If a protected person or a respondent wants to vary/change the conditions of the intervention order, the party must submit an application to vary the intervention order together with an affidavit of application to the proper venue of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
If you are the respondent, you must first obtain permission/leave from the court before the hearing of an application to vary the intervention order. The court may grant permission/leave if it is satisfied that there has been a change in circumstances since the original order was made and that change of circumstances may justify a variation of the order.
For interim orders, the court must also be satisfied that it is in the interests of justice that the application be determined immediately, rather than waiting for the hearing of the application for a final order. For interim orders, permission/leave must be sought within 21 days after the day on which a copy of the order was served on the respondent but may be extended where there are exceptional circumstances. The application for leave is predominately heard and determined in the absence of the protected person.
If you are the protected person and seek to change the intervention order to reduce or increase the conditions, then you must submit the application to vary together with an affidavit of application. As the protected person, you are not required to seek leave from the Court in the same way as the respondent. The application to vary will be listed before the Court and both parties are to be present.
In deciding whether to grant an application to vary the intervention order for either the protected person or the respondent, the court has a wide discretion to make orders as the justice of the case requires and will consider all the circumstances of the case. This will include but is not limited to, the applicant’s reasons for seeking the variation, the safety of the protected person, the protected person’s views about the variation and whether or not the protected person is legally represented.
In order for a breach to be alleged, the Affected Family Member, or another person needs to make a report to Victoria Police. This report can be made by calling 000, directly calling a police station or attending a police station to make a statement or lodge a complaint. Additionally, organisations such as schools or Child Protection can make complaints on behalf of Affected Family Members (Or Protected Persons) when they believe a breach of an Intervention Order has occurred. Once a complaint is received by Victoria Police, it is then investigated and an assessment is made as to whether the Respondent will be charged with a criminal offence. Victoria Police in their investigation may choose to take statements from witnesses involved, review phone records, review email correspondence or text messages. One of the final stages of an investigation usually involves interviewing the Respondent (or person being charged) and putting the allegations of the breach to them. Remember, in a police interview, you have a right to silence and should always seek legal advice before attending at a police station.
If you would like advice in relation to intervention orders, contact us on (03) 8391 8411 to book a free 30-minute consultation with us to discuss what steps you should take next.