Protection orders (also known as domestic violence orders) aim to prevent future incidents of domestic or family violence. They also aim to hold those responsible for domestic violence accountable.
Protection orders limit the behaviour of the individual responsible for the domestic violence (the respondent). There are two types of domestic violence orders: protection orders and temporary protection orders.
Protection orders are produced by a magistrate in court to protect individuals in domestic or family violence situations. Protection orders usually last for five years, however they can be extended or reduced based on the time period the court deems appropriate.
Temporary protection orders are made if you are in urgent, immediate danger. These orders only last for only a short time and protect those experiencing violence until their next hearing where the magistrate will decide on a full protection order.
In order to obtain a protection order, you must make an application to the court. This application can be made by:
- The individual who wishes to be protected (the aggrieved);
- A police officer;
- A solicitor;
- An individual authorised by aggrieved to make the application on their behalf; or
- The aggrieved guardian or attorney under enduring power of attorney.
Protection orders protect individuals who have been in these types of relationships:
- Intimate personal relationships (such as married, de facto, registered relationship, engaged, or a couple);
- Family relationships (parent of a child, your relative); and
- Informal care relationships (when one individual is dependent on another individual to undertake daily activities such as dressing and cooking).
Any individual named in the protection order (such as the respondent or the aggrieved) can apply to change the order. These elements of the order can be changed:
- The conditions of the order;
- The individuals named in the order; and
- The length of the order (so it ends sooner or gets extended).
When considering whether or not to change an order, the court will consider:
- The wishes of the individual applying to change the order;
- Whether or not any individual named in the order was pressured;
- The safety, wellbeing and protection of any individual named in the order; and
- That the change to the order would not adversely affect any individual named in the order.
Breaching a protection order is an offence in Queensland. It carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment or a fine of almost $15,000.
If the respondent has already been convicted for breaching a protection order in the previous five years, the penalty increases to five years imprisonment and a fine of almost $30,000.
If you are considering applying for a protection order, No Lawyers’ Family Law Resources can supply the information you need to be confident that your decision will be legally sound.