Our office is continuing to operate and provide quality advice and representation to clients despite COVID-19 and the recent stage 4 restrictions announced by the Victorian State Government. We are available for phone and video conferences immediately and can assist you with criminal law and family violence matters during this uncertain time.
Whatever your situation, it’s important to know that help and support is available. You have a right to be safe and nobody deserves violence.
Family Violence matters are considered urgent and/or priority matter and the courts are still listing matters related to family violence and safety.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
|I need to apply for a family violence intervention order – what should I do?
Call 000 if you are in immediate danger.
Under stage 4 restrictions, you can leave your home to escape family violence.
If there is no immediate danger, we can provide support and advice over the phone and provide you with your legal options. Call our office on 1800 99 31 32 to speak to one of our lawyers.
|What if I can’t attend Court for a FVIO application or hearing?
You do not need to attend your hearing at Court.
Most applications and hearings are proceeding in the Online Magistrates’ Court and on the papers. We can support you by representing you during your application and online hearing. Please contact us if you want us to attend the hearing on your behalf before your Court date.
|I have a family violence or personal safety intervention order matter listed for hearing – do I need to do anything beforehand?
If you are an applicant, respondent or protected person in a family violence or personal safety intervention order matter currently listed for hearing, you need to notify the Court what you want to do with the application (accept or not accept the orders). This needs to be done before the Court date. You should make an informed choice about the options available to you. If you are not sure about what to do, you can contact us to make these enquiries on your behalf and to be in contact with the Court.
For further information on what constitutes family violence and what a family violence intervention order can do, please visit our information page here.
INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WITH A COURT HEARING
|Is my local Court open?
Yes, all Magistrates’ Courts remain open.
However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, all attendances at a court building must be made by prior arrangement (except for urgent family violence applications). If you must attend court, you must contact your local court and arrange a time for your attendance. The Registrar will assess your circumstances and allocate a time for you to attend. If you are unsure about what to do, please contact us and we can make enquiries with the Court.
|I was due to appear in Court this week. Do I have to turn up to my hearing?
In most cases, no.
Only urgent and priority hearings are being heard and most of these cases are being heard via the Online Magistrates’ Court.
If your matter is not listed in the Online Magistrates’ Court, it will be adjourned and you may not need to attend Court on that day.
The Court will send you a hearing notice with a new date for later in the year. You must attend Court on the new date in the hearing notice.
If you are on bail, your bail will be extended without the need for you to appear. You must attend court on the new date in the hearing notice (that will be later in the year).
Please contact us if you are unsure about what to do. We can represent you during your court hearing.
|I’m on bail. Will I be arrested if I do not turn up to Court?
Not if you have received a communication from the court or your lawyer has told you your case is being adjourned and that you do not need to attend.
In these cases, your bail will be extended without you coming to court. If you are unsure contact the Court where you were bailed to attend.
|How will I be notified of the new Court date and when?
If you are represented by a lawyer, the Court will give them your new hearing date.
If you do not have a lawyer, the Court will send you a hearing notice, so it is important that the Court has your current contact details.
If you are not contacted, you can use the Find a Court date function on the Magistrates’ Court website. Check the website regularly.