Fact sheet – Restraint orders – how to respond

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A lawyer can help you with:

- Explaining your options

- Speaking to the Court on your behalf

- Negotiating with the other party.

What is a “restraint order”?

A restraint order is a Court order that tells someone they will be charged if they do certain things. It acts as a strong warning to stop someone doing something that is harmful to another person.

Some things restraint orders may do:

  • Prevent you contacting a person
  • Prevent you from behaving in certain ways (eg threatening, abusing or stalking)
  • Prevent you going to certain places (eg a person’s home or workplace)
  • Prevent you from having a firearm or firearm licence
  • Anything that the Magistrate believes is reasonable.

What should I do if I have been served with an application for a restraint order?

If you have been served with an application for a restraint order it is important that you do not ignore it.

Look at the application and consider:

  • Why are they making the application?
  • Do I agree with what is in the application?
  • What will the effect be if the order is made?
  • When is the application going to be heard in Court?

What if I disagree with the allegations in the application?

If you do not attend Court to dispute the application it is possible that the order can be made without you being there.

Talk to a lawyer if you don’t agree or understand what the application for a Restraint Order says.. A lawyer can help you understand the application, and help you prepare a response or with Court if that’s what you choose to do.

When will a Magistrate make a restraint order?

A Magistrate will only make an order if they are satisfied that you have damaged someone’s property, assaulted somebody or behaved in a provocative or threatening manner and that behaviour is likely to be repeated if they do not make a restraint order.

What if I agree with the application?

If you agree with the details in the application you can tell the Magistrate that you don’t disagree with it. The Magistrate can then make an order without the need for a hearing to take place.

What are the penalties if I breach the order?

It is a crime to do something that a restraint order says you should not do. You may receive a fine, prison sentence or other punishment if you do this. It is very important that you follow the order.

Does a restraint order appear on my Criminal Record?

Your criminal record will not show that there is a restraint order made against you. If you do something that the order says you should not do you may receive a conviction for this, which will then appear on your criminal record.

Can I apply for a restraint order as well?

You can apply for a restraint order against another person, even if they have their own application against you. Please refer to our fact sheet on making an application if you want to know more.

Last updated: 17-January-2022