Responding to an intervention order (PSIO)
Being notified of a personal safety intervention order application is serious. You should read any court documents you receive.
See the family violence intervention orders page if you are responding to an intervention order made against you by a family member, partner or ex-partner.
The application and summons will:
- describe what the applicant alleged has happened
- tell you the date of the court hearing.
If an interim order is made, the police will also serve you with a copy of the intervention order. The order will set out the rules – known as conditions – that you must follow.
Going to court
It is important you go to court for the PSIO hearing. A judicial officer can make an order in your absence. You should plan to be at court all day.
A judicial officer may make a final PSIO if:
- you have committed certain behaviours – called prohibited behaviours
- your behaviour is likely to happen again
- the protected person fears for their safety
- you have stalked the protected person and are likely to do so again.
You can agree to a PSIO but disagree to what was said in the application. This is called consent without admission of the allegations.
A judicial officer can direct you and the other party to attend a mediation assessment or mediation. The application is generally adjourned in these instances.
If a PSIO is made, the judicial officer will read the conditions of the order out in court. A registrar will give you a copy of the PSIO after the hearing.
Breaking the conditions of a PSIO order is serious. You can be charged by the police and may need to go to court.
If you were not personally served with an application and summons or there were exceptional circumstances for why you did not go to the hearing, you can apply for a rehearing.
Contact the Magistrate’s Court where the PSIO was made for more information.
If you disagree with the making of a PSIO, you can apply for contested hearing. The matter will be adjourned and a new hearing date set. Applications should be made in person at the Magistrates’ Court where the order was made. At the hearing, a judicial officer will hear evidence from witnesses and decide whether the PSIO should remain. If you have witnesses, you should arrange for them to be at the hearing.
Sometimes a directions hearing may occur before a contested hearing. This is a hearing that allows the court to ask for more details about the intervention order application, what the main issues are, how many witnesses may be called and how much court time is needed.
A PSIO is in effect until it expires or it is cancelled by a judicial officer. See the changing an intervention order page for more information.
Appeals can only be made against final orders, there is no right of appeal against an interim PSIO.
If you disagree with the magistrate’s decision, you can file for an appeal. An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the decision.
Appeals can be about:
- the making of your order
- the conditions in the order
- the refusal to make an order
- the refusal to impose certain conditions in an order.
Lodging an appeal does not automatically change the order. The order will remain in force until the appeal is heard and a decision made.
The appeals process
STEP 1: You need to complete and submit the form
You can go to the nearest Magistrates' Court to get the form, which is called notice to appeal. Fill in the form. The completed form needs to reach the court within 30 days of the decision.
You can also fill it in at court and file it on the spot.
STEP 2: The court documents and a hearing date will be given
The Magistrates’ Court will send you a copy of the application for appeal and the date for the hearing (called the directions hearing).
The police will serve a copy of the documents on the other person, notifying them of the appeal.
The hearing could be at the County Court or the Supreme Court of Victoria.
This is not a full list of legislation associated with this topic. See the Victorian Government's legislation website for more information.
No, but if you are found guilty of breaching an intervention order, you may get a criminal record.
If a final order is made against you, you will be banned from having a gun for five years or more.
A judicial officer can also put a condition in the order that cancels any gun or weapon permits you have. The police can also search for firearms and other weapons and remove any they find.
You can apply to the court to keep or ask for a gun licence by completing an application to be deemed a non-prohibited person. If a judicial officer has made a condition on an order that you can’t have a gun, you won’t be able to apply.