When can you get a restraining order in Western Australia?
It’s a question we hear more often than we’d like, but getting a restraining order can make you feel a lot safer and protected.
Our family lawyers in Perth explain more about restraining orders and when you can get one in Western Australia.
What Is A Restraining Order?
A restraining order is an order preventing someone from harming, abusing, and physically, verbally or emotionally intimidating any person(s). Conditions may be included to prevent them from being within a certain distance from the protected person, or attempting to contact them in person, telephonically, by email or through social media.
Having a restraining order is not regarded as criminal offence, but breaching a restraining order is, and can have serious implications for the offender, including imprisonment.
When Can You Get A Restraining Order In Western Australia?
You can get a restraining order even before any act of violence, abuse or intimidation against you has taken place.
Over and above physical or emotional violence, acts of stalking, threatening and damage to property or harm to an animal also entitles a person to apply for a restraining order.
Are There Different Types Of Restraining Orders?
Yes, there are three basic types of restraining orders.
- Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO). This applies if the person that you’re seeking protection from is or was once related to you. For example, a spouse, de facto partner, or an ex-partner. There is no fee charged for such an order.
- Violence Restraining Order (VRO). This applies if the person you’re seeking protection from, is not or ever was related to you in any way. In other words, a friend, work colleague, neighbour, or total stranger. There is no fee charged for this order.
- Misconduct Restraining Order (MRO). This applies if the person you’re seeking protection from is not related to you, and whose behaviour is not of a violent nature but is offensive, intimidating, or damaging to property. A fee is payable for such an order.
Who Can Apply For A Restraining Order?
If you’re over the age of 16 years and have been a victim of violence or abuse, or someone has caused you to fear for your safety, you can get a restraining order in Western Australia. If a child has been harmed or threatened in any way whatsoever, the legal guardian may apply for a restraining order on the child’s behalf.
In some cases, an authorised support service provider, or lawyer may also apply for a restraining order on behalf of the person seeking protection.
Where Do You Apply For A Restraining Order?
If you want to avoid appearing in Court, you may submit your application online, but you cannot do so yourself. All online applications must be made through a legal practitioner or an approved organisation, which appear on the website of the Magistrate Court of WA.
How Long Does It Take To Grant A Restraining Order?
Once the respondent is notified by the Court, they have 21 days to respond. If they object, a date will be set for them and the applicant to appear in Court, where the final decision will be made. If the respondent consents to the application or does not appear, the Court will rule in their absence and likely grant the restraining order immediately.
If your situation is urgent and you’re in imminent danger, you should contact the police immediately. The police may provide immediate protection by issuing a temporary restraining order which can last for up to 72 hours, giving you more time to obtain a more permanent restraining order. You can contact the WA Police Force on 131 444 or 000 for an emergency.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Apply For A Restraining Order In Western Australia?
You do not need a family lawyer to apply for a restraining order in WA, but considering the severity of the situation, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice to be fully certain that you have sufficient grounds to apply for a restraining order. A lawyer will also determine the correct restraining order that applies to your case and guide you through the applicable process.
Do you need to get a restraining order in WA?
Talk to our VRO lawyers in Perth now about applying for a restraining order. Our friendly team can help you get a restraining order in place to keep you and your children safe.
Book your free 15-minute phone consultation now!