Family Violence and Personal Safety Intervention Orders in the COVID-19 Environment

At Leanne Warren & Associates, we are experienced in dealing with both Family Violence and Personal Safety Intervention Orders. We can assist you whether you wish to apply for an Intervention Order or defend/contest an Intervention Order.

There has been concern that the COVID-19 pandemic would see an increase of Family Violence and Personal Safety complaints. A number of changes have been made to court procedures to adapt to the current environment and reduce the amount of people attending court.

The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria Practice Direction No.6 of 2020, effective 8 April 2020, outlines the current practice in relation to Intervention Order matters. The Court is continuing to hear Applications for Intervention Orders during this time and is giving priority to Applications that are considered urgent or that are in high risk circumstances. These Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Generally, any ‘subsequent’ hearings which can include Further Mentions, Directions Hearings and Contested Hearings are being adjourned in the absence of parties to a future date to be provided by the court. If you are unsure as to whether you are required to attend court or when your next hearing date is, it is recommended that you contact the Court to confirm this.

If your matter requires urgent prioritisation, an application can be made to the Court to bring your hearing forward or for an urgent hearing to be listed. An application for urgent prioritisation would need to justify that delay will inevitably cause hardship for a party to the proceeding. Our office can provide advice and assist with making such an application on your behalf.

Interim Extension Orders have been extended for a period of three months instead of 28 days as a result of the temporary amendment to the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) and Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic). This was amended by the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 (Vic), which was introduced to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The aim of this change is to allow Intervention Orders to continue without being required to serve the Respondent with Notice and without having to attend court for this to occur. If you have been charged with a Breach of Intervention Order that has not been served on you in view of these changes, please contact our office urgently for assistance and advice.

Whether you are the Applicant or Respondent of an Intervention Order, we understand that this is a difficult time and you may have many questions. Should you require any advice or representation in relation to an Intervention Order matter, the first 30-minute consultation is free of charge. Please contact our office today to arrange a phone consultation on 03 9670 6066.