for breaching a DVO or PPN is a fine of 120 penalty units (currently equating to $15,666.00) or a period of imprisonment for up to 3 years.

What happens if I breach a Protection Order more than once?

If you breach the DVO more than once in a 5 year period, the offence will be considered an aggravated offence. The maximum penalty will increase to a fine of 240 penalty units (currently equating to $31,332.00) or a period of imprisonment of 5 years.

I have been charged with a breach of a Protection Order or Police Protection Notice. Do I need to see a solicitor?

You should seek legal advice if you are charged with a breach of DVO or PPN. This is particularly so if it is your second or subsequent offence, as there is a higher chance that you will spend time in custody as a result of the offence.

If you would like to discuss your matter, or have one of our local and experienced team represent you, please contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi
Associate
Criminal Law

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Family Violence and
Parenting Orders

The Family Law Act requires all parties to carefully consider the circumstances of alleged incidents of family violence when determining what parenting orders are appropriate.  There is a wide definition of domestic violence in section 4 of the Act which includes assault, stalking, repeated derogatory taunts, intentionally damaging or destroying property, intentionally causing harm to an animal, unreasonably denying a family member the financial autonomy that he or she would have otherwise had, unreasonably withholding financial support needed to meet the reasonable living expenses of the family member, or his or her child, at a time when the family member is entirely or predominately dependent on the person for financial support, preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture and unlawfully depriving the family member, or any member of the family members family, of his or her liberty.

Decision makers will consider context, characteristics, the balance of power between the persons affected by it and the nature of the relationship between the persons affected by it.  Of critical importance to decision makers is consideration of how children have been affected by exposure to family violence and what measures can be taken to ensure their future safety through any order that the court makes.  Section 60CC(2A) of the Act requires that greater weight be given to the safety of the child than to the benefit of the child having a meaningful relationship with both parents.

Family violence takes many forms.  All family violence and exposure to family violence harms children.  However when framing parenting orders it is important to consider the types of violence.  The Family Violence Best Practice Principles available from the Family Court website is a useful resource for reviewing how the court considers domestic violence.

Some of the accepted categories for family violence include:-

Coercive-Controlling Violence – this is where there is a pattern of coercion, control and domination that is asserted by a primary perpetrator.

Conflict-Instigated Violence – this form of violence is initiated by conflict.  Although power is relatively balanced between parties, violence occurs over a range of domains in which each party refuses to submit to the other.

Violent Resistance – this form of violence is characterised by a reactive and defensive response of a victim to a primary perpetrator of abuse.

Separation-Instigated Violence – this type of violence is characterised by a small number of violent episodes which primarily occur around the time of separation or disputes over children.  Often there is little, if any, history of violence in the relationship.

Substance Abuse Associated Violence  and Major Mental Disorder Associated Violence.

Both these forms of family violence are initiated by the perpetrator suffering from an associated medical condition.

To consider which type may be relevant to your matter, you should obtain legal advice where they can consider the following factors:-

  • potency;
  • pattern;
  • perpetrator.

After considering these issues you should then reflect what type of parenting arrangement is appropriate for your particular circumstances.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form should you have any queries.

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Domestic Violence ribbon

Domestic Violence
– who can be protected?

A large number of people can be protected by a Domestic Violence Order, commonly known as a “DVO”.

Who can apply for a Domestic Violence Order?

The “Applicant” in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order can be either the person wanting the DVO to be made or an authorised person, such as a Police Officer, who is acting on their behalf.  The person who will be primarily protected by a DVO is known as the “Aggrieved”.  The person who the DVO will affect is known as the “Respondent”.

To make an Application for a Domestic Violence Order, you must be able to show there is a “relevant relationship”.  You are able to show a relevant relationship if you are:-

  • the spouse of the person (you do not have to be married);
  • a former spouse of the person;
  • both parents of a child;
  • in a family relationship with the person, by blood or by marriage; or
  • dependent on the other person for help with tasks that relate to your daily living.

Each of these relationships is defined, and covers a wide range of people.  If you are unsure as to whether you are able to make an Application for a Protection Order, please contact our family law team at Wallace & Wallace Lawyers for further information.

Who else can be protected by a Domestic Violence Order?

In addition to the Aggrieved, a wide range of other people can be included and protected by the terms of the DVO.  These people are known as a “named person”.

People who can be a “named person” under the order include:-

  • a child of the Aggrieved;
  • a child who usually lives with the Aggrieved;
  • a relative of the Aggrieved; and
  • an associate of the Aggrieved.

For a person to be a named person on the DVO, that person must have been exposed to acts of domestic violence, or had acts of domestic violence directed towards them, by the Respondent.

In determining whether to include a child on a DVO, the court must be satisfied that the child has been exposed to domestic violence.  The child will be taken to have been exposed to domestic violence if they see domestic violence or otherwise experience the effects of domestic violence.  A child may then be included on the DVO if the court is satisfied that it is necessary or desirable to protect the child from being exposed to domestic violence or associated domestic violence.

In determining whether to include a relative or associate on the DVO, the court needs to be satisfied that naming the relative or associate is necessary or desirable to protect the relative or associate from associated domestic violence.

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi
Solicitor
Family Law

Have you been affected by domestic violence?
Get advice now.

(07) 4963 2000
ONLINE ENQUIRY
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Domestic Violence - how can a solicitor assist me

Domestic Violence
– how can a solicitor assist me

Domestic violence is a form of violence that occurs within a relationship.  There are many forms of domestic violence, including:-

  1. physical abuse;
  2. emotional abuse; and
  3. threatening or intimidating behaviour.

If you have been experiencing domestic violence, you may wish to make an Application for a Protection Order (often referred to as a “DVO”).  The person making the Application is known as the “Aggrieved”, and the person who is responding to the Application is known as the “Respondent”.

A mandatory condition of a DVO is that the Respondent will be of good behaviour towards, and not commit acts of domestic violence against, the Aggrieved.  You are also able to ask the Court to impose further conditions, such as a condition preventing the Respondent from contacting you or approaching you.

A solicitor can assist you in preparing and filing your Application.  Once the Application is filed, it will be served on the Respondent.  The Respondent can consent to the DVO being made, or contest the Application.

The Court will only make a DVO in circumstances where you are able to prove that:-

  1. There has been an act of domestic violence; and
  2. There is a relevant relationship between you and the Respondent; and
  3. That a DVO is necessary and desirable in the circumstances.

If the Application is contested, the matter will be set down for Hearing.  There are a number of steps which must be taken before the Hearing, including the Court determining whether it is necessary to issue a Temporary Protection Order to protect you from further acts of domestic violence between filing your Application and the Hearing date.

When your matter is listed for Hearing, you will receive directions to file material in support of your Application.  You should file a detailed Affidavit setting out the previous incidents of domestic violence, and any concerns or risks of future domestic violence occurring.  You may also wish to have other people who have witnessed acts of domestic violence file an Affidavit in support of your Application.

It is important to seek legal advice to assist you in making an Application, and to help you prepare your material for Hearing.  It is important that all relevant information is provided to the Court, and your solicitor will assist you to draft your material.  The process can be emotional and stressful, and your solicitor will help you to understand the process and will speak on your behalf when you are at Court.

Please contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form, if you would like any further information about making, or responding to, an Application for Domestic Violence Order.

Lara Tom
Solicitor
Litigation & Dispute Resolution

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