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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

At McCarthy Durie Lawyers, our experienced Family Lawyers are able to provide advice and act on your behalf in relation to domestic violence matters.

What constitutes Domestic Violence 

  • Emotional or psychological abuse; 
  • Physical or sexual abuse;
  • Economic abuse;
  • Being threatening or coercive or behaving in any other way which controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for their safety or wellbeing or for that of someone else

Making an Application for a Protection Order

If you are experiencing domestic violence you can file an Application for a Protection Order in the Magistrates Court. 

We can assist you in completing this Application and ensuring that you seek the most appropriate conditions based on your particular circumstances. 

Before a Protection Order is made on a final basis you will need to establish: 

  • A relevant relationship; 
  • That there have been previous acts of domestic violence; and 
  • That Protection order is necessary or desirable to protect you from domestic violence in the future. 

We recommend that you obtain legal advice in relation to the above, particularly in relation to whether it is necessary and desirable for the Court to make an Order. Simply establishing that a relationship exists and previous acts of domestic violence have been committed will not atomically mean a Protection Order will be made. 

Once the matter is heard in Court, one of the following may occur: 

  1. The Respondent contests the Application and your Application is listed for a Trial; 
  2. The Respondent agrees to an Undertaking; 
  3. The Respondent Consent Without Admissions to a Protection Order being made. 

Responding to an Application for a Protection Order 

If you have been served with an Application for a Protection Order it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. 

There are two ways in which an Application for a Protection Order can be made against you, either by way of a Private Application having been filed or a Police Application. 

If the Police initiate an Application for a Protection Order they may do one of the following:

  • File an Application for a protection order; or
  • Issue a Police Protection Notice. 

When you attend at Court on the first date you will be required to indicate to the Court whether you intend to contest the Application for a Protection Order. If you have been served with an Application for a Protection Order or a Police Protection Notice has been issued, we recommend you seek legal advice urgently. 

Once the matter is heard in Court, one of the following may occur: 

  1. As the Respondent you can contest the Application which will lead to a Trial
  2. As the Respondent you can agree to an Undertaking; 
  3. As the Respondent you can Consent Without Admissions to a Protection Order being made. 

What is an Undertaking

A person seeking a protection order may agree to withdraw an application on the basis that the respondent provides an undertaking. 

An undertaking is a written promise that a person will do, or refrain from doing certain things. Usually undertakings will include the same types of conditions which could have been included in the protection order and sought in the Application for a Protection Order made to the Court.

Undertakings resolve the matter without the need for a trial and a breach of an undertaking is not a criminal offence. 

What is Consenting Without Admissions 

This means that you agree to a Protection Order being in place but does not accept any of the allegations made in the current proceedings. If a Protection Order is made you will be required to comply with those conditions for the period specified on the Order, unless the Court reduces the period of time the Protection Order is in force for. 

Depending on the facts of your case, we can provide you with advice as to whether this option would be appropriate.