What to do if an Application has been made against you

Rose Lawyers on 3 May 2018

If an Application has been made against you for a Family Violence Intervention Order or a Personal Safety Intervention Order, then you need legal advice. Seeking legal advice from our Intervention Order lawyers in Melbourne will help you to understand your options. We can assist you in contesting an Intervention Order application where this is appropriate.

How you will get your Intervention Order

You will either receive a copy of the Application for Intervention Order and Interim Order in the post, or will be given a copy by the police. It will have details about what the person applying for the Order says you have done. The Application will probably also include a summons to go to Court on a certain date.

  • If you choose to attend Court, you will be called the 'Respondent'

  • The person making the Order will be the 'Applicant'

  • As well as the application for Intervention Order, you may also receive a Family Violence Safety Notice, an interim Order, or a final notice

Once there is an Intervention Order against you, you will have to follow the conditions outlined in the Order. An Intervention Order is a civil Order. If you break these rules, you may face criminal charges. You have the right to argue the conditions in the Order.

What are your options?

Once an Intervention Order has been ordered against you, there are five options available to you.

  1. Attend court and agree to the Intervention Order being made

  2. Agree to the Order being made but disagree with whatever the Applicant has said in their application (this is called "consenting without admissions")

  3. Attend court and agree to an Undertaking instead of the Order

  4. Attend court and contest the Order being made

  5. Not go to court and ignore the Summons

Contesting an intervention order family court of australia

1. Agree to the Intervention Order

This option means that you go to Court and agree to the Order being made. By doing this, you are saying that you will obey the conditions and rules set out in the application for the Intervention Order. Even if you do not agree with what is said about you in the application, you can still agree to the conditions. You can agree to the Order and the allegations made against you, or you can agree to the Order, but disagree with the allegations made against you (this is called consent without admissions).

  • You do not get a criminal record by agreeing to an Intervention Order.

  • If you break the conditions or rules in your Intervention Order, it does become a criminal matter.

  • If an Intervention Order has conditions about seeing your children or living at home you should get legal advice.

This is a complicated area of law, so legal advice from our Intervention Order lawyers will help to make sure you get the best outcome possible.

2. Undertaking instead of an Intervention Order

The person who is making the Application for an Intervention Order might be willing to accept a formal written promise from you that you will follow certain rules. You make this formal promise to both the person and the Magistrate. This promise takes the place of an Intervention Order.

  • If you break the rules of an Undertaking, you will not be charged unless you have committed an offence at the same time (e.g. stalking, assault, wilful damage).

  • You can only get an Undertaking if the applicant accepts it. It is their choice whether or not to accept.

  • If the police were the ones to start the Intervention Order they are less likely to accept an Undertaking.

If the person who started the Application agrees to an Undertaking instead of an Intervention Order then the Application for an Intervention Order is withdrawn. But they can apply again in future. If you are considering submitting an Undertaking, it is best to seek legal advice from our Intervention Order lawyers. They can help you understand how to apply for an Undertaking.

3. Contesting an Intervention Order

You might not agree with the Order and want to argue against it. You will need to make your arguments against the Order or the conditions of the Order. This will not be done at the Interim Intervention Order hearing. The matter will be adjourned from that date to a final hearing date. You should get legal advice before contesting an Intervention Order in Court.

When you are in Court for your contested hearing the Magistrate will hear from the person applying for the Intervention Order first. Then they will hear from you.

If you have a contested hearing coming up, it is essential that you get legal advice from an Intervention Order lawyer. We can help you with this area of law and are here to support you in contesting an Intervention Order.

4. Ignore the Summons

You do not have to go to Court. But by not going you do not delay the Court hearing. The Magistrate can make a decision without you there and without hearing your side of the story.

Even if you do accept the Order, it is worth going to Court just so you can have your say. It is also important to go to Court so that you know what the rules of the Order are - so you do not break them, even accidentally. If you do not go to Court, you will usually receive a copy of the final Intervention Order in the mail.

For help with contesting an Intervention Order, talk to Rose Lawyers on 03 9878 5222 for a free 15 minute consultation.