Application and Issuance of Misconduct Restraining Order
A misconduct restraining order may be applied by someone who wants to stop another person from intimidating or behaving offensively against the applicant.The order is applied for and issued by a Magistrates Court or by the Children’s Court if the respondent is below 18 years old. The applicant may be the victim himself, the parent or guardian of a child, the police or a child welfare officer.
The grounds for the application are that the person sought to be restrained is most likely to:
Act in a way that the applicant reasonably feels intimidated or offended and does in fact intimidate or offend the applicant;
- Cause damage to applicant’s property or property near the applicant; or
- Behave in a way that would likely result to a breach of the peace or disturbance to the public; and
- The Court believes it is appropriate to issue the order.
The misconduct restraining order is applicable to persons who do not have a domestic or family relationship so this is different from the domestic violence or family violence order. The court will issue the order along with other conditions that are suited to the applicant’s circumstances such as ordering the respondent from:
Contacting the applicant through calls or text messages;
- Being in the same premises with the applicant;
- Being within a certain distance from the applicant;
- Asking anyone to come near or contact the applicant; or
Having a gun, a gun license or applying for a gun license.
There will be a hearing conducted by the court for which the applicant and respondent will be notified to attend. The respondent may choose to appear or not. In the event that the respondent does not appear a hearing will still be conducted in his absence. If an order is issued by the court, the police will serve a copy to the respondent.
The order is immediately effective upon being read or served to the respondent unless it specifically provides a date of efficacy. The only person who cannot be bound by this order is a child ten years old and below. The order will remain effective against an adult for the period stated therein but if the order does not so state then for one year only. Against a child, the order will not stay in force for more than six