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Restraining Orders

A restraining order (whether a violence restraining order, family violence restraining order or misconduct restraining order) is an order of the Court designed to prevent family violence or personal violence from occurring in the future. 

HFM Legal offers a range of services for both applicants and respondents to a restraining order application.

Types of Restraining Orders

A Family Violence Restraining Order is an order of the Court that makes it unlawful for a family member to do certain things in order to try and stop them from committing family violence against you or exposing a child to family violence.

 

The definition of family member is broad and covers current and former spouses, partners, siblings, children, parents, grandparents and step-family relationships, as well as other relatives, and also members of intimate or family-type relationships.

A Violence Restraining Order is an order made by the Court to restrain a person (known as the respondent or when an order is made, the person bound) from either committing an act of abuse, breaching the peace, causing fear, damaging property or intimidating another person (known as the person seeking to be protected).

A Misconduct Restraining Order is an order made by the Court to restrain a person (known as the respondent or when an order is made, the person bound) from either breaching the peace, causing fear, damaging property or intimidating another person (known as the person seeking to be protected).

How to apply for a restraining order

In order to apply for a FVRO or VRO You must lodge an application form and ask to have the first hearing in the absence of the respondent.

In order to apply for a MRO you need to apply to a registry of the Magistrates Court and pay a fee. The application form can be obtained from any court registry.

How much does it cost to apply for a restraining order

There is no fee payable for an application for a FVRO or VRO.There is a fee payable for an application for a MRO. Fees can be obtained at: https://www.magistratescourt.wa.gov.au/_files/Magistrates_Court_Fees.pdf

Information for the respondent

Once the Court makes an interim order the order will be served on the respondent by the WA Police. The Respondent then has 21 days after being served with the interim order to either lodge a consent or objection to the order.

If the respondent consents (or does nothing within 21 days after being served) the interim order becomes a final order and both parties will be notified by mail. If the respondent lodges an objection, the Court will fix a hearing date. The applicant will be notified of this date by mail. The interim order continues to be in force until this hearing is completed.

Penalties for breaching a restraining order

It is a serious criminal offence to breach the conditions of a restraining order. Penalties for breaching restraining orders can include large fines and, in some circumstances, a sentence of imprisonment. 

The maximum penalty for an offence of breaching a Family Violence Restraining Order, Violence Restraining Order or Police Order is 2 years’ imprisonment and a $6,000 fine. 

The actual penalty that will be imposed will depend on all the circumstances of the case

If the person has previously breached an FVRO, VRO or Police Order more than once in the last 2 years, they might be treated as a repeat offender. In that case, the court must impose a sentence that includes a term of suspended or immediate imprisonment, unless it would be clearly unjust to do so.

The maximum penalty for breaching an MRO is a $1,000 fine.

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Restraining Orders FAQ

You should consider applying for a restraining order made by a Magistrate of the Magistrates Court if you require protection from someone who commits family violence or personal violence against you, threatens you or your property harasses or intimidates you and you are concerned that the behaviour will continue in the future.
A family violence restraining order is an order of the Magistrates Court of Western Australia designed to prevent the occurrence of family violence by making it unlawful for a family member to do certain things that may otherwise be lawful. For example a family violence restraining order may restrain a family member from approaching with in a certain distance of the protected person, attending his or her work or place of residence, communicating with the protected person or stalking the protected person.
A violence restraining order is an order of the Magistrates Court of Western Australia designed to prevent the occurrence of personal violence or exposing a child to personal violence. A restraining order makes it illegal for the person to approach you or your property or use other people to contact you or to try other means of contact such as SMS, mail or email.
You can attend your local Magistrates Court and complete and file an application for a particular restraining order. There is no fee involved in filing the application. Most applications are dealt with within 24 hours and in the absence of the respondent.
A misconduct restraining order is an order of the Magistrates Court of Western Australia making it unlawful for a person (not being a family member) to do certain things in order to try and stop them from continuing their disruptive, offensive, destructive or otherwise poor behaviour.
Advice depends on the circumstances of each particular case. There may be other more appropriate options than a restraining order and, in those circumstances, it may be wise to object to the order becoming final.

Yes. Restraining orders are very serious matters and consequences for failing to comply with orders are severe.

You do not need legal advice to apply for a restraining order but it is advisable to obtain legal advice as, depending on your particular circumstances, there may be other more preferable options.