Fighting a Personal Safety Intervention Order

This is a case study on fighting a Personal Safety Intervention Order which ultimately got withdrawn.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was the respondent in an application made by his next-door neighbour for a personal safety intervention order matter. The applicant alleged that the client verbally abused her from over the fence and stuck his middle finger up at her. The incident was witnessed by the client’s other next-door neighbour.

Personal Safety Intervention Orders (‘PSIVO’) are civil orders which a Court may impose to protect one person from another. PSIVOs normally contain conditions prohibiting the respondent from approaching or remaining within a certain distance of the protected person, from contacting or communicating with the protected person, or from entering the protected person’s property. A Court will grant a PSIVO if:

  1. The respondent agrees to be subject to the conditions of the PSIVO without admissions; or
  2. The court finds on the balance of probabilities that a PSIVO is needed to protect the applicant.
For the court to be satisfied that a PSIVO is required, the applicant must satisfy the court that:

  1. The respondent has engaged in prohibited behaviour which is any of the following:
    1. Assault
    2. Harass
    3. Damage property
    4. Make a serious threat
  2. The respondent will likely continue to engage in prohibited behaviour unless a PSIVO is put in place.
What happened at court?
We appeared on the client’s behalf at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court with the goal of fighting the Personal Safety Intervention Order.

A meeting took place between us and the client before court and the client was asked for his version of events of the incident. We took down the name and phone number of the client’s other next-door neighbour who witnessed the incident and would write a statement confirming that the incident did not occur as alleged by the applicant.

What was the result?
Ultimately, the applicant withdrew her application because we were able to demonstrate to her that she would not be able to satisfy the magistrate that this incident is likely to occur again, because they are next door neighbours and this was their first hostile interaction. This means that the client is not subject to any orders.

It is important to speak with a lawyer about PSIVO matters because although they are civil orders, breaches may result in criminal charges being laid by the police. Fighting a Personal Safety Intervention Order with the help of a lawyer means that you would be able to look at the allegations and determine whether or not the applicant has enough evidence to satisfy a magistrate that an order is needed.

Related case studies
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 31/01/2019