Why and how to remove an intervention order in Victoria

Intervention orders are designed to protect individuals from abuse or violence. But what if you find yourself on the receiving end of an intervention order in Victoria that you believe should be revoked? Is that possible?

Yes it is possible. Here’s what you need to know about applying to have an intervention order revoked in Victoria.


What is an intervention order?

An intervention order in Victoria is simply a court order that prevents a person from interacting with another person or persons where there are concerns about abuse or violence. You might know this as a ‘restraining order’ or even a ‘DVO’ or ‘AVO’.

Most often, intervention orders are issued in domestic situations to protect a partner or children from violence or being exposed to violence. These are called family violence intervention orders (or FVIOs). In 2022-23, 22,916 original FVIO applications were heard in Victoria. 

The other type of intervention order is a personal safety intervention order (PSIO). PSIOs are issued for the same types of reasons but in non-family (or non-domestic) situations.

Often the court will make an intervention order in situations where there might be abuse or violence that leads to:

  • Physical harm
  • Emotional or psychological harm
  • Unreasonable denial of autonomy or freedom, either financial, social or even physical
  • Damage to property


What are the circumstances in which you might want to revoke an intervention order?

There are a few reasons why you might want to revoke an intervention order in Victoria. For example:

  1. You were unable to attend the hearing because you didn’t know it was happening.
  2. You attended the hearing but weren’t represented by a solicitor, and you have now engaged a solicitor.
  3. The conditions are overly burdensome. For example, if you’re restricted from entering an area where you are needed for work.
  4. There’s been a change in circumstances, such as attending an anger management program, or the other party has moved away.
  5. You otherwise disagree with the decision the court made due to clear and compelling reasons.

In every case, it’s important that you’re able to convey to the court clear and compelling reasons why the intervention order would be revoked. In most cases, a family law lawyer will be best placed to help you convey this information succinctly and successfully.

Related article: Can the protected person contact the respondent?


Who can apply to revoke an intervention order?

  • The applicant or protected person
  • The respondent, if the court agrees
  • In certain circumstances, the police
  • A guardian of the protected person


How to remove an intervention order

As long as the intervention order is in place, you absolutely must abide by its terms and conditions. If you don’t, it makes it far more unlikely that the court will repeal the order. You also risk a criminal conviction, fines, or even imprisonment. 

When you’re ready to proceed with revoking an intervention order, you will need to take the following steps.

1. Speak to a lawyer

Your first step is certainly to reach out to a family lawyer before proceeding to discuss your chances and the process to revoke an intervention order. Proving that the facts or circumstances were not accurately portrayed or have changed can be tricky if not supported by other facts. 

A lawyer skilled in these areas will help you to confidently share your story and any new information. They’ll also make sure that you meet all the procedural requirements of filing an application to revoke an intervention order so you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the court.

2. File an Application for Leave and supporting affidavit

If you’re the respondent to the intervention order, then your first step is to get permission to appeal the intervention order. To do that you need to file an ‘Application for Leave’ with the Magistrate’s Court

When you go to the court to seek permission, you’ll need to bring a completed application to extend, vary or revoke a family violence intervention order form (or if this is a PSIO, an application to extend, vary or revoke a personal safety intervention order). In both cases, you’ll also need to file an affidavit that verifies the information that you’re supplying to the court and the details about why you believe the intervention order should be repealed.

3. Attend a hearing

After you’ve filed your application, there will be a court hearing where the magistrate will decide whether to let you proceed. At this stage, you will have to demonstrate to the magistrate that new facts or circumstances have come up that would justify you seeking a change to the intervention order.

4. Serve your application on the other party

If you’re given leave to apply, you will be allocated a court date. You will also need to serve your application on the other party. In some situations, it’s the police who have initiated the intervention order. In that case, you would need to ensure they receive your application.

5. Attend court proceedings

If any party wants to challenge the application, they must attend the court proceedings, and it is at this stage that the magistrate will consider the merit of your application. When considering an application to revoke an order, the court will consider factors like:

  • The reasons provided for the proposed revocation
  • The protected person’s views
  • How the change will impact the safety of the protected person
  • The police’s views, if involved

It’s important to note that the magistrate will not agree to cancel the order if they believe that someone still needs protection.


What happens next?

When the intervention is officially revoked, then you are no longer required to follow its terms and conditions. Of course, you are still required to obey the laws of the state of Victoria and Australia, but the conditions of the intervention order will no longer apply.

Revoking an intervention order as a protected person

If you are the protected person and want to revoke an order – for example, if you feel that it’s safe to have a relationship with the respondent – then you’ll still need to file an application to extend, vary or revoke an intervention order. However, you don’t need to file an Application for Leave. Simply complete the application and file it at your nearest magistrate’s court to get the process started.

Can you revoke interim intervention orders?

It’s important to note that interim intervention orders can’t be revoked. You have to wait for the order to be formally passed before proceeding to appeal.

Can you revoke an intervention order by consent?

The parties can agree to cancel an intervention order, but only the magistrate can actually revoke it. If you have an agreement in place with the other party, you’ll still need to have a hearing with the magistrate.


Getting help

Intervention orders can have a knock on effect in your life. They can stop you from seeing the people you love, but they can also impact your ability to work or volunteer. While it’s important to rigidly follow any conditions set out in any intervention order, if you feel that you are in a different position, or that the original order wasn’t set out fairly, get in touch with our team.

Our industry-leading family lawyers are experts in family law. We can help you navigate your rights and responsibilities and get you the best outcomes for your situation. Get in touch with us today.

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