|It is vitally important that a comprehensive application is presented to the Court as the Magistrate must be satisfied that an act of domestic and family violence has occurred and/or the possibility of such an act occurring exists. |
Therefore, it is crucial that evidence be obtained either by maintaining a diary regarding occurrences that record as much information as possible regarding the incident, eg, dates, times, places, people and details of the event. These may include photographs, technology, eg, keeping text messages, emails, facebook or similar entries.
Family members, friends, neighbours and/or others may be key witnesses who may corroborate the episode. In these instances an affidavit from such witnesses could be advantageous in presenting a more robust application.
For assistance with completing a Protection Order application, support is provided every Monday afternoon between 1.30 - 3.30 pm at the Ipswich Magistrates Court, Level 3, 43 Ellenborough St, Ipswich. If it is an urgent order please contact IWCADV on 38163000. We offer urgent application support throughout the week during business hours.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A PROTECTION ORDER
You can apply for a Protection Order yourself or get a police officer, solicitor or authorised person (friend, relative, welfare worker) to apply for you. IWCADV workers will support you to write your application if needed. For assistance with completing a Protection Order application, support is provided every Monday afternoon between 1.30 - 3.30 pm at the Ipswich Magistrates Court, Level 3, 43 Ellenborough St, Ipswich. If it is an urgent order please contact IWCADV on 38163000. We offer urgent application support throughout the week during business hours. It is possible to apply for an urgent protection order if you believe you are at immediate risk. Once the form is filled in, it is given to the court house. If you want your application to be heard urgently, it is important to let the court staff know.
PREPARING YOUR OWN APPLICATION
To apply for protection you must fill out a Protection Order Application.
You need to include on the form:
- The location of the Magistrate Court where you are filing your application
- Your full name
- Your address. If you do not want to let your spouse know where you are living you can insert an address where correspondence can be sent to you
Remember: a copy of this application will be given to your spouse.
- Whether you are male or female, and your date of birth.
- Your relationship to the respondent spouse.
- Whether you are currently living with the respondent spouse
- The respondent spouse's full name and address, whether your spouse is male or female, and their date of birth.
- Whether you are the aggrieved spouse, a police officer or an authorised person (Applicant Details section).
- Why you wish to obtain a Protection Order (Basis of Application section). It is important that you tick at least one of these boxes. You may tick more than one.
- What has happened to make you apply for protection (History of Domestic Violence section). Put as much information as possible and if there is not enough space on the form to outline the history you can put more information on a plain sheet of paper and attach it to your application.
- Details of weapons the respondent spouse has used or threatened to use (Weapons Details section).
- Any other orders that are currently in force, like a Family Court Order about contact (access) with children (Other Orders section).
- How you wish to be protected from your spouse (Protection Conditions Sought by Applicant section). The things you list here are what the Magistrate will look at to decide what orders to make.
- Whether you want the police prosecutor to represent you at the hearing of the application (Court Process section).
- You must sign the declaration on the form in front of a Justice of the Peace. All Magistrate Courts have a Justice of the Peace or a solicitor.
- Do not fill in the Summons or Oath of Service attached to the form. 
GETTING AN AUTHORISED PERSON TO PREPARE THE APPLICATION
If an authorised person is applying for you, they must fill out all the sections listed above AND the "Authorised Person DetailsÂ section. The authorised person must sign the declaration.
WHAT ORDERS CAN BE MADE
Protection Orders automatically say that the respondent spouse must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved spouse and aggrieved relatives or associates, and that the respondent spouse must not possess a weapon for the life of the order, and that all weapons licences held by the respondent spouse are cancelled.
Respondent spouse may be allowed to keep weapons if they can prove that removing the weapons will take away their means of earning a living. This exception is only allowed if the spouse has never used a weapon or threatened to use a weapon when committing domestic violence. If the magistrate allows the respondent to keep weapons, the magistrate must restrict the respondent's access to them while allowing them to be used to earn a living.
You can also ask for orders to stop your spouse from:
- Having contact with you (or the aggrieved persons). This means your spouse cannot telephone you, write to you or come within a certain distance of you. You can ask the Magistrate to make an exception if you think you will want counselling or want to attend mediation with your spouse in the future.
- Coming to where you live or work, or within a certain distance of where you live or work.
- Living with you. You should get legal advice before asking for this sort of Order.
Orders do not only have to be about restricting your spouse. You may want a condition that allows you to return to the home you share with your spouse to get your personal belongings or that makes the respondent spouse return your property. In some circumstances it is possible for the Magistrate to stop your spouse coming back to your place of residence or to remove your spouse from your place of residence even if you both have lived there together. This is known as an "ousterÂ order.
AFTER YOU LODGE THE APPLICATION
When your application is lodged with the court two things can happen:
- You will be given an urgent order (Ex parte), or
- You will be given a date to appear at court in about three weeks.
When you lodge your application, you can ask the court for an immediate hearing to determine whether you should have a Protection Order before your spouse knows that you have applied for a protection. This is called Ex parte Application. If your Ex parte Application is successful, the Magistrate will give you a Temporary Protection Order. A Temporary Protection Order only continues until the next time your application goes before court. Temporary Protection Orders are only granted if you are in danger of personal injury or your property is likely to be damaged. A Temporary Protection Order suspends the respondent spouse's weapons licences and contains a summons telling the respondent spouse to come to court on a certain date.
If your application is not urgent, the clerk of the court will arrange for a copy of the application and summons to be given to the officer in charge of the police station in your spouse's area so they can carry out their duty to serve (deliver) the document to your spouse.
You will be told the date of the mention (court appearance) when you lodge your application.
You can ring the police to see if the application has been served on your spouse before you go to court.
There will not be full hearing the first time you come to court after your spouse has been summoned. It will be a mention where you and your spouse can try to reach agreement. If you cannot agree, a date will be made for a contested hearing.
If your spouse has not been served with documents in time for the first mention, the Magistrate will adjourn (put off until a later date) the matter, so that your spouse can be served with the documents. If you think you will be in danger during that time, ask the magistrate to give you a Temporary Protection Order until the next mention, which will usually be held just under 30 days from the time the first one was adjourned. If the Magistrate thinks you will be danger, the Temporary Protection Order will be made.
Check our Court Procedures for more information about what happens in Court.
WORDS THAT YOU WILL HEAR
|ADJOURNMENT||When a Magistrate puts the case off to a later date.|
|AFFIDAVIT||A signed written statement by a person involved in the case, telling what they saw or heard. It is sworn on the Bible or affirmed.|
|AFFIRM||Swearing what you say is true instead of taking the Oath (usually because your religion does not recognise taking the oath or you do not have a religion).|
|AGGRIEVED SPOUSE||The person who needs a Protection Order against their spouse.|
|AGGRIEVED PERSON||A person who is a relative or associate (friend, workmate, refuge worker) of the spouse who needs a Protection Order, and who is also in need of protection.|
|AUTHORISED PERSON||A person asking to apply for protection Order for the aggrieved person.|
|BREACH||When your spouse breaks the Protection Order.|
|CONSENT ORDER||A Protection Order made when your spouse agrees on what you want. |
|CONTEST||When your spouse opposes your application.|
|CROSS-EXAMINATION||When someone giving evidence in court is questioned about their evidence.|
|DEPONENT||The person who signs an affidavit.|
|DOMESTIC VIOLENCE||Damage, injury, indecent behaviour without consent, intimidation, harassment or other similar behaviour inflicted on you by your spouse.|
|EX-PARTE||A court application made without your spouse being told until after it is over. It is only done when you are in danger of injury or property damage.|
|FINAL ORDER||A Protection Order made by the Magistrate after hearing your application. The final order remains in force for up to years, or longer if there are special reasons.|
|HEARING||At the hearing the Magistrate will listen to evidence from you and your spouse and any other relevant witnesses. The Magistrate listens to what both sides say, takes into account the law and makes a decision about whether a Protection Order should be made.|
|HEARSAY||When you tell the court what someone has said. Magistrates are not usually allowed to consider Âhearsay evidence', but in application for Protection Orders the Magistrate is allowed to get information in any reasonable way.|
|LEGISLATION||An Act of Parliament. For example, the Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Act.|
|MAGISTRATES||COURT - The court that deals with domestic violence matters.|
|MENTION||This is the date your matter goes to Court. The Magistrate will want to know on this day what is happening with your Protection Order application. It is not a hearing.|
|OATH||Swearing on the Bible that you will tell the truth. If you do not want to swear on the Bible you can affirm your evidence.|
|PROTECTION ORDER||A court order to stop domestic violence.|
|RESPONDENT SPOUSE||The person you apply to be protected from. |
|SERVE||To deliver the application and summons or order to your spouse. |
|SPOUSE||Your spouse is the person of the opposite sex you are married to or have been married to, the person of the same or opposite sex you are living with or have been living with in a relationship that is normally considered by the community to indicate that you are a couple, or a person who is the natural parent of your child (ren) even if you have never married or lived together.|
|SUMMONS||A document from the court telling your spouse to come to court.|
|TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDER||An order that is in force until a final decision is made by the Protection Order Magistrate.|