There are two types of restraining orders in Western Australia:
- A violence restraining order (VRO) is designed to stop threats, property damages, violence, intimidating behaviour and emotional abuse in the future. It is a court order telling the offender to stay aware from the victim and to stop behaving in a certain way.
- A misconduct restraining order (MRO) is designed to stop a person behaving in a way that is intimidating or offensive. It is a court order that stops a person causing damage to your property or acting in a way that may lead to a breach of the peace. A MRO only applies to someone you are NOT in a family or domestic relationship with.
If you are applying for the restraining order you are the applicant, the person you want the restraining order against is the respondent.
An application for a RO can be made:
- In person to the Children’s Court if the respondent is a child or a young person under 18 years of age.
- In person to the Magistrates Court if both the applicant and respondent are adults.
- Through a police officer who may apply for you by telephone. They usually do this when making an application yourself is either not practical or the situation is urgent.
The VRO comes into effect at the time it is served on the respondent. If the VRO has not been served, it is NOT in force. If the respondent is in court at the time the order is made, the order is taken as served.
If an interim order is granted, the order is faxed to the police station nearest to the respondent’s address and the police will serve the order on the respondent.
The respondent has 21 days after the order is served to object to a VRO being made by sending a notice to the court. If the respondent does not object within 21 days then the final order will be made. This usually lasts for 2 years.
If you received an interim VRO your options are:
1. Agreeing to the RO being made final.
- Fill in the “consent” section on the back of the notice you received and return to the court within 21 days.
- You do not need to attend court.
- The RO will be made final.
2. Objecting to the RO being made final.
- Fill in the “objection” section on the back of the notice you received and return to the court within 21 days.
- You will need to attend court.
- The first court appearance is called a mention date.
- No witnesses will be needed for the mention date.
- At the mention, the Magistrates Court finds out if the matter is still going to the final orders hearing. They also check how many witnesses you have and decide how long the hearing should take.
- There will be a final hearing where the Magistrate will listen to the reasons for an order to be made and your reasons for objectivity.
- At the final order hearing the applicant can present evidence and witnesses to support what you say.
3. Doing nothing.
- In this case a RO will be made against you.