Applying for an Intervention Order
Applying for an Intervention Order The information on this page applies to people who apply for an intervention order at the Magistrates' Court of Victoria at Ballarat, Heidelberg, Melbourne, Frankston, Sunshine and Werribee.
How to apply for an intervention order
An application for an intervention order can be made at any Magistrates’ Court of Victoria location. The Family Violence Court Division currently operates at both Ballarat and Heidelberg Magistrates’ Courts. The Specialist Family Violence Service currently operates at the Melbourne, Frankston, Sunshine and Werribee Magistrates’ Courts.
When you arrive at court, you should ask to see the family violence registrar. You will be interviewed by a registrar and asked to complete a form setting out information about why you need an intervention order, who the intervention order will protect and the conditions you would like the intervention order to contain. If you would like to obtain legal advice or speak to the applicant support worker, please let the family violence registrar know either before or after the interview.
City of Yarra / Neighbourhood Justice Centre - online application
If you are over 18 and live in the City of Yarra (the suburbs of Abbotsford, Alphington, Burnley, Carlton North, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Cremorne, Fairfield, Fitzroy, Fitzroy North and Richmond) you can also apply for a family violence intervention order using the Neighbourhood Justice Centre's online form.
Go to https://www.njcforms.courts.vic.gov.au to apply.
Family Violence Applicant Support Worker
If you are making an application for an intervention order, the applicant support worker at the Court can provide you with general information.
The applicant support worker can offer emotional support, give you information on community services for yourself and your children, including referral to family violence outreach workers, and help you to understand what is happening at court for any family violence matters that you are attending.
Help is available for you to make your own decisions about safety planning, finances, housing, legal issues, children's needs and health issues.
You can also talk to the applicant support worker if you want advice on how to keep you and your family safe from further family violence and abuse. For example, you may need to arrange new locks for your home.
The applicant support worker is available to female and male adults who have experienced family violence and have a case in the Family Violence Court Division.
To make an appointment to speak to the applicant support worker you must contact the family violence registrar. You can also visit the Court between 9.00 am and 4.30 pm from Monday to Friday. You will probably find it easier to speak to the applicant support worker in the afternoon as they are often busiest in the morning.
Indigenous and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Outreach Workers
You may prefer to speak to someone who has the same cultural background as you or speaks the same language.
Tell the family violence registrar or applicant support worker if you would prefer to speak to an Indigenous family violence outreach worker or CALD family violence outreach worker, and they will arrange this for you.
It is important to get legal advice before making your application for an intervention order or going in to the courtroom and appearing before a Magistrate. This is particularly important if there are children involved or the respondent (the person against whom you are applying for the intervention order) does not agree to the intervention order being made.
Free legal help is available for you at the Court if your case is being heard at the Family Violence Court Division or Specialist Family Violence Service. This help is available from a 'duty lawyer'. To arrange to see a duty lawyer contact the family violence registrar who can arrange this for you.
You can also ask for an interpreter at court if you do not feel confident speaking English. You do not have to pay for this service. If you need an interpreter at court, tell the family violence registrar as early as possible so that one can be arranged for you.
Information and referral
Staff at the Family Violence Court Division and Specialist Family Violence Service have special training and knowledge in family violence matters. For access to information and referral to services at court, speak to the family violence registrar. For access to further information and referral to services in the community, the family violence registrar may refer you to the applicant support worker.
Family violence and children
Children may be included in intervention orders if they are affected by family violence . In addition, if you have children, the Magistrate will ask if they have heard, witnessed or been otherwise exposed to family violence before making an intervention order. The Magistrate may decide to include the children in an adult's intervention order or make a separate intervention order for the children if the Magistrate believes that the children need protection from family violence. This is because family violence affects everyone in a family, including children..
Bringing children to court
The Family Violence Court Division and Specialist Family Service aims to increase the protection and wellbeing of children affected by family violence by reducing their involvement in legal proceedings to reduce trauma and also by asking questions about their needs when an intervention order is being made. Children will not be permitted to in the courtroom for this very reason. It is better if you do not bring your children to Court.
If possible, find someone to look after your children or see if you can come to court while they are at school or in care. This is because you may have to wait a long time at court before your case is heard by the Magistrate. If you do not have anyone to look after your children while you are at court, speak to the family violence registrar or applicant worker about child care options a few days before you come to court.
It is hard to stand up in a courtroom and talk about living in a violent relationship, particularly if the person who was violent towards you is in the courtroom. If you think it will be too hard to give evidence in the courtroom, you can ask to give evidence in a different way, for example:
- By using a remote witness facility. This means you give evidence by video link from somewhere else in the court building or from another location.
- By using a written statement called an affidavit. You should speak to your lawyer or the duty lawyer about helping you with information on preparing an affidavit. Be aware that you may still have to answer some questions in the courtroom even if you provide an affidavit.
- With the courtroom cleared of anyone who is not required to be there while your case is being heard. The Magistrate will decide if this will happen.
- From behind a screen, so that you can see the Magistrate but do not have to look at the respondent.
- By having a support person sitting beside you.
- By asking that the lawyers be seated while examining or cross-examining (questioning) you.
It is up to the Magistrate to decide how your evidence will be given. You or your lawyer should speak to the family violence registrar if you want to give evidence in one of these ways.
Family law and criminal cases
The Family Violence Court Division Magistrate can make decisions on any matter arising from an incident of family violence that can be heard by the Magistrates' Court. These may include criminal cases related to family violence and family law cases about child contact and residence or child support. In some situations the Magistrate may even be able to deal with these cases at the same time as your intervention order application is heard. Please bring your family law documents to court with you.
If there are family or criminal law matters you want to discuss, you can talk to your lawyer at court, the duty lawyer or ask the applicant support worker for more information.
Financial assistance for victims of crime
You may be able to claim compensation for expenses from the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal. The expenses must have been the result of criminal acts. The Tribunal can provide financial assistance with medical expenses, counselling, loss of income and other related expenses in certain circumstances. Ask the family violence registrar, duty lawyer or applicant support worker for more information about the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal. In some circumstances, the registrar can also make an urgent interim award.
Contact details for each court below is available for the 'Contact Us' link from the top naviagation menu.
Family Violence Court Division
Ballarat Magistrates' Court
Heidelberg Magistrates' Court
Specialist Family Violence Service
Melbourne Magistrates' Court
Frankston Magistrates' Court
Sunshine Magistrates' Court
Werribee Magistrates' Court