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) and Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO), but are often referred to as IVOs. In NSW, they are commonly called apprehended violence orders or AVO’s.
Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers in Melbourne regularly represent clients both as applicants and respondents concerning all types of intervention order matters.
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 – Why Dribbin & Brown?
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Intervention Order Answers
What is an intervention order (IVO)?
In Victoria, an intervention order (or IVO) 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: Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO) and Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIO). The first order relates to domestic violence in familiar situations (e.g. a dispute with a domestic partner). A Personal Safety Intervention Order covers all other relationships. A typical example would be a dispute involving a neighbour.
Both types of IVO are court orders that 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 (IVOs). However, it is important to note that there are only two avenues to obtain an IVO, 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 to 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. For more on when the court may impose an interim order, see: interim Personal Safety IVOs and interim Family Violence IVOs.
It is often far easier to obtain an interim IVO when there has been police involvement. Police can apply on behalf of an affected family member (AFM) in relation to a Family Violence Intervention Order or an affected person (AP) in relation to a Personal Safety Intervention Order
If the police have attended a property and taken out an interim order, then a reverse onus applies. That is, 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 of the above requirement. Advice from a solicitor with experience handling intervention orders will be important for an optimal outcome.
Purpose and abuse of intervention orders
The legislation aims to protect those who cannot protect themselves through personal safety intervention orders or family violence intervention orders.
The person named in the order is prevented from approaching or stalking the affected person or 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 intended by Parliament.
Making false statements
While 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 to secure property rights.
In some cases, this has led to people in Victoria making false statements to secure an interim intervention order or a full intervention order before a Magistrate. Unfortunately, although this amounts to perjury, unless there is categorical proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person has lied, it is unusual for the police to do anything about it.
At Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers, we have had some success in having people who have made false statements charged with making a false statement or perjury, but again, only where it is plain that the other party has lied.
Things to think about before you consent to an intervention order
Section 68R(1) of the Family Law Act (Cth) 1975 prescribes that the 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 that is inconsistent with a family violence intervention 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 before settling family court proceedings.
Section 82 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 states that parties can have other parties excluded from the matrimonial home. If an interim order is granted, this could remain the status quo for 6 – 12 months until a final finding of fact is made concerning 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 open 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 several 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 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 who understands this area of the law. Call our office for a consultation if you are facing an intervention order.
There are several things to consider before 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 there 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 and contested hearing. It can be a long process and one that you should engage a lawyer to guide you through.
Like all cases before the courts, early preparation and competent representation are the key to success. If you are facing an intervention order, call our office today.
Breaching an intervention order
If you are facing Domestic Violence charges, you must find a criminal law firm with experience handling Family Violence Intervention Order matters. See ‘Breaching Family Violence Intervention Orders‘ for more.
Alternatively, if you are seeking more information about breaches of a Personal Safety Intervention Order, see ‘Offence for Contravention of Personal Safety Intervention Order‘.
When you can apply for legal costs
Both s 154 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (FVPA) and s 111 of the Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2010 (PSIOA) give the court power to grant costs in certain circumstances. However, both acts outline the court’s general position: ‘Each party to a proceeding for an intervention order must bear the party’s own cost of the proceeding.’ While it is rare that costs will be granted in this jurisdiction, it is not impossible.
A court may make an order for costs if the court decides that there are exceptional circumstances or if the court is satisfied in a particular case that the making of the application was vexatious, frivolous or made in bad faith. This test applies to Family Violence Intervention Orders and Personal Safety Intervention Orders (s 154 and s 111, respectively).
Both acts also provide that if costs are to be awarded against a party and that party is not present, then the court can adjourn proceedings to a later date, providing that a notice for costs will be made on the next occasion.
While there is limited case law on the operation of s 154 and s 111, there is precedent in the Family Court of Australia that a cost order made in family law proceedings in the absence of another party and without notice to that party or without allowing the parties to be heard, is as wrong as a denial of natural justice. See Marriage of Black (1992) 106 FLR 154.
See ‘Frivolous Intervention Orders‘ for more.
Criminal solicitors with experience
We handle hundreds of intervention orders and domestic violence cases each year, acting for both applicants and respondents. Our lawyers in Melbourne have years of experience representing clients concerning 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 who cannot get the police to charge the other party for breaching the orders.
If your matter relates to family violence or stalking, we can help you. If you have been served with papers to attend court or 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 challenging to reverse the decision. Further, you can potentially be susceptible to abuse by the other party concerning any order breaches.
So many clients would have been far better off defending the original intervention order than the multitude of criminal charges that occurred due to the alleged breaches of the order.