Find out what you need to do when served with an IVO

Rose Lawyers on 14 May 2019

Have you been served with a Intervention Order (IVO)? 

If you wish to contest an IVO or want guidance on how to appear in Court, then contact Rose Lawyers. We are experienced in working with IVO matters and can provide straightforward advice.

Call us today on 03 9878 5222 for a complimentary consultation with one of our Family Lawyers in Melbourne.

What is an IVO?

uncomfortable lady with man

An IVO is a protection Order that stops one person from doing things that might harm another person (the protected person). This may be to prevent a person damaging property, going near the protected person or threatening a protected person.

  • An interim IVO can be made without you consenting to it, but once it has been made you do have options to contest or to alter it at the IVO hearing.

  • If the IVO is against you then you are the respondent. The person who has applied for the IVO is known as the applicant. On the IVO document they may also be called the (ital.) protected person or (ital.) the affected family member.

  • The Police will ‘serve’ or deliver an application for an IVO to you if you have been named as the respondent.

  • The Police can also directly apply for an IVO in certain circumstances. The respondent will be told that this is a Police decision.

What do you need to know when served with an IVO?

An IVO can prevent you from talking to someone, from going within a certain distance of someone, from calling or contacting someone by phone or social media, and may limit the amount of contact you have with your children.

  • When Police give you the application for the IVO, this application will contain a detailed description of what the applicant says you have done.

  • If you believe an IVO has been made wrongly or maliciously, you can contest this in Court.

  • When you have been served with an IVO you will also be given a summons which has a date and time to appear in Court.

How do you respond to an IVO in Court?

When you appear in Court you will be responding to the IVO. Your response can take several forms.

  • Agreeing to the IVO – but you may be able to negotiate changes to conditions in the IVO to make it more ‘workable’ so there is less risk of breaking the order.

  • Asking the applicant (person making the IVO) to agree to an undertaking – the IVO is withdrawn and a formal written promise to the applicant is made. If an undertaking is disobeyed, the original IVO can be reinstated.

  • Consent to the IVO without making admissions - this means that you agree to the order, but you disagree with what the applicant has said in their Reasons for the Order.

  • Contesting an IVO – if you wish to fight an IVO you will need to go back to Court on another date. Significant preparation is needed when going into a Contested Hearing and legal advice is highly recommended.

  • Not showing up in Court – if you do not attend Court the matter will proceed regardless. It is important to attend Court so that you can understand the conditions of an IVO and make changes to the conditions.

What can you not do under an IVO?

judge holding documents

If an interim or final IVO has been made, there will be certain conditions outlined to protect the person making the application. It is vital that you understand and obey all conditions exactly as written, otherwise you may be at risk of breaking the order and face criminal charges.

  • Having an IVO against you does not mean you have a criminal record, but the Police and the Court will have this information on record.

  • If you break any of the conditions in your IVO , the matter becomes criminal and you run the risk of getting a criminal record.

What can you do under an IVO?

You are free to do anything as you would ordinarily do - provided that none of your behaviour conflicts with the conditions in your IVO. In some cases, an IVO may impact on your ability to see your children. It is possible to challenge this condition, but it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice.

  • A Court wishes to ensure that children are safe above all else. If it is alleged that your children have seen or experienced family violence, then a Magistrate may include your children on the Applicant's IVO or make a separate IVO for your children.

  • An IVO can stop contact between you and your children, which is why immediate legal advice is so important for respondents.

What to do next?

Contact Rose Lawyers for a confidential and free discussion with one of our Family Lawyers in Melbourne. We are available to discuss your options, whether you want to contest your Order, seek an undertaking, or if you just want advice.

Call us now for a free chat on 03 9878 5222. We are experienced in working with IVO matters and are here to help.