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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 places 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. Fill out the application form

To apply for a domestic violence order, you must fill out a DV1 Application for a Protection Order form. You can do this:

  • online by visiting www.qld.gov.au and searching “prepare your application for a protection order”
  • by downloading the form from and filing it out on your computer, smartphone or tablet
  • by printing the PDF form from the Queensland Courts website and filling out the paper copy by hand
  • by asking for a copy of the form at your local Magistrates Court.

See the sample forms.

Get help from a lawyer, domestic violence prevention worker, refuge worker or someone who works with people affected by domestic violence when you are filling out the application form.

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

What information should I include on the form?

You should describe the domestic violence you have experienced recently. It is helpful to the court to include as much detail as you can, which may include:

  • the type of violence
  • when it happened or how often it happened
  • where it happened
  • what happened
  • how it happened
  • who was there
  • any injuries you suffered
  • how you felt (eg did you feel threatened, fearful or scared?).

You should give specific details where possible. If you can’t recall the specific date of an incident, you may want to include an estimated date, for example: “on or around 3 December 2019” or “when the football grand final was on”.

If you have experienced the same or similar behaviours over a long period, you may want to describe the behaviour then explain how often it happened and include the dates you can remember, for example: “about every pay day, the respondent would become so angry with me they would become physically violent where they would…”.

Can I keep my address details private?

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 (see a sample of this form).

What can I do if I have concerns about my immediate safety?

If you have concerns about your immediate safety, you should ask the court to consider immediately making an urgent ‘temporary protection order’. If your circumstances are urgent, your application can be quickly listed to go before a magistrate. 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 immediate protection. Make sure you have ticked the box for a temporary protection order.

Will the respondent see my application?

The respondent will be given a full copy of your application and all attachments.

Step 3. Gather evidence and attach it 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 who you have seen
  • phone call logs of calls made to your phone by the respondent
  • 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. You can attach photographs (or colour photocopies of them) 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 of these orders to your domestic violence order application form.

Step 5. Sign the declaration

You must sign the declaration on the application form in front of a justice of the peace or a lawyer. When you sign the form, you are indicating the details are true and accurate. All Magistrates Courts have a justice of the peace who can witness you signing your application form. You will need to take photo ID with you.

Step 6. File the application

You must file your completed, signed and witnessed DV1 Application for a Protection Order form at a Magistrates Court registry. There is no cost to file your application form, but you will need to show photo ID to the registry. You cannot submit your application online—if you are filling it out electronically, you will need to print it and file it at the court.

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

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

What happens after my application form has been filed?

After you’ve filed an application you will be given:

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

If you need immediate protection, you can ask for the magistrate to make an urgent temporary protection order that starts as soon as your application is served on the respondent. If you want an urgent temporary protection order, you need to fill out that section on the application form (see the sample form on page 45).

The clerk of the court will arrange for the police to serve (deliver) a copy of your application and any temporary order on the respondent. You can call or go to your nearest police station to ask if the application has been served on the respondent before you go to court. Even if the application has not been served on the respondent, you will still have to go to court.

Last updated 7 April 2021

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