Intervention Orders

Your trusted Laywers in St Kilda

The Magistrates Court of Victoria has jurisdiction under the Act to restrain a person from committing family violence and can make Orders restraining a party from:

  • damaging property
  • following the protected person or keeping the protected person under surveillance
  • publishing on the internet, by email or other electronic communication, any material about the protected person
  • contacting or communicating with the protected person by any means:
  • approaching or remaining within a certain distance of a protected person
  • going to or remaining within a certain distance of a protected person’s home or any other place    where a protected person lives, works or attends school
  • getting another person to do anything that he/she must not do under the Intervention Order

The Intervention Order can also provide for:

  • the return of personal property belonging to a protected person
  • the return of jointly owned property to a protected person
  • suspension of any firearms authority held by the person committing family violence, usually requiring them to hand over their firearms to the police.

The Magistrates’ Court can make exceptions and provide that a person does not contravene an Intervention Order by:

  • doing anything that is permitted by a Family Law Act Order, a Child Protection Order or a written agreement about child arrangements
  • negotiating changes to child arrangements by letter, email or text message;
  • communicating with a protected person through a Lawyer or Mediator
  • arranging and/or participating in counseling and mediation
  •  going to the home of a protected person in the company of a Police Officer to collect personal property

The Magistrates Court also has power to make an Intervention Order against a non-family member if that person has been stalking you.

Breaching an Intervention Order

 If a person disobeys an Intervention Order, the Court has power to impose a range of penalties including:

  • a bond
  • a fine
  • or a term of imprisonment of up to 2 years in duration

Appealing an Intervention Order

If you disagree with the making of a Final Intervention Order or the terms of the Final Intervention Order, you may appeal against the Magistrate’s decision to the County Court of Victoria within 1 month of the Final Intervention Order being made.

You can not appeal against an Interim Intervention Order.

Revocation, Variation & Extension of an Intervention Order

If circumstances have changed since the time that a Final Intervention Order was made (for example you and your partner reconcile) you must not ignore the Intervention Order.

A party to the original Application for an Intervention Order can apply for the Order to be revoked (cancelled) if there are new facts and circumstances arising since the Intervention Order was made or apply to have the conditions of the Intervention Order varied.

An Application for Intervention Order is not a criminal case.  It is a civil matter.  However, breaches of an Intervention Order can lead to Police Charges as referred to above.

An Interim Intervention Order is a temporary Order which is made by a Magistrate usually without you being in Court.  It usually lasts for a couple of weeks and will be made by a Magistrate if it is believed that a person needs protection prior to the final Court Hearing. 

A Final Intervention Order can only be made after the person who is to be restrained has been served with an Application for an Intervention Order and evidence of such service has been provided to the Court.

Lawyers St Kilda
Lawyers in St Kilda

Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2010

Most Intervention Orders relate to family violence.  However any person can apply for an Intervention Order to prevent stalking and/or behaviors that are prohibited.

The Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2010 (“PSI”) Act allows an Application to be made for an Intervention Order where there is a real risk of harm or a person is the victim of pursuit-type stalking.

Stalking is where a Respondent engages in a course of conduct with the intention of causing physical or mental harm to a person including self-harm or of arousing apprehension or fear in a person for their own safety or that of any other person.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • contacting by any means
  • publishing on the internet
  • entering or loitering outside their premises
  • interfering with or damaging their property

The PSI Act also introduces a series of prohibited behaviors as grounds for the Court to grant a Personal Safety Intervention Order such as:

  • assault
  • sexual assault
  • harassment
  • serious threat
  • repeated and intentional property damage or interference

Application for Creation of a Tenancy Agreement

 The Family Violence Protection Act introduced into the Residential Tenancies Act the power for a protected person named in a Final Family Violence Intervention Order to apply to the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“VCAT”) for an Order to terminate an existing Tenancy Agreement with the person excluded from the rental premises by the Intervention Order and imposing a requirement on the Landlord to enter into a new Residential Tenancy Agreement with the protected person (Section 233A of the Residential Tenancies Act). 

The Applicant must be a party to the Tenancy Agreement or have been residing in the rental premises as their principal place of residence.  In those circumstances VCAT must be satisfied that:

  • the protected person could reasonably be expected to comply with the duties of a tenant under a Tenancy Agreement;
  • the protected person or the children would be likely to suffer severe hardship if they were compelled to leave the premises;
  • the hardship suffered by the protected person would be greater than any hardship the landlord would suffer if the Order was made;
  • it is reasonable to do so given the length of the exclusion under the Final Intervention Order and the length of the existing Tenancy Agreement;
  • it is reasonable to do so given the interests of the other tenants other than the excluded tenants.

Family Domestic Violence

Family Domestic Violence

The Family Violence Protection Act 2008 defines family violence as behaviour by a person towards a family member of that person that is physically or sexually abusive, emotionally or psychologically abusive, economically abusive, threatening, coercive or in any way controls or dominates a family member and causes that family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of that family member or another person. 

It also includes behaviour that causes a child to hear, witness or otherwise be exposed to the effects of these behaviours.

How will an Intervention order Affect you?

 An Intervention Order does not affect your legal rights or right to apply for a children’s residence or contact order under the Family Law Act 1975, a share of property or your legal obligation to pay child support.

 If an Intervention Order is made you will not have a criminal record unless a Court finds you guilty of breaching the Intervention Order.