A common question we are asked as trusted VRO lawyers in Perth is, what are valid reasons for a restraining order?
Here’s what you need to know about applying for a restraining order in Western Australia.
What Is A Restraining Order?
A Restraining Order is an order issued by the Court, to protect people from any acts of violence, threats of violence, physical or emotional abuse or any intimidating and inappropriate behaviour that may cause one to be fearful.
Common Valid Reasons For A Restraining Order
In most cases, Restraining Orders become necessary in marriage or relationship breakdowns, where one party may need protection from their ex-partner.
Some common and valid reasons for a restraining order can include:
- physical, financial, sexual or psychological abuse,
- exposing children to any acts of violence,
- any threatening behaviour that may cause damage to property or one to fear for their safety.
Types Of Restraining Orders
There are three types of Restraining Orders.
- Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) are the most common and apply to any family member or extended family relatives of the applicant. It includes ex-spouses or former de facto partners, siblings, grandparents, in-laws and step-family and their relatives.
- Violence Restraining Order (VRO) applies to anyone other than a relative to the applicant.
- Misconduct Restraining Order (MRO) apply for any act that falls short of violence, but still causes one to feel intimidated.
The terms and restrictions of all restraining orders are specifically set to meet the individual needs of each case.
They may prevent the respondent from coming within a set distance from the applicant, coming near their home or place of work or even contacting them in any way. They can even restrict people from posting negative things about the other party on social media.
The period can also vary and is stipulated on each order. If no specific period is stated, the order shall apply for two years.
Although having a Restraining Order served on a person does not constitute a criminal record, not complying with any terms of one, certainly does. Any breach of a Court Order is deemed to be a serious offence and can lead to either a fine of up to $6 000, or a period of imprisonment or both.
Who Can Apply For A Restraining Order?
Anyone who has been the victim of any of the above-mentioned acts or feels threatened by anyone may apply.
They would, however, have to show that there is a likelihood of an act of violence or abuse being committed without a Restraining Order.
Considering the severity of the situation and possible repercussions, obtaining legal advice is therefore strongly recommended, before applying for a restraining order.
How to Apply For A Restraining Order in Perth
If an act of violence has occurred where the police were involved, a police officer may apply on your behalf, but that is not always the best option, as the Restraining Order may only be valid for 24-72 hours.
Ideally, an application to the Magistrate Court must be made preferably through a VRO lawyer, who would guide you through the process.
In the first hearing you would have to describe any acts of violence or abuse to the Magistrate, who will then consider whether a Restraining Order is necessary. The respondent will be given 21 days to decide whether to oppose the application, and if so, a second Court appearance will be set. For the respondent to be successful, they would have to provide evidence that no violence or abuse had occurred, and there is no risk of it occurring in the future.
If the Magistrate believes that the Restraining Order is necessary, they will grant a temporary Interim Restraining Order valid until the Court makes the final decision. If the respondent does not oppose your application, the Magistrate will usually grant the Restraining Order on a more long term basis.
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!