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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
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.