If you are appearing in court to respond to a domestic and family violence order, our practitioners can help you navigate the court process and assist you with referrals to support agencies. This is a critical time for you to seek help and make positive changes so you can stop using violence in your relationships. It’s important for you to know that we cannot provide you with legal advice, advocate for you or represent you in court.
A domestic and family violence order (DVO) is made by a magistrate in court to protect people in domestic and family violence situations. There are two types of DVOs – a protection order and a temporary protection order. Most protection orders last for five years, but the order can be made for a shorter period or extended if the court feels it’s appropriate.
A DVO sets out rules that the ‘respondent’ (the person who has committed domestic and family violence must obey. It is designed to keep the ‘aggrieved’ (the person who has experienced violence against them) safe by making it illegal for the respondent to behave in specific ways.
Every DVO includes a standard condition that the respondent must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic and family violence against the aggrieved or any other person named on the order, including children, relatives or friends.
A DVO is a civil court order so if one is placed against you it will not appear on your criminal history. However, it is a criminal offence to deliberately ignore or contravene the conditions of an order, and this will appear on your criminal history.
“At your first court appearance (the mention), the magistrate will find out what is happening with the application. They will also consider the conditions requested in the application. During this mention a respondent can respond is one of the following ways:
Courts are very formal places and there is an expectation that everyone in court will behave in a respectful way and follow the rules and procedures.
When you go to court, you should show respect for the court by:
Mentions are not a time to offer affidavits or evidence. This is a closed court and support people are not allowed into the court. The information and outcomes of a mention also remain private and confidential.