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National domestic violence order scheme

Information about the treatment of family violence orders that are made in New Zealand or interstate.

From 25 November 2017 a new scheme operates that recognises domestic violence orders made interstate. All orders that are recognised in this way are called national domestic violence orders (DVOs). Once recognised these orders can be enforced anywhere in Australia. There is no longer any need to register orders made interstate.

Recognised DVOs are: family violence intervention orders (FVIOs) or safety notices made in Victoria (called local DVOs), recognised interstate DVOs and registered NZ orders (registered foreign orders).

A Victorian court registrar has the power to recognise a non-local DVO.

See ss. 5, 10, 39—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Which orders are recognised?

All current Victorian family violence intervention orders are recognised, regardless of when they were made. This includes interim and final orders.

For other states, only orders made after 24 November 2017 will be recognised automatically as DVOs. A person with a current family violence order made in another state can have that order recognised by taking a copy of the order to any local court, anywhere in Australia.

Orders made in New Zealand can be recognised as national DVOs as long as they are registered in one Australian state or territory.

This scheme does not apply to personal safety intervention orders (or their equivalents interstate).

See s. 39—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Registered interstate or NZ orders

Interstate or NZ orders that have already been registered in Victoria. These orders can still be enforced in Victoria. However, the protected person may choose to have their order recognised by taking it to any local court, or may apply for an intervention order in Victoria.

See s. 33—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Corresponding laws

Some corresponding interstate and New Zealand laws have been prescribed in the regulations as:

  • Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act 2008 (ACT) (Note: Family Violence Act 2016 (ACT) is due to replace this Act on 1 May 2017)
  • Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW)
  • Domestic and Family Violence Act 2007 (NT)
  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld)
  • Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 (SA)
  • Family Violence Act 2004 (Tas)
  • Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA)
  • Domestic Violence Act 1995 (New Zealand)

The Act makes it clear that orders made under other laws may be recognised in Victoria if they substantially correspond with orders under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008.

See r. 5—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Regulations 2017 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If more than one order

There is nothing to prevent a person choosing to apply for an intervention order in Victoria (local DVO) even if there is a current recognised DVO made in another state or territory, on in New Zealand. This is because police will not be able to (quickly and reliably) find out if there is a current order in another jurisdiction, if the person has not applied to have that order recognised. Police have the power to detain a person while they check to see if there is a current recognised DVO.

See Role of police—Detention.

If more than one order have been made then the most recent order will prevail. For example, if a person had a family violence order made in December 2017 under the law in Western Australia, and then moved to Victoria where a family violence intervention order was made in February 2018, this latest order will supersede the earlier order. It is irrelevant whether the old order was a recognised DVO or not.

The first order made ceases to be a recognised DVO from the time that the new order takes effect.

See s. 13(5), 14—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Old order that protects a person not covered by new order

An old order will not be superseded to the extent that it relates to a protected person who is not covered by the more recent order. So, for example if the former order covered children and the mother, but the new order only covered the mother then the children would continue to be protected by the first order.

See s. 13(5)—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

How safety notices are treated

An interstate order (such as a safety notice) made by a police officer does not supersede any order made by a court. However, a safety notice made in Victoria will trump an earlier recognised DVO if the police officer issues a safety notice and at the time that the notice is issued there is a recognised DVO made by a court in relation to the same respondent and protected person.

Under these circumstances the parties must comply with both the recognised DVO and the safety notice. If this is not possible, then the parties must comply with the safety notice

See s. 13(5), (7)—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and s. 40—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

New Zealand orders

New Zealand orders will be recognised as long as they have been registered in one state or territory. This should mean that domestic violence orders are completely portable between states and there should no longer be any need to register orders from another state or territory.

These orders will be called registered foreign orders. They are deemed to have been made at the time they were registered in an Australian state or territory.

See ss. 7, 9—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Registering orders made in New Zealand.

How recognised DVOs are enforced

A recognised DVO or a recognised variation to a DVO can be enforced against the respondent in Victoria.

A recognised DVO is enforceable when:

  • the respondent if properly served (if local DVO)
  • the respondent was properly notified of the original order (if interstate recognised DVO)
  • the order becomes a recognised DVO (if a NZ order), that is when it is registered in another state.

A variation of a recognised DVO is enforceable against the respondent when the respondent has been properly notified of the variation.

The respondent is properly notified when the order or notice has been served in accordance with the provisions in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. If the respondent must be properly notified in another state or territory, 'properly notified' means notified according to the law of that jurisdiction.

Recognised orders made interstate or in New Zealand are enforced as though the order had been made in Victoria. So if a person contravenes an order recognised in Victoria, but originally made elsewhere, the penalties and punishments can be handed down as though the order were made in Victoria.

See ss. 15, 16, 17, 18—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

When orders can be enforced

These non-local DVOs, although recognised do not become enforceable until 25 November 2017. Non-local DVOs cannot be enforced until they are declared to be recognised DVOs.

See ss. 35, 36—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Disqualification of weapons and firearms licences

If a non-local DVO prohibits a person from having a firearms or weapons licence, that person will also be prohibited from holding a firearms or weapons licence in Victoria. The order must expressly prohibit the person from holding such a licence.

The chief commissioner of police is required to cancel (and refuse to renew) any firearms licence or weapons approval once they become aware that the person is disqualified from holding a firearms licence by a non-local recognised DVO.

This does not apply to a person who has a final recognised DVO because that person is deemed to be a prohibited person, and therefore is not permitted to have a weapon or firearms licence.

See ss. 19, 20—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Firearms and weapons—Weapons and family violence.

Orders for costs

Orders for costs made in an interstate or New Zealand orders cannot be enforced in Victoria. However, a court or tribunal may award costs relating to any proceeding for the revocation or variation of a non-local recognised DVO.

See s. 21—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Varying or revoking a non-local DVO

A court (Children's Court or Magistrates' Court) has the power to vary or to revoke a recognised interstate order as if the order had been made in Victoria. However this does not apply if the order is a kind of order that cannot be revoked or varied by a court in the jurisdiction where it was made. Applications are made in the same way that applications to vary or revoke local family violence intervention orders (FVIOs) are made. The court may decline to hear the application.

See Extend, vary or revoke an order.

Exchanging information

The police or courts can get information from (courts or police) in another jurisdiction to exercise its law enforcement functions. So for example if police attend a family home where a person is reasonably believed to have committed family violence, they may contact courts or police in another jurisdiction to confirm whether a DVO exists in relation to the family violence victim and the person believed to have committed family violence.

Also police and courts in Victoria must provide information to interstate courts or police about DVOs if asked.

See ss. 27, 28, 29—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Tenancy matters

From 25 November 2017, a tenant who has a family violence order made interstate or from New Zealand that is recognised as a National Domestic Violence Order (DVO) may:

  • change the locks of their rented accommodation
  • apply to VCAT for a new or amended tenancy agreement

in the same way that an affected family member with a Victorian family violence intervention order can. This interstate or overseas order must be one that is recognised under Victorian law and must have a condition excluding a respondent from the family home.

See Exclusion order from property.

Registering orders made in New Zealand

A person who has been protected from family violence by a family violence order in New Zealand may register the order with a Victorian Magistrates' Court. Both interim and final orders can be registered in this way. Provided a family violence order is registered in one Australian state or territory, it will be recognised anywhere in Australia (provided that the state or territory has adopted the scheme).

See ss. 4, 7, 177, 178—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Will the other party be told where the protected person is?

The court registrar has the power to register a corresponding order with a Magistrates Court. The registrar may list the matter before the court for a decision about whether the respondent needs to be served with a copy of the registered interstate order.

The court will listen to the protected person and will only disclose their location if satisfied that their safety will not be put at risk when the respondent knows they are in Victoria.

See ss. 178(2), (3), (4)—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Notice to be given to the court that made the order

After registering an order made in New Zealand, the Victorian Registrar must give notice to:

  • the court that originally made the order
  • the protected person, and
  • the respondent (if satisfied that the safety of the protected person will not be put at risk).

A coy of the order will be given to:

  • the Chief commissioner of police
  • Department of Health and Human Services.

See ss. 178—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Enforcing an order made in New Zealand

If a respondent contravenes an order (from interstate or from New Zealand) that has been registered in Victoria, the breach will be treated as though the person had breached a final order made in Victoria.

See ss. 179—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Breaching an order.

Variation, extension or revocation of a New Zealand order

The Court may vary, extend or revoke the registration of an order that was made in New Zealand or interstate.

See Extend, vary or revoke an order.

More information

Legislation

Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)

  • s. 4—defines corresponding orders as final orders
  • s. 7—defines a 'registered foreign order' as on being from NZ or from another jurisdiction that substantially corresponds with the NZ order
  • s. 40—family violence order prevails over existing recognised DVO
  • s. 57—explanation of an interim order
  • s. 96—explanation of a final order
  • Part 10—Interstate and NZ orders
  • s. 177—allows New Zealand orders to be registered by a Registrar in Victoria
  • s. 178—when an order is registered, the court must give notice to the court that made the original decision and also to the person who needs to be protected
  • s. 179—variation, extension, or revocation by NZ court has no effect
  • s. 180—variation, extension, or revocation of registered corresponding NZ order
  • s. 181—variation, extension or revocation of corresponding interstate order by a Victorian court
  • s. 182—notice of proposed variation, extension or revocation of corresponding interstate order

See Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016

  • s. 4—defines a corresponding law as an interstate law relating to the protection of people from family violence that substantially corresponds to the Victorian Act or that is prescribed in the regulations, 'foreign order as a NZ order'
  • s. 6—defines an interstate DVO as an order that corresponds to an order under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008
  • s. 7—defines a New Zealand order that is recognised in Australia after it has been registered in a state or territory
  • s. 9—special provisions for foreign orders (NZ orders deemed to have been made when registered as a foreign order in the state or territory)
  • s. 13—recognised DVO prevails over earlier comparable DVO
  • s. 14—making new orders
  • s. 15—recognised DVOs and variations are enforceable against the respondent
  • s. 16—defines 'properly notified'
  • s. 17—contravention of enforceable recognised DVO
  • s. 18—non-local DVOs are treated as though they were local DVOs
  • s. 19—recognition of disqualification to hold firearms
  • s. 20—recognition of disqualification to hold weapons licence
  • s. 21—orders for costs
  • s. 33—NZ or interstate orders registered before 25 November 2017
  • s. 39—power to declare a DVO to be recognised (Victorian court registrar)

See National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Regulations 2017

  • r. 5—lists the corresponding Acts

See National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Regulations 2017(opens in a new window).

Updated