Orders a Magistrate Can Make
Interim Intervention Order
Prior to the hearing, a Magistrate can make this order before the Respondent knows about the application. It remains in place while an application for Intervention Order is before the Court, and remains in force until the Court makes another order.
Final Intervention Order
This is made if the Respondent agrees to the order being made, or after the Magistrate has heard all the evidence presented to the Court and believes an order should be in place. It usually lasts for 12 months, sometimes longer.
An undertaking is an agreement drawn up between the applicant and respondent and is not enforceable by police. It is a signed promise that the Respondent will not behave in any way stated in the undertaking. The application for the Intervention Order will be withdrawn, but there may be a ‘right of reinstatement’. This means if the Respondent breaks the undertaking, the Applicant can bring the application back before the Court.
Further and Better Particulars
This is a document that outlines the allegations in an Intervention Order application. They provide detailed explanations of what happened in each allegation. A Magistrate can order further and better particulars if a party to an intervention order requests them or if it will assist the Magistrate.
At some courts, Magistrates can order male Respondents to attend Men’s Behaviour Change Counselling Programs (MBCP). These aim to promote women and children’s safety by holding men accountable for their use of violence towards family members. The Program gives Respondents an opportunity to better understand why they may have acted violently, and teaches them non-violent ways of relating.
Respondents can apply for counselling orders to be changed or cancelled. This will only be allowed if there are is no approved counselling the Respondent can reasonably be expected to attend, or if there are other significant changes in circumstances. It is a criminal offence for a Respondent to disobey counselling orders without reasonable excuse.
NOTE: Counselling orders can only be made by Magistrates in the Family Violence Court Divisions at Heidelberg and Ballarat Magistrates’ Courts, and at the counselling courts at Frankston Magistrates’ Court and the Moorabbin Justice Centre. Please see the Counselling Orders section of this site for more information.
An application can be struck out if the Applicant does not attend Court on the hearing day, or if the Magistrate believes there is not enough evidence for the Intervention Order application to be made. An Intervention Order application can also be withdrawn if the Applicant no longer wants to pursue it.
After hearing evidence, the Court can refuse to make an Intervention Order if it believes there is not enough evidence to support the application.