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Restraining orders

A restraining order is designed to prevent acts of physical violence and stop threats in the future. It is an order of the court requiring a person to behave in certain ways and is worded to fit each particular circumstance.

The 'applicant' is the person applying for a restraining order. The 'respondent' is the person against whom the order is made.

A restraining order protects the applicant by ordering the respondent not to do certain things, eg to come near you or your property, use other people to contact you or to try other means of contact, including SMS messages, mail or emails.

Having a restraining order allows the police to intervene on your behalf if the conditions are breached. The person can be charged by the police with a criminal offence. If this happens, the court will deal with the person.

There are two types of restraining orders:

An application for either type of order can be made by:

  • a person seeking protection
  • a parent or guardian of a child/person
  • a police officer on behalf of a person or a group.

Applications for either type of order can be made at a Magistrates Court or, if the respondent is a juvenile, a parent/guardian must help the child make an application to the Children's Court.

In crisis situations, police can issue 24 or 72 hour police orders.

For legal advice or assistance, contact your solicitor, the Legal Aid Domestic Violence Unit on (08) 9261 6254 or (08) 9261 6320, Aboriginal Legal Service on (08) 9221 4319, Women's Law Centre on (08) 9272 8800 or your nearest community legal centre.

Last updated: 18-Feb-2013

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