Intervention Orders

An Intervention Order is a Court Order made by a Magistrate under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. The aim of an Intervention Order is to protect a person from family violence or stalking by a member of the person’s family, household or someone they know.

Family violence includes physical violence, threats, abuse and emotional and psychological intimidation. Intervention Orders are intended to protect people from family violence. However, an Intervention Order can be applied for against someone for stalking, whether they are a member of your family or not. Stalking occurs when a person repeatedly inflicts unwanted contact and/or communication that causes the victim to feel distressed. The communications can be via telephone, letter, notes, emails’, gifts or other unwanted material. Unwanted contacts usually involves following, loitering outside the victim’s home, workplace or other places the victim frequents. Other behaviours may be associated with stalking such as interfering with or damaging the victims’ property, spreading malicious gossip, contacting family or friends and threats to harm loved ones. The above behaviours must happen more than once to be classified as stalking.

Applying for an Intervention Order is a civil procedure, not a criminal one. However, it is a criminal offence to breach an Intervention Order. If the matter is urgent a temporary (interim) Order can be made, which will cover the time that it will usually take for the Defendant to receive notice of the Court Hearing. At the Hearing the Magistrate must be satisfied that the violent and/or stalking behaviour has happened in the past and is likely to happen again.

An Intervention Order usually states that the Defendant is prohibited from committing certain behaviours towards the Applicant, having contact with the Applicant, staying away from your home or work and having contact with your property. The Defendant of an Intervention Order is automatically prohibited under the Fire Arms Act from having or obtaining a gun or gun licence during the term of the Intervention Order and for five years after the Intervention Order expires. The Court should be informed the Defendant owns a gun or has access to guns so that the Court can include extra conditions in the Intervention Order concerning the Defendant’s guns. The usual length of an Intervention Order is twelve months. They can however be for longer periods.

An Intervention Order can be made without the Defendant being present in Court after the Hearing. However, the Intervention Order has no legal force until the Defendant has been served with the Order. If the Defendant is not at the Hearing the police will serve a copy of the Order on the Defendant.

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