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This section provides a summary of the procedures for applying for a 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.
First step: Apply for a Personal Protection Order (PPO)
If you have police or medical reports relating to your case, you should bring these with you. However, you do not need to have copies of such reports to file an application for a personal protection order.
note that the courts do not apply for medical reports or police reports on
your behalf. You are to apply for and
produce such reports on
your own if you intend to submit these in Court.
The "Complainant" is the person filing the application for the Personal Protection Order. The "Respondent" is the person against whom you are filing the application for the Personal Protection Order.
When you have completed and submitted your application (known as a Magistrate’s Complaint), you will file and swear or affirm the Magistrate's Complaint before a Magistrate or District Judge.
If your application is in order, a summons will be issued to the respondent.
Service of the Summons
You will have to pay the prescribed fee for the issuance of the summons.
The Court's process server will serve the summons personally on the respondent at the address you have provided in your Magistrate’s Complaint.
During your next Court appearance, your case will be mentioned in Family Justice Courts 1 before a District Judge, who may refer parties to proceed for counselling with a professional Court Counsellor.
A mention is a short hearing. It usually lasts only five minutes. The Judge may hear up to 30 or 40 mentions per half day session in Family Justice Courts 1.
If you and the respondent (s) agree on the orders, the Judge may make the orders by consent.
If you and the respondent (s) do not agree on the orders, the Judge will:
Open Court Hearing
Personal protection order trials are heard before a Magistrate or a District Judge in court. The open court trial may take a few hours, one day or longer depending on the complexity of the case.
Both parties will have to give evidence before the Judge to prove your respective cases. If either party wishes to call witnesses at the trial, they should inform the Judge of their intention during the mention in Family Justice Courts 1. The Judge will make the orders after the hearing is over. See trial proceedings for more details.
If you fear facing the Respondent in Court, inform a counsellor or one of the staff at the Protection Order Services Unit.
At the trial, parties would generally go through the following:
If either party is represented, the trial will be conducted by their lawyers. At the end of the hearing, the lawyers will present arguments on behalf of their respective clients.
The Magistrate or District Judge will then make a decision on the application. This marks the conclusion of the case.
If the Judge has made a counselling order in addition to a personal protection order, your case will be fixed for review in Family Justice Courts 1 in three to six months' time. Mandatory counselling is conducted by counsellors appointed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
If you are not satisfied with the order, you may appeal to a Judge of the High Court.
If you wish to appeal, you must do so by filing a Notice of Appeal (Form 114) in the High
Court Family Division (Level 3) c/o Family Justice Courts.
The Notice must be filed and served within 14 days of the order.
You must also provide security for the other party’s costs of the appeal in the sum of:
* You may wish to refer to Order 55D of the Rules of Court for further details.
Please note that court staff cannot help you to file your appeal papers. If you need a lawyer, or legal advice, please refer to General Information.
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