Intervention Orders Lawyers Melbourne Victoria
Intervention orders go by many different names in many different States. In Victoria they fall under two categories personal safety intervention orders (PSIO) or family violence intervention orders (FVIO) but are often referred to as IVO’s. In NSW Other they are commonly called apprehended violence orders or AVO’s.
Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers regularly represent clients both as applicants and respondents in relation to all types of intervention order applications.
We have offices in Dandenong, Ringwood, Frankston, Geelong, Ballarat, Moorabbin, Werribee and in the Melbourne CBD, all in close proximity to the local courts, and we have a great deal of experience appearing at the courts in these areas.
Types of intervention order
Intervention Order Answers
What is an intervention order?
In Victoria an intervention order is an order imposed by a Magistrate, designed to protect one person from another person’s aggressive or harassing behaviour. There are two types of intervention orders, being family violence intervention orders and personal safety intervention orders.
The first order relates to domestic violence in familiar situations e.g. a dispute with a domestic partner, here a Domestic Violence Intervention Order would be appropriate. A Personal Safety Intervention Order covers all other relationships. A common example would be a dispute involving a neighbour.
Both are court orders which essentially have the same effect – to preclude one person from engaging in certain activities towards another person.
In Victoria intervention orders are known by many different names, including Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO), Restraining Orders, Domestic Violence Orders, Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO), Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIO) and (IVO’s) but it important to note there are only two avenues that can be pursued depending on your situation: a family violence intervention order or a personal safety intervention order.
How to get an intervention order?
To obtain an intervention order an applicant must attend the local Magistrates’ Court and make an application in person. The applicant can be assisted by a lawyer or choose to represent themselves. To become immediately protected by an intervention order an applicant must apply to the court for an interim intervention order.
The test in relation an interim personal safety intervention order can be found here.
The test in relation to an interim family violence safety order can be found here.
It is often far easier to obtain an interim intervention order where there has been police involvement, police can apply on behalf of an affected family member (AFM) in relation to a family violence interim intervention order or an affected person (AP) in relation to a personal safety interim intervention order.
If the police have attended a property and taken out an interim order then a reverse onus applies. The court must be satisfied that there are no circumstances to justify the imposition of an interim order against the respondent (the person responding to the application).
In practice, it is very difficult for a respondent to satisfy a court in the above requirement. Advice from a solicitor with experience handling intervention orders will be important to a successful outcome.
Purpose and abuse of intervention orders
The purpose of the legislation is to protect those who cannot protect themselves by way of personal safety intervention order or family violence intervention order.
The person named in the order is prevented from approaching or stalking the affected person, or from committing family violence against the affected person. The orders give police the power to immediately arrest someone who does not comply with the above conditions.
Unfortunately it would seem that in many cases domestic violence orders and personal safety intervention orders are not being used in the spirit envisaged by the legislators.
While these intervention orders are commonly used to protect men and women who have been the victims of persistent and relentless domestic violence, in some cases people apply for these orders to fast-track a citizenship application or they are used to secure property rights.
Things to think about before you consent to an intervention order
Section 68R(1) of the Family Law Act (Cth) 1975 prescribes that Magistrates’ Courts have the power to suspend or reinstate a parenting order to the extent that it requires or authorises a person to spend time with a child.
Section 68P allows the Family Court or Federal Magistrates’ Court to make an order or further order which is inconsistent with a family violence order, i.e. it can rescind the order to the extent necessary to rectify any inconsistency. The problem with this is that interim family violence orders can be implemented much faster than a family court order, which can take several weeks.
Under section 60CC(3)(k) of the Family Law Act a final finding of fact or a finding by consent made at an intervention order hearing allows relevant inferences to be drawn in determining what is in the best interests of the child who is the subject of a custody battle. This makes it advantageous for the other party to seek an intervention order prior to settling family court proceedings.
Section 82 of the Family Violence Protection Act states that parties can have other parties excluded from the matrimonial home. If an interim order is granted then this could remain the status quo for 6 – 12 months until a final finding of fact is made in relation to the order.
Read the following articles to see how these orders are being abused.
If you think that a respondent is using an intervention order application to obtain an order unfairly then you should contact Dribbin & Brown lawyers to assess the merits of your case.
We know that people are abusing these orders and although they are civil in nature, they can have serious repercussions down the track. Allowing a person to obtain an order against you when they shouldn’t opens you up to criminal prosecution.
You should consider that if someone is prepared to lie under oath either in open court or by way of affidavit then you should expect that they will later be prepared to lie to police to have charges laid against you for breaching an intervention order.
Sometimes it is better to spend money fighting one unjust order rather than spend thousands and thousands of dollars later fighting a number of different false claims in relation to intervention order breaches.
Our advice is that no respondent should ever take these orders lightly. Although it is easy to simply not turn up to court, that is always a mistake.
How to Fight An Intervention Order?
The first thing you should do to fight an intervention order is to engage a criminal lawyer that understands this area of the law. If you have facing an intervention order, call our office for a consultation.
There are a number of things to consider prior to fighting an intervention order
- Was an interim order put in place?
- Did the police take out the order on behalf of the AFM or affected person?
- Are their relevant witnesses or other evidence that might assist in disproving the application?
- Are the current or suggested terms of the order untenable?
Contested matters will often progress through the courts in the following way, from mention hearing, to directions hearing, to contested hearing, it can be a long process and one that you should engage a lawyer to guide you through.
Like all cases that are before the courts, the key to success is early preparation and competent representation, if you are facing an intervention order, you should call our office today.
Criminal solicitors with experience
We handle hundreds of intervention order and domestic violence cases each year, acting for both applicant and respondent. Our lawyers in Melbourne have years of experience representing clients in relation to intervention order applications.
We routinely act for people who have breached intervention orders and are facing police charges. We also act for people who have orders and cannot get police to charge the other party for breaching them.
If your matter relates to family violence or stalking we can help you. If you have been served with papers to attend Court or you would like to initiate an intervention order application call our office and allow one of our domestic violence lawyers to assist you today.
If you ignore a Court date and an order is put in place in your absence, it is very difficult to reverse the decision. Further, you can then potentially be susceptible to abuse by the other party in relation to breaching the order.
So many clients would have been far better off defending the original intervention order rather than the multitude of criminal charges that occurred as a result of the alleged breaches of the order.