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Preparing your own application

Step 1 – Get legal advice and other help

You should get legal advice before you start the process to apply for a domestic violence order.

In some areas there are programs to help people apply for a domestic violence order – these include domestic violence prevention programs, application assistance programs or domestic violence services. You can ask at the magistrates court about these programs before starting your application.

Step 2 – Complete the application form

To apply for a domestic violence order, you must fill out a DV1 Application for a Protection Order form. This form is available online at www.courts.qld.gov.au. If you don’t have safe access to the internet, ask for a copy of the form at your local magistrates court. Some domestic violence prevention and domestic violence services also have these forms — view a sample domestic violence order application form(PDF, 524KB). It is recommended that you get help from a solicitor, domestic violence prevention worker, domestic violence worker, refuge worker or someone else who works in this field when you are filling out the form.

You can get free legal advice from Legal Aid Queensland about what you need to include in the application form.

You need to provide as much detail on the application form as you can. You should describe every domestic violence incident that has happened, including:

  • when it happened
  • where it happened
  • what happened
  • how it happened
  • who was there
  • any injuries you suffered and
  • how you felt — eg did you feel threatened, fearful or scared?

You should avoid generalising or exaggerating the incidents — stick to the facts.

If you do not want the respondent to know your address and contact details, you can leave the contact details blank on the DV1 Application for a Protection Order form and include them on the Domestic Violence Aggrieved Confidential Address form — view a sample of this form(PDF, 524KB).

Step 3 – Gather evidence and attach to the form

You should also start gathering the information (evidence) you will need to support your application. Information that may be helpful includes:

  • photos of any injuries taken at the time the domestic violence happened
  • photos of any injuries taken later when they are more visible (like bruising that shows up a day or two later)
  • statements from people who saw or heard the domestic violence or who you have told about the domestic violence over a period of time
  • diary entries you have made about the domestic violence
  • doctors’ reports
  • other court orders eg other domestic violence orders or family law orders
  • reports from counsellors that you have seen
  • all text and voicemail messages, emails, letters and social media entries (printed out with dates).

Attach this evidence to your application form.

If possible, try to use photographs that have a date stamp on them; they can help you remember when the incidents happened. Photographs (or colour photocopies of them) can be attached to your application form.

Step 4 – Attach any court orders

If you have any court orders, like family law orders about your children, Childrens Court orders or any old or current domestic violence orders, you must attach a copy to your domestic violence order application.

Step 5 – Sign the declaration

You must sign the declaration on the form in front of a Justice of the Peace or a solicitor. When you sign the form you are indicating that the details are true and accurate. All magistrates courts have a Justice of the Peace.

Step 6 – Lodge the application

You must lodge your completed and signed DV1 Application for a Protection Order form at the counter of your magistrates court. There is no charge for lodging your form.

Step 7 – Let the court know if you need an interpreter

If you do not speak English well, or you do not feel confident with legal terms and jargon in English, you should ask the court to provide you with an interpreter. You should let the court know you will need an interpreter when you are lodging your application form or at your first appearance. The magistrate will decide whether an interpreter will be used.

What happens after I’ve lodged the application?

After you’ve lodged the application you will either be given:

  • a court date (as soon as possible), depending on the court’s availability, to ask for a temporary protection order, or
  • a date to appear at court (usually in about four weeks time).

When you lodge your application you can ask to go to court to make an urgent temporary protection order application that day (or as soon as possible). If your circumstances are urgent, your application can be quickly listed to go before a court. This can happen even if the application has not yet been served on the respondent and if you can show it is necessary or desirable for you to have protection.

The clerk of the court will arrange for a copy of your application and any temporary order to be delivered to the respondent by their local police. You can ring the police to see if the application has been served on the respondent before you go to court. If the application has not been served on the respondent, you will still have to go to court.

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