WHAT IS AN INTERVENTION ORDER?
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What is an intervention order?
An Intervention Order is a part of the civil law that restrains a person (known as the respondent or defendant) from behaving in certain ways, going to certain places or being around a particular person (known as the protected person). While intervention orders are classified as civil law, intervention order proceedings are usually heard in the criminal division of the courts.
An Intervention Order is made by a court after an Application for an Intervention Order has been filed with the court. An Application for Intervention Order can be made by the police, a family member or any person where they can show that there has been family violence or prohibited behaviour such as an assault, stalking, damaging property, harassment or bullying.
Purpose of an Intervention Order
The purpose of an intervention order is to keep the protected person safe from the restrained behaviour and to hold the respondent to account for their behaviour. Some respondents can often feel like intervention order proceedings are one sided because the protected person's behaviour is not the focus of proceedings. While the circumstances leading to an intervention order may be complex, the focus is to stop a respondent's behaviour.
Some respondents may be able to file a cross-application for an intervention order against the protected person where the respondent can show that intervention is required to keep them safe from family violence or prohibited behaviour perpetrated by the protected person (for example where the protected person might stalk the respondent).
The police also have the power to put temporary restrictions in place over a respondent called a safety notice. A safety notice has the same effect as an Interim Intervention Order; a lawful power to restrict a respondent from behaving in certain ways, from going to certain places or from being around a protected person.
Once a safety notice has been issued by the police, the matter must be brought before a court so a Magistrate can determine if an Interim Intervention Order should be put in place or not. A court proceeding usually has the effect of ending the safety notice by the court either making or refusing to make an Interim Intervention Order.
A court will decide based on the information in the Application for an Intervention Order and evidence provided during the proceedings, whether it needs to intervene to make court orders to restrict a respondent's behaviour to keep a protected person safe.
What to Expect from Intervention Order Proceedings
Below is a diagram of typical intervention order proceedings (please note variations do occur).