You might have been told that someone has applied for a Protection Order against you, or you might have been served with a temporary Protection Order, which is already in place.
If you’ve been served with a temporary Protection Order it means the court decided it was urgently needed to protect the person who applied.
You must keep to the conditions of the Protection Order. The Order will have an end date on it – it usually lasts for 3 months. You can ask to tell your side to the judge before the end date. If you don’t go to court, the Protection Order automatically becomes final and it lasts until you or the person who applied ask the court to change it.
If you’ve been told that someone has applied for a Protection Order against you, you’ll be told when to go to court to talk to the judge. The judge will decide whether to make the Protection Order or not.
If you’ve been named in a Protection Order you must not contact the other person or have any weapons including firearms. If you have a firearms licence the police will suspend it.
If you have children they are usually covered by the Protection Order too.
Breaking the conditions of a Protection Order is a crime. It’s also a crime if you don’t go to, or don’t finish, a non- violence course if you’ve been ordered to.
A temporary Protection Order lasts 3 months. You can go to court before the 3 months ends to defend yourself.
If you don’t go to court, the Protection Order automatically becomes final and it will last until either you or the violent person apply to the court to end it. The court will not end it unless it’s satisfied that the reasons for the Protection Order are no longer an issue.
If instead you’ve been given an application for a Protection Order this means it doesn’t apply yet and you can go to a hearing at court to defend yourself. If you don’t go to court the judge could make a Protection Order without you there and this could also be final unless you or the person who applied ask the court to change it.
It’s free to go to court and fill out forms to defend yourself against a Protection Order.
If you don’t defend the Order, the judge could make an Order in court without you being there.
You should talk to a lawyer to help you. If you can’t afford a lawyer you may be able to get:
If you want to respond to a temporary Protection Order you have to file your forms at court and make sure the other person gets a copy before the 3 months are up. (For Occupation and Tenancy Orders there are special rules that your lawyer will be able to explain to you.)
If you want to respond to an application for a Protection Order, you usually need to file and serve your documents 5 working days before the hearing date. You’ll be told when the hearing date is.
You’ll need to fill in 2 forms to defend yourself.
Fill in this form – it’s written evidence that supports what you are asking the court to do:
And 1 of these forms – this form tells the judge you want the chance to respond:
If you’re responding to a temporary Protection Order:
If you’re responding to an application for a Protection Order:
If you have been told to go to a non-violence course but you don’t want to you can fill in this form too:
(You have 10 working days from when you’re told to go to a non-violence course to say you don’t want to go.)
Your documents need to be filed at court. The court, or your lawyer if you have one, will arrange for a copy to be given (served) to the other person (or people).
Even if you don’t want to defend yourself you might want to see all the other documents about the Protection Order. You’ll need to tell the court your address so they can send them to you.
You’ll go to a hearing before a judge to decide if a Protection Order should be issued or not.
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