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Further details of allegations (further and better particulars)

Information about what to do if the court orders an applicant to provide further details of allegations in relation to a family violence matter.

A magistrate may order a person who has applied for a family violence intervention order (the applicant or affected family member) to provide further details of the allegations to their family violence intervention order application. This is sometimes referred to as a 'summary of the allegations'.

These were formerly called 'further and better particulars', and some Courts may still use these words.

The magistrate may also order the respondent to give a response to the information provided by the applicant. Both parties will be given a date to comply with the order.

What are further details of the allegations?

The magistrate may make this order to get more specific details of the complaint allegations so that the court can understand why the family violence intervention order is needed. They may do this if there were insufficient details in the complaint summary.

The magistrate may also make the order following a request from the respondent or their lawyer. They are often requested by respondents who have private lawyers acting for them.

The purpose of this order is to help the parties to narrow or identify the issues in dispute and to provide an opportunity for the matter to be resolved without the necessity of a contested hearing.

The magistrate is likely to make this order at (or before) a directions hearing if the respondent does not consent to the family violence intervention order being made. When making the order the magistrate may give directions about what information should be included.

How to present the information

There is no particular form that must be filled in. However, the further details of the allegations must meet the following requirements unless the Magistrate orders otherwise:

  • The further details of the allegations must not be longer than 4 pages
  • List of witnesses and outline of their evidence must not be longer than 4 pages
  • Any screenshots, photographs, videos and recording must be filed via USB

The magistrate may specify how they would like the information to be provided. For, example, they may ask for details in the form of a letter, or an affidavit.

If the magistrate does not specify how the information is to be presented, the details can be provided in an email, letter or printed document. This must be provided to the respondent. The magistrate may also specify how to give (serve) a copy to the respondent. It is not necessary to file the document with the court unless directed to do so.

What to include in the further details of the allegations

If a person is asked to provide further details of the allegations of the relevant incidents referred to in an application, they should:

  • try to organise the information in chronological order
  • keep to the facts
  • provide dates (or approximate time frames) if known
  • say where the incidents of family violence happened
  • how many times the violence happened
  • whether the police were called, or involved
  • whether any children were present and witnessed or were involved in the incident/s
  • list what evidence they have to support the application, for example:
    • copies of any text messages or emails
    • social media posts
    • logs of calls
    • voice messages
    • witnesses
    • contemporaneous journal entries.

Keeping an address private

If the affected family member does not want the respondent to know their address, they can send the document by email. It may also be possible to leave the document with the court to be collected by the respondent. Check with the court to make sure they can facilitate this.

Response from the respondent

If an order is made for further details of the allegations, the magistrate may also order a response. The response should include whether there is any admission or denial of the allegations and any third-party evidence to support this.

More information

How to write Further and Better Particulars

What is it? A publication by the Women's Legal Service Victoria which explains what to write when the Magistrates’ Court asks an applicant to explain what family violence they have experienced, and why it is likely to happen again.

Who is it for: Lawyers assisting protected persons.

Format and length: 2 page document

Link: How to write further and better particulars (Women's Legal Service Victoria).

Legislation

Magistrates' Court (Family Violence Protection) Rules 2018 (Vic)

  • r. 4.07—request for further and better particulars

See Magistrates' Court (Family Violence Protection) Rules 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated