- Do not arrive on time or do not turn up for court
- Bring children along to the hearing
- Go to court
- Responder in waiting
- Identifiers in the courtroom
- Do they have any options?
- Responder filed a domestic violence order
- If the respondent fails to appear in court
First court mention
A ‘mention’ is the name given to your first appearance in court. A mention is a brief court hearing during which the magistrate will check to see whether the respondent has been served with your application and will inquire as to whether or not the respondent is in agreement with your request for a domestic violence order. The first time you appear in court, you do not have to invite any witnesses with you.
Do not arrive on time or do not turn up for court
Your request may be thrown out if you fail to show up for court on time. The only way to get a domestic violence order of protection if this occurs is to submit a fresh application in court.
Bring children along to the hearing
There is no one to care after your children while you are in court. The courtroom is not the ideal place for youngsters to accompany you. In the event that you must take your kids to trial, you should have someone with you to supervise them. Try to leave your kids with a trustworthy family member, friend, or babysitter if at all feasible.
Go to court
- Arrive 15–30 minutes early.
- Domestic violence obligation lawyers are accessible in various courts if you do not have a lawyer. They may provide you with free legal advice on your next court date. Verify with the trial registry before your trial date to find out whether this is a possibility for you. Your case may be helped in court by the police prosecutor.
- A domestic violence protection professional may be available at certain courts if you need further help. Inquire with the court registration ahead of time to see whether this assistance is available.
- In court, you may bring your own advocate with you. The magistrate has the final say on whether or not your support person may join you in court. In order for your support person to speak on your behalf, they must have filed the application on your behalf.
Responder in waiting
Getting in touch with the court registry ahead of time might help alleviate any anxiety you might have about running into the responder in the waiting area. Before and then after your appearance in court, some courts provide a secure place where you may relax. Direct access to and from the courtroom is available in certain safe rooms. The safe chamber may be used to enter and depart various courts.
In the event that you are concerned about your security while in court, you may fill out a Facing domestic Violence Safety form. Otherwise, you may pick up a copy of this form from the registrar when you submit your application, or through the Queensland Courts website. An official copy of the form will be sent to all of the court’s security personnel, domestic violence prevention specialists, court registrars, and anyone else who needs it in order to ensure your safety during your appearance in court.
Identifiers in the courtroom
- A magistrate is the one who determines whether or not to issue a domestic violence order after hearing the application.
- Helps the magistrate and keeps track of proceedings as a clerk of the court.
- If the case involves the police, a police prosecutor will act as your advocate.
- An attorney is someone who represents persons who are seeking a court injunction to protect them from domestic abuse.
- When someone responds to a request for an order against domestic abuse, the term “respondent” is used.
- Witnesses are those who testify in front of the court on anything that they or saw heard that is related to your claim.
Do they have any options?
Upon receipt of the application for a domestic violence protection order, the respondent may:
- The respondent may only agree to a domestic violence order being made if they are in court when they assent, or via a lawyer or in writing; the respondent can agree to a domestic violence order being issued without admitting the facts—this is known as “consenting without admission.”
- Be granted an adjournment (deferment) of court proceedings so they may seek legal counsel at a later date.
- Dispute the order—the court may set a date for a hearing if this occurs
- Take no action (and not attend court).
The court will issue a five-year domestic violence order if the respondent complies with your demands. You may petition the court to extend or shorten the domestic violence order if there are exceptional circumstances. Even if the respondent requests for an adjournment, you should urge the magistrate to impose a short term order of protection until the next scheduled court appearance.
The magistrate will set a date for a disputed hearing if the responder has been informed and does not accept with your request for just a domestic violence order. On this day, you, the defendant, and any other witnesses to the domestic violence may be cross-examined or questioned.
Unless the respondent is served with the papers before your first court hearing, the magistrate will postpone your application so that the respondent may be served. Temporary protection orders may be requested from the magistrate by anybody who believes they may be in risk during that period of time.
Responder filed a domestic violence order
A ‘cross application’ occurs when a domestic violence order is sought by both parties against the other.
If there is indeed a cross application, you should seek legal guidance. An application may be rejected if the magistrate considers it is vexatious (an attempt to irritate) or has no merit.
A disputed hearing will be scheduled if the respondent objects to your application. It possible that the magistrate will combine the hearings so that all of the cases are heard at the same time. The magistrate must decide who is also in need of security during the disputed hearing.
The police attorney (if the police are filing the complaint) should be contacted as soon as possible, as should a criminal lawyer or a Legal Assistance Queensland counsel if the magistrate assigns you a hearing date. Organizing this as early as you get notice of the scheduled hearing date will provide you enough time to collect your court documents.
If the respondent fails to appear in court
If the defendant fails to appear in court on the scheduled day and time, the magistrate may:
- Postpone the hearing on the request to a later time
- Provide a final order for protection from domestic abuse that includes all of the criteria that you requested in your application for protection.
- Issue an arrest warrant for the respondent.
The magistrate can issue a final domestic violence order if the respondent is absent from court and the police can prove that they served the respondent. Any terms in your domestic violence order must be justified by sufficient proof, says the magistrate.
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