Domestic Violence – Traps For The Untruthful

We are currently involved in proceedings in relation to a child. The basic facts were that the child resided with our client pursuant to an Agreement between the parties and approximately 1 year later the Mother unilaterally decided to retain the child, thereafter depriving the child from having contact with our client for approximately 5 months. The ultimate question of where the child is to live is yet to be determined by the Court.

However, the Mother, in an effort to shore up her position in relation to retaining the child, made an Application for a Protection Order pursuant to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1989. The Application was made by the Mother alleging a series of untrue facts.

The Hearing of the Application for a Protection Order came on before the Court earlier this year and both the Mother and our client gave evidence and were cross-examined. At the conclusion of the Trial the Magistrate determined:-

  1. That there had been no acts of Domestic Violence committed by our client;
  2. That there was no likelihood of an act of Domestic Violence being committed by our client in the future; and
  3. That the Mother’s Application for a Protection Order be dismissed.

Upon the Application being dismissed on behalf of our client we brought an Application for Costs. Section 1 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1989 provides:-

“Section 61 A Court may not award costs expect if an Application is found to be malicious, deliberately false, frivolous or vexatious;
A Court may not aware costs on Application for:-
(a) A Protection Order; or
(b) A revocation or variation of a Protection Order (including a variation of conditions imposed by the Order; unless the Court dismisses the Application as malicious, deliberately false frivolous or vexatious.

The Court determined that the evidence given by the Mother in support of her Application for a Protection Order was deliberately false.
Thereafter the Court Ordered that the Mother pay to our client the sum of $ 1,500.00, being the maximum amount, for costs.