​​​​​​This section provides a summary of the procedures for applying for a Personal Protection Order (PPO) at the Family Justice Courts.

 

The information provided below is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice. The Family Justice Courts cannot provide legal advice or assist with drafting the contents of any document. 

 

References to legislation

 

 


 

If you are experiencing family violence, you may apply for a PPO to protect yourself and your children, if they are below 21 years old, against future violence.

This section helps you to understand what family violence is, how a PPO helps you and the procedures for applying a PPO in the Family Justice Courts.

 


     

What is Family Violence?

Family violence refers to:

  • Wilfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt
  • Causing hurt to a family member by an act which is known or ought to have been known will result in hurt
  • Wrongful confining or restraining a family member against his will
  • Continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member.

Women’s Charter (CAP. 353), Section 64.

 

Who can apply for a Personal Protection Order (PPO)?

You can apply for a PPO against a family member who is related to you in any of the following manners:

  • Spouse or ex-spouse;
  • Child, including an adopted child or stepchild;
  • Parent;
  • In-law;
  • Sibling;
  • Any other relative who the court may regard as a member of your family

Women’s Charter (CAP. 353), Section 64.

 

How do I apply for a PPO?

If you are unable to come personally to the Family Justice Courts to make the application, you may go to any of the following Family Violence Specialist Centres (FVSC) to make your application through a video-link facility:

 

What other orders can the Court make in a family violence case?

  • Expedited Order (EO) is a temporary PPO given if there is imminent danger. EO lasts for 28 days from the date it was served to the respondent and for period(s) as extended by the Court.
  • Domestic Exclusion Order (DEO) excludes or restricts the respondent from entering the applicant’s residence or parts of the residence.

  

What if I am afraid to see the Respondent in Court?

You may wish to have your family member or friend accompany you to the Court. If no one is able to accompany you, you may discuss with the counsellors at the Family Protection Centre regarding alternative arrangements, such as attending the Court Mentions at a video-link agency. Please note that this option is not available during a court trial.

  

What happens if the respondent does not obey the court order(s)?

You should report the matter to the police immediately. The police will then decide whether to investigate the matter, and w​hether to charge the respondent for a breach of the order. This will be done in the Criminal Justice Division at the State Courts building.

If you obtained your protection order before 1 May 1997, you can file a Magistrate's Complaint for breach of the order at the Crime Registry. If the Court is satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for proceeding, the Court will direct the police to investigate the matter.

Under section 65(8) of the Women's Charter, a breach of an expedited order or personal protection order is a criminal offence. The offence is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, or by imprisonment of up to six months, or both. A second or subsequent offence is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, or by imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.

 

When will the Court grant a PPO?

Under section 65(1) of the Women's Charter, the Court will grant a personal protection order if it is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that family violence has been committed or is likely to be committed against you, and that such an order is necessary for your protection.

 

Do I need a lawyer?

No, you do not need a lawyer to apply for a PPO. If you need to be legally represented at the court hearing, you may engage a lawyer. To maintain impartiality, Court Staff are not able to provide legal advice or recommend lawyers. You may refer to the Law Society for a list of lawyers. If you need legal advice or legal assistance, please seek help from the Community Justice Centre, Community Legal Clinics or Legal Aid Bureau.

 

 

Last updated on: 13/7/2017 3:09 PM

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