Main Content Anchor

How do I apply for a domestic violence order?

You can apply for a domestic violence order yourself or a police officer, lawyer or authorised person (friend, relative, community/welfare worker) may apply for you.

You should get legal advice before applying for a domestic violence order. Legal Aid Queensland gives free legal advice and may be able to help you apply for a domestic violence order.

How can the police help?

If the police suspect domestic violence has been committed, they must investigate your complaint. If they investigate your case and reasonably believe domestic violence has occurred, they can:

1. Charge the respondent with a criminal offence

The police may charge the respondent with a criminal offence (eg strangulation, stalking, assault, grievous bodily harm) if they believe it would be more appropriate to deal with the behaviour through the criminal law system. If they do charge the respondent with a criminal offence, the respondent’s bail conditions may stop the respondent from having contact with you.

2. Issue a police protection notice

This is issued on the spot to protect you immediately from further acts of domestic violence. It has the same effect as a domestic violence order until the matter is heard in court. Before they can issue a police protection notice, the police must reasonably believe:

  • domestic violence has occurred
  • you haven’t already got a domestic violence order in place and
  • an order is necessary or desirable to protect you.

You should talk to police about whether this applies to your situation.

The police protection notice may include conditions that provide effective and immediate protection for you and your children such as to stop the respondent from coming to or staying in your home, trying to approach you or trying to contact you.

The police may need to notify child safety authorities that domestic or family violence has occurred.

3. Apply to a court for a domestic violence order for you

If a police officer applies to the court for a domestic violence order for you, they will complete the application form and will appear for you in court. You may choose to attend court if you want to make sure all the conditions you need to protect you are made, or you may need to attend some court appearances. If you have questions about attending court, you can talk to the police at your local police station or contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88.

4. Apply to a court to change an existing domestic violence order

This only applies if you already have a domestic violence order in place. The police can apply to the court to vary (change) the conditions in your existing domestic violence order so you have increased protection.

5. Take the respondent into custody

The police can take a respondent into custody if they believe the respondent is likely to injure someone or damage property.

6. Apply directly to a magistrate for an urgent temporary order

If the police believe you and your children are in immediate danger, and the normal application process is too slow to protect you, they can apply for an urgent temporary protection order. This may also happen if the court is in a remote location, the court does not sit regularly, or the respondent cannot be easily located.

How can a lawyer help?

You can ask a lawyer to help you by contacting your local Legal Aid Queensland office, a community legal centre or a private lawyer for legal advice.

Lawyers can help you at different times during the application process. They can:

  • give you legal advice about applying for a domestic violence order in your circumstances
  • help you complete your application paperwork
  • represent you throughout your court proceedings.

If you want a lawyer from Legal Aid Queensland to represent you, you will need to fill out a Legal Aid Queensland application form and show you meet the criteria for legal aid. Some private lawyers can also apply for a grant of legal aid to represent you. These lawyers are called Legal Aid Queensland ‘preferred suppliers’ and you can find a list of them on our website at www.legalaid.qld.gov.au.

There may be a domestic violence duty lawyer at court to help you. You can check with the court registry to find out if a domestic violence duty lawyer will be available on your court date. You can also visit our website and search for “domestic and family violence duty lawyer”.

Applying for a domestic violence order through an authorised person

If you do not want to apply for the domestic violence order yourself, you can get a friend, relative or community/welfare worker to apply for you. You will need to give that person authorisation to apply for an order for you.

Applying through a guardian

A guardian or administrator, who is appointed under the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000, can apply for a domestic violence order for you.

Applying through the Office of the Public Guardian

If you have a guardian through the Office of the Public Guardian then the guardian may be able to apply for a domestic violence order for you.

Applying through an attorney

A person acting under an enduring power of attorney under the Power of Attorney Act 1998 can also apply for a domestic violence order for you.

If you decide to get someone else to apply for you

If you decide to get someone to apply for a domestic violence order for you, you must give them written authority to do so, unless you are unable to (for example, if you have a physical impairment and cannot write your name). You will need to complete an Authority to Act (see page 19 for a sample of this document). The person applying for a domestic violence order for you is called ‘the authorised person’. You need to work closely with this person. The authorised person must fill out all the sections on the DV1 Application for a Protection Orderform, especially Part 3, and sign the declaration. The authorisation must be filed at court with the domestic violence application.

dv-guide-authority-to-act.jpg

View the letter as a PDF(PDF, 50KB)

Last updated 7 April 2021

Back to top