What is an Intervention Order?
An Intervention Order is a court order which may prohibit or restrict a family member from:
- approaching all contacting you
- access to certain premises
- being in a specified locality
- harassing, threatening or intimidating you
- damaging your property
- possessing or using firearms
- stalking you
- anything that appears necessary to the court in the circumstances.
The court needs to be satisfied that the person (defendant) has assaulted, caused damage to property, threatened, harassed or molested a family member and is likely to do so again before it can make an intervention order.
Who can apply for an Order?
Complaints for an intervention order may be made by:
- a police officer (without your consent)
- any other person with the victims written consent
- a parent or police officer on behalf of a child or any other person with the parents written consent
Note: this order may not be suitable for some situations. For further information please contact your local courthouse, police station or community welfare agency.
If the court does not make an intervention order or you’re not satisfied with the terms of an order made you can appeal to the county court within one month of the hearing of your complaint.
Where there is an immediate need the protection of a person or their property the court can make an interim order until your application for the final intervention order is heard. This is made in the absence of the defendant, and is enforceable once the defendant is notified.
Duration of the Order?
The order remains in force for the period specified by the court. And order can be of unlimited duration and fixed terms can be extended by the court.
Changing the Order
You can apply to the court to revoke, vary all its standard intervention orders.
Breach of an Order
A person who breaches an order is guilty of an offence and can be arrested by the police. The maximum penalty for breach is imprisonment for two years and five years for a subsequent offence.
Relation to Family Law Orders
The family court must take into account any intervention orders when making parenting orders and must try not to make parenting orders that are inconsistent with an existing intervention order. A magistrate making all varying an intervention order has the power to vary, discharge or suspend a contact quarter, having regard to the best interests of any child who may be affected.
Will I be required to give evidence?
You may be required to give evidence at court if the order is contested by the defendant or if you were seeking an interim order (unless by phone or fax).
What if I go interstate?
An intervention order can be registered by a State Court in another State. A protection order made in another State can be registered and enforced in Victoria.
How is a “family member” defined?
A family member includes:
- spouses or de-facto spouses
- a person who has or had an intimate and personal relationship with that person, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend
- a child who normally or regularly resides with that person or of whom that person is a guardian
- or person who is or has been ordinarily a member of the household of that person
- a relative who may be a parent, brother or sister, grandparent, step parent, in-laws, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, cousin, or a person who would be a relative if the defect day spouses were married.
What is stalking?
The term stalking refers to the actions of a family member who is:
- following the victim
- telephoning or otherwise contacting the victim
- entering or loitering outside the victims place of residence or business
- interfering with property of the victim
- giving offensive material to the victim
- keeping the victim under surveillance
- acting in any other way in which could reasonably be expected to arouse fear or apprehension
For more information on Intervention Orders in Victoria go to……
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria’s Family Violence Website