Family Violence Safety Notice (FVSN)

A Family Violence Safety Notice is a type of legal document which prohibits certain behaviour by one person (the respondent) against another (the affected family member). This notice also serves as a police application for an Intervention Order against the respondent and includes a summons to attend court on a specified date for the hearing of that application.  

After attending a 000 callout or a report of a Family violence incident, the police may decide to issue a Family Violence Safety Notice in circumstances where they have reasonable grounds to believe that one is necessary to ensure the safety or protect the property of an affected family member.

Family Violence Safety Notices are temporary, and last only until an application for an Intervention Order can be heard by a court. However, they have the same legal effect as an Intervention Order and breaching the conditions of a Family Violence Safety Notice is a criminal offence.

INTERIM Intervention Order

The police application will be heard by a Magistrate within 14 days after service of the Family Violence Safety Notice. At court, the Magistrate may make an Interim Intervention Order on any conditions the Magistrate finds necessary or desirable in the circumstances.

An Interim Intervention Order is a court order which prohibits certain behaviour by one against another. These orders are temporary, and last until the police application is withdrawn or the court imposes a final order.

These orders can be made in your absence and without your consent. Accordingly, should you wish to avoid the making of an order or the imposition of certain conditions which are being sought by police, it is important to appear in court and argue your case.

If the court imposes an Interim Intervention Order, a court date will be set for a Magistrate to determine the application for a final order as soon as practicable.

FINAL Intervention Order

If the Magistrate is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the respondent committed family violence against the affected family member and is likely to do so again, they may impose a Final Intervention Order. An order can be made in your absence and without your consent.

This final order will include any conditions the Magistrate finds necessary or desirable in the circumstances and continue for a defined period set by the Magistrate. When deciding the duration of the order and the conditions to impose the Magistrate may take into consideration any matters raised by the respondent which are relevant to the court’s consideration of the matter. Accordingly, if you want to mitigate the impact of the order on you, it is important that you appear in court and argue your case.  

A Final Intervention Order will expire on a date specified by the Magistrate, after which you will no longer be subject to its conditions.

Breaching the conditions of a Family Violence Intervention Order or Safety Notice is a criminal offence punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment or a fine of 240 penalty units. It is a strict liability offence, meaning that not understanding the order or not intending to cause any harm is not a defence. Accordingly, if you do not understand the conditions of an order or notice served on you or do not believe you can comply with its conditions, it is important that you seek legal advice.

EXCLUSIVE PAUL VALE CRIMINAL LAW SERVICES

We offer Victoria’s only reliable 24 hours legal service. Call (03) 9870 1959

Legal service available in Chinese (Mandarin).