What is an Intervention Order?
An Intervention Order is an order that is made by the Magistrates’ Court that prohibits certain behaviours that the Judicial Officer believes may put another person at risk.
Terms Used in Intervention Orders
The ‘Applicant’ in an Intervention Order is the person who applies to take the order out to protect themselves or another person. For example, a police officer may be the ‘Applicant’ applying for the Intervention Order to protect another person.
The ‘Protected Person’ or ‘Affected Family Member’ is the person, or victim of crime, who has been affected by the behaviour of the Respondent and the order is in place protecting this person.
The ‘Respondent’ in an Intervention Order is the person who the Intervention Order is made against, and who has to abide by the Court’s directions regarding certain behaviours outlined in the Intervention Order.
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Types of Intervention Orders
In Victoria there are two types of Intervention Orders:
- A Personal Safety Intervention Order – An order made to protect a person who is not a family member.
- A Family Violence Intervention Order – An order made to protect a person who is afamily member.
Personal Safety Intervention Orders (‘PSIO’)
An example of a situation where the need for a PSIO may arise is a dispute between two neighbours, work colleagues or a disgruntled customer of a business.
When making a PSIO the primary concern of the Court is whether the respondent to the offer has committed prohibited behaviour and if there is a risk to the applicant that the behaviour of the respondent will continue.
What is ‘prohibited behaviour’?
- Sexual Assault;
- Property Damage;
- Serious threats;
Case Study - Applying for a Personal Safety Intervention Order
A client of Slades and Parsons owned a business who had a disagreement with another tenant regarding the lease of their shared space. The client received information that the shared tenant was sending emails with defamatory information about our client’s business to people in the local area.
Our firm assisted our client in applying for a Personal Safety Intervention Order prohibiting the Respondent from:
- Sending emails or publishing information on the Internet about our client, the business and staff members;
- Approaching or remaining within 5 metres of the business; and
- Contacting our client by any means unless through a lawyer or mediator.
Case Study - Respondent to a Personal Safety Intervention Order
A client of Mr Nick Tehan was a ‘Respondent’ in a Personal Safety Intervention Order with a previous roommate in shared accommodation.
The client disagreed with the allegations being made by the Applicant and Mr Tehan advised the Court that our client would not consent to the making of the Intervention Order. The matter progressed to a Hearing where the Applicant was called to give evidence and cross examined by a barrister Mr Tehan had instructed.
Ultimately the Magistrate found that there was no risk to the Applicant from our client and the Personal Safety Intervention Order was not made.
Family Violence Intervention Order
A family violence intervention order protects a family member from another family member who is using family violence, or domestic violence, to cause harm.
- Family members can include romantic partners, parents, children and extended family members.
- The term ‘family violence’ is very broad and can include emotional, physical, sexual or financial abuse.
A family violence intervention order may include several ‘protected persons’ or ‘affected family members’, for example a partner and all the children in the family.
The process of making a Family Violence Intervention Order is the same as for a Personal Safety Intervention Order at the Magistrates’ Court.
Further, once the interim order or final intervention order is in place, any breaching of the Intervention Order is a criminal offence.
Family Violence Intervention Orders can be varied to ensure that contact can continue between the Respondent and the Affected Family Members. For example: a Respondent may have a condition that they can contact the Protected Person/wife for the purpose of child arrangements.
Case Study - Applying for an Interim Family Violence Intervention Order
Ms Liliana Dubroja’s client had an argument with his wife and the police attended and made an application for an Interim Family Violence Intervention Order with conditions that did not allow any contact between the parties or for the accused to live at the family home.
The client was also charged with ‘Unlawful Assault’ being a criminal offence.
Ms Dubroja negotiated with the Prosecution for consent to a Diversion for the Unlawful Assault charge and made submissions to the Magistrate who sentenced Ms Dubroja’s client to a Diversion.
Ms Dubroja then made an application to vary the Intervention Order and removed all conditions except ‘Not to Commit Family Violence’.
The client then consented to the Intervention Order without admissions and was able to return home to the family house.
Due to the client receiving a Diversion, he does not have a criminal record for the Unlawful Assault charge.