Domestic Violence Protection Orders: Shield or Sword?

We were recently involved in a domestic violence proceeding for a Respondent who was the female partner in the relationship. The Application for a Protection Order was made by the Queensland Police Service on behalf of the male partner, following an incident at the home. [Read more area] The male partner convinced the Police that our client was the perpetrator of domestic violence and our client was subsequently arrested and a Temporary Order was made against her including a no contact Order.

The Application for the Protection Order disclosed no prior history of domestic violence and there appeared to be no basis for any concern about any future acts of domestic violence.

A short time after the Temporary Protection Order was made, the male partner filed an Application to Vary or Revoke the Temporary Order on the basis that it should never have been made. Presumably he wanted to reconcile with our client. The result of this Application was that the no contact Order was removed.

However our client refused to make any contact with her former male partner.
Approximately three weeks later the male partner filed a further Application to Vary or Revoke the Temporary Protection Order seeking to have the no contact Order put back in place; notwithstanding that there was no allegation of any contact by our client between the intervening period.

In correspondence from us to the male partner we suggested that his second Application to Vary or Revoke was in a fact an abuse of process; which resulted in some disparaging and insulting comments being made by the male partner to this firm.

However since the time of the original Temporary Protection Order was made our client deposed that there had been over three hundred and fifty contacts from the male partner to her by telephone, text messaging and email as well as attempted contact with family and friends. Our client swore the appropriate Affidavit and this was filed in Court.

When the Hearing of the second Application to Revoke or Vary came before the Court, upon reading the Affidavit of our client, the Magistrate came to the following conclusions:-

  1. That the current Application was an abuse of process and the Application should be dismissed.
  2. In view of the fact that the Application was an abuse of process, our client was entitled to seek an Order for costs.
  3. That the actions of the male partner may well amount to the criminal charge of stalking and our client was invited to make a formal complaint to the Queensland Police Service.
  4. It was totally inappropriate for a person seeking the comfort of a Protection Order to be in fact being seen committing acts of domestic violence against the other party and the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act did not permit the person having the protection of a Protection Order to commit acts of domestic violence against the other party.
  5. That in the circumstances the Application by the Queensland Police Service should also be dismissed.
    Protection Orders made under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act shields to protect people from further violence and are not to be used as swords to inflict domestic violence on the other partner.