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What happens after an application is made

Information about the process after someone applies for a family violence intervention order.

The police will serve the application on the respondent. All respondents need to be served in person, including people in custody.

The Magistrates’ Court will deal with the application and decide whether or not to approve the order.

Opposing the order

If a respondent does not agree with an order being made, they may oppose the order. In this case, the prisoner must promptly do one of the following:

  • contact VLA to seek assistance to arrange a video-link
  • attend upon the VLA prison advice lawyer, or
  • send a letter to the Magistrates’ Court notifying the Court that they wish to oppose the application and require a video-link.

A respondent (or their lawyer) can email the Family violence co-ordinator at the court where the matter is to be held seeking to have the matter dealt with by video link. The email should advise the court the day of the court hearing and give reasons for wanting the matter to be heard in this way. The court will evaluate the situation and will send the necessary forms.

See Transport and video links—Video link-ups.

There are restrictions on respondents being able to cross-examine the affected family members in person. Accordingly, if a respondent is self-represented, the magistrate will make an order that he or she be represented solely for the purposes of cross examination and that Victoria Legal Aid provide funding for that purpose.

If respondent does not show up

If the court finds that the respondent has been served but has simply not appeared at court on the next return date, then the court may make orders in terms of the original application, in the absence of the respondent.

If the matter is urgent

In urgent matters, the court may grant an interim order in favour of an affected family member without the respondent being either served or present.

More information


Family Violence Protection Act (Vic)

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