Recently there has been considerable media coverage relating to the issue of domestic violence including plenty of information about domestic violence orders. But what if you are undergoing similar action towards you but don’t share a domestic relationship with the other person?
If the other person is NOT in a domestic relationship with you and is threatening assault on you or someone under your care or is threatening to destroy or damage your property and you are in fear of that person, you may have grounds to file a Peace and Good Behaviour order.
Supported by the Peace and Good Behaviour Act 1982, a Peace and Good Behaviour order helps to protect an individual’s right to ‘peace and quiet, undisturbed by threats to their wellbeing or quality of life’.
To apply you will need to collect a complaint and summons form from the Magistrates Court. These forms must be completed detailing the threats made against you (the complainant). The original, plus two copies must then be provided to a JP to be signed and sworn.
If the justice of the peace (JP) is satisfied the allegation is substantiated they can issue a summons to the defendant requiring they appear before the Court, or issue a warrant to have the defendant apprehended and brought before the Court.
The Court is able to determine from the evidence, including from a Defendant where evidence may be produced, whether the complaint is made for reasons of malice or vexation only. The Court can then either dismiss the complaint, make an order the Defendant be of good behaviour for such a time, or an order that contains other conditions as it thinks fit. Conditions the Court can include in an order include preventing the Defendant coming within a certain distance of you or even contacting the complainant.
Generally the order would be imposed on the Defendant for a period of 12 months or other time period as determined by the Court. It must be noted that the Court will not make an order that places a restraint on the Defendant for an indefinite period of time.
Should the Defendant fail to comply with or breach an order, they will be guilty of criminal offence and can face a maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment or $11,000 fine. Upon being convicted of breaching a peace and good behaviour order, the Court is able to impose other conditions on the Defendant as well as increasing the period of time the order is in operation.
If you would like more information regarding Peace and Good Behaviour Orders or would like to book a consultation, feel free to contact me at Shane@gpla.com.au or call 07 5444 1022.
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