What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is:
(a) physical or sexual abuse
(b) emotional or psychological abuse
(c) economic abuse
(d) threatening behaviour
(e) coercive behaviour or
(f) behaviour that in any way controls or dominates or causes a person to fear for their personal safety or wellbeing
by one person towards another person with whom they are in a relationship.
This behaviour can be a criminal offence (for example an assault, sexual offence or stalking), which you can report to police for the person to be charged. It can also lead to an application being made for a domestic violence order which is a civil (non-criminal) type of order.
A Domestic Violence Order
A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is a different legal option to someone being charged with a criminal offence as it is a civil order.
A DVO tells the person who has been violent towards you what they must not do in the future. You can apply for a DVO to help protect you, your children and other people named on the DVO from someone who has been violent towards you.
A DVO can also be made or varied by a court if a person is sentenced for a criminal offence involving domestic violence.
A DVO can either be a temporary protection order or a protection order.
DVOs are governed by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (the Act) and the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Rules 2014 (the Rules).
Application for a protection order
A Guide to completing the Application for a Protection Order and the Application Form (Form DV1) are available on the Queensland Courts website.
You can apply for a protection order yourself or get a police officer, solicitor or authorised person (friend, relative, or community/welfare worker) to apply for you.
How does the respondent find out about the application?
The Rules explain about how service happens. Service is how a person is given a court document. Personal service is carried out by police in domestic violence applications. For example, a copy of an application for a protection order and a domestic violence order or varied domestic violence order, must be personally served by a police officer. Personal service means giving the document to the person to be served and telling the person what the document is. If the person does not accept the document, the person serving it may serve it by putting it down in the person’s presence and telling the person what it is.
If the respondent is unable to be personally served, there are other options available to police for notifying them about application and orders.
The rules also explain how other types of service can happen.
I have filed my application at the court, what happens next?
When filing your application, you will be given a date to go to court. You must go to court on this date.
(a) appear by yourself, or
(b) appear with a police prosecutor or your lawyer
If you want the police prosecutor or lawyer to appear with you, make sure you arrange this in advance with them.
If you wish, you can bring someone else with you for support but it will be up to the magistrate if this person is allowed in the courtroom at the time of the hearing.
Steps to hearing
After the respondent has been served, at the next court date the respondent can agree to a protection order being made. If the respondent disagrees with the application, another court date, called a trial or hearing will be given when the person seeking protection presents the case as to why a protection order should be made.