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An individual (the applicant) (or police department but today we only talk about the individual application) may apply for an intervention order in the Magistrates Court of Victoria which places legal restrictions upon another individual (the respondent) and prohibits the respondent from engaging in certain conducts towards the applicant. The respondent must follow the rules under the intervention orders or the police are entitled to take legal actions against him or her.


Intervention orders may contain rules and conditions which prevent the respondent from:

1.     Harassing, intimidating or threatening the applicant;

2.    Being near the applicant’s house or business residence;

3.    Contacting the applicant by phone or email; or

4.    Damaging the applicant’s property.


Intervention orders protect the applicant from anyone that makes them feel unsafe or threatened.


An applicant can apply to the Magistrates Court for an intervention order if the respondent has committed any of the following:

1.     Harassed the applicant;

2.    Abused the applicant;

3.    Threatened the applicant;

4.    Damaged the applicant’s property; or

5.    Caused the applicant to fear for their safety.


The applicant can take out an intervention order that includes the protection of their family members.


The Magistrates can make two types of intervention orders at court. They are:

1.     Interim Intervention Orders; and

2.    Final Intervention Orders.


Interim intervention orders:

A magistrate will make an interim intervention order if they have reasons to believe that the applicant is at risk and require immediate protection. An interim intervention order will normally last until the magistrates decides to make a final intervention order. An interim intervention order can be made ex-parte without the respondent being present at the hearing.


Expiry of interim intervention orders:

An interim intervention order will expire when the Magistrate makes a final intervention order.


Final intervention orders:

A magistrate may make a final intervention order after assessing the evidence at a contested hearing. The magistrates may also make a final order if:

1.     Both parties agree to the final intervention order being made; or

2.    The Respondent did not show up at the contested hearing.


If a final intervention order is made, the court must orally explain to the applicant and the respondent if he or she is present, the effects, purposes and terms of the final intervention order.


Expiry of final intervention orders:

If a court does not specify the date of expiry for a final intervention order, it is in effect until it is revoked or it is appealed and set aside. The court will consider the following matters when deciding how long a final intervention order will last for:

(a)  The safety of the protected person;

(b)  The applicant’s assessment of the standard and duration of the risk to the applicant; or

(c)   the views of the protected person including their assessment of the standard and duration of the risk.


When an applicant applies for a final intervention order, they must indicate whether they want this to last for less or more than twelve months and the reasons for this length of time.


The Magistrates may also assess the following when determining the duration of the final intervention order:

·         The history and duration of the relationship between the applicant or the protection person and the respondent;

·         Whether the court has made any prior intervention orders between the applicant or the protected person and the respondent;

·         Expert opinions about any risks;

·         The likelihood that the respondent will change their behaviour or undertake counselling to reduce any risks to the protected person; and

·         Whether the risks are exasperated by other factors such as drugs or pregnancy.


Please note: The content of our publication is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter. Please contact our firm for discussion of your particular circumstances.