Apply for a Protection Order

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It’s free of charge to apply for a Protection Order.

You can apply for a Protection Order if you're in, or have been in, a close personal relationship with a person being violent towards you.

If you're not in a close personal relationship with the person who's being violent towards you, you can apply for a Restraining Order instead of a Protection Order.

Find out more about Restraining Orders

Forms to apply for a Protection Order

For all forms relating to Protection Orders, go to our forms page:

Protection order forms

A lawyer can help you fill in the forms to apply for a Protection Order.

If you can’t afford a lawyer, you may be able to get legal aid. You don’t need to pay back legal aid for a Protection Order.

Legal aid

If it’s urgent

As mentioned above, if you need urgent protection, the court can make a temporary Protection Order, usually on the same day. We call this ‘without notice’ as you can get the Protection Order without the person who's being violent being told first. They’re told once it’s in place.

Find out more about urgent help

After you apply

If your Protection Order was urgent and a temporary Protection Order was given to you, the person who's been violent has three months to defend themselves in court. If they don’t, it becomes final and lasts until someone applies to the court to change it.

If your application is not urgent, the person who's been violent is served with your application and will have the chance to defend themselves in court. The judge will listen to the evidence from both sides and decide if a Protection Order should be issued.

Find out more about how a Protection Order works

How long a Protection Order lasts

If the person who's been violent doesn’t respond to the temporary Protection Order, it automatically becomes final after three months. It will last until either you or the person who's been violent apply to the court to end it.

The court won't end a Protection Order unless it’s satisfied that the reasons for the Protection Order are no longer an issue and the person who's been violent is no longer a risk to the person who applied.

Temporary Protection Order Information Packs

We have created information packs for both applicants and respondents to help you understand the rules around Temporary Protection Orders:

Temporary Protection Order information pack for Applicants [PDF, 560 KB]

Temporary Protection Order information pack for Respondents [PDF, 548 KB]

If a Protection Order becomes final

If the respondent doesn't go to court to defend themselves within three months of receiving a temporary Protection Order, the Protection Order automatically becomes final. The Order will last until either you or the respondent apply to the court to end it.

A final Protection Order may also be granted if, after a defended hearing, the Judge decides the Protection Order should stay in place.

The court won't end a Protection Order unless it's satisfied the person who's been violent is no longer a risk to the person/s protected by the Order.

Final Protection Order Information at Service pack for applicants [PDF, 448 KB]

Protection Order process Flowchart

Protection Order application process flowchart

Print version: Protection Order application process flowchart [PDF, 161 KB]

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