The information below is sourced directly from the WA Police website and the Magistrates Court of Western Australia. We recommend you seek independent legal advice with regards to understanding your legal rights.
If you or your property is threatened, harassed, or intimidated and you are concerned that it will continue, then you can apply to have a Restraining Order taken out against the person concerned.
What is a Restraining Order?
A Restraining Order is an order of the court preventing the perpetrator from behaving in a manner that is intimidating or offensive. A Restraining Order prevents the person from coming near you or your property. It is a criminal offence to disobey the conditions of the Restraining Order.
How to Apply for a Restraining Order
Under certain circumstances a Police Officer can apply for a restraining order on your behalf.
Anyone over the age of 16 can apply for a Restraining Order at a Magistrates Court. If you are not yet over 16, a parent, guardian, Police Officer or an adult can apply for a Restraining Order on your behalf. You can now also apply for a Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) online.
The applicant is the person who is applying for a Restraining Order; the respondent is the person you apply to be protected from.
There are two types of restraining orders:
- Violence Restraining Order (VRO) where there is no family relationship between the applicant and the respondent.
- Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) for persons in a family relationship.
A court may issue a Family Violence Restraining Order if satisfied that, unless restrained, the respondent is likely to commit family violence against the person seeking to be protected.
Family violence is defined as:
- Violence or the threat of violence by a person towards a family member; or
- Any other behaviour that coerces or controls the family member or causes them to be fearful.
All Violence Restraining Orders include a restraint prohibiting the respondent from being in possession of a firearm or firearm licence and obtaining a firearms licence.
When a family violence restraining order is made, the court or magistrate will also make an order prohibiting the respondent from having a firearm licence or any guns. It is therefore essential that you inform the police or court if you are aware that the respondent has access to a gun.
The Family Violence Law Help website provides lots of other helpful information about Family Violence Law in Australia and further information on how to obtain restraining orders. It is important to get legal advice when taking out a restraining order, our online directory can help you find local legal advice in your area.
Applying for a Family Violence Restraining Order Online
The online restraining order application service has been introduced to make it possible for people seeking the protection of a restraining order to lodge their application without having to attend a Magistrates Court registry.
The online application is similar to the form an applicant would be required to complete if they were applying at the Magistrates Court in person.
Applications can only be lodged online through a legal service provider approved by the CEO of the Department of Justice. The following legal service providers have been approved:
- Legal Aid WA
- Aboriginal Family Law Services
- Community Legal Centres
- Family Violence Prevention Legal Services
You might be isolated, but you are not alone. We are here to support regional, rural or remote Western Australians experiencing family and domestic violence. Our phone and web chat counselling services are anonymous, confidential, free and available 7 days a week.