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Restraining Orders

If someone is violent towards you, threatens you or your property, harasses or intimidates you and you are concerned that it will continue and put you at risk, you can apply to have a restraining order taken out against them.

A restraining order makes it against the law for that person to come near you or your property. A restraining order also makes it illegal for the person to use other people to contact you or to try other means of contact, for example, SMS messages, mail, emails. These are breaches of the restraining order and the person can be charged by the police with a criminal offence. If this happens the court will deal with the person.

A restraining order is designed to prevent acts of physical violence and stop threats in the future. It is an order of the court requiring a person to behave in certain ways and is worded to fit each particular circumstance.

The 'applicant' is the person applying for a restraining order. The 'respondent' is the person against whom the order is made.

There are two types of restraining orders:

  • violence restraining orders
  • misconduct order.

An application for either type of order can be made by:

  • a police officer on behalf of a person or a group
  • a person seeking protection
  • a parent or guardian of a child
  • a guardian of a person.

Applications for either type of order can be made at a Magistrates Court or, if the respondent is a juvenile, a parent or authorised person must assist the child to make an application to the Children's Court. Courts are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

In crisis situations, police can issue 24 or 72 hour police orders.

To request that police make an application on your behalf, telephone 131 444. Call 000 for emergencies.

The Family Violence Service or your local Victim Support Service office can help with information regarding taking out a restraining order.

For legal advice or assistance, contact your solicitor, Legal Aid on 1300 650 579, your nearest Community Legal Centre, Aboriginal Legal Service or Women's Legal Service.

Last updated: 22-Feb-2017

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