The court may grant you a PPO if there is sufficient evidence that:
- "family violence" has been committed (or is likely to be committed) against a family member; and
- that it is necessary for the protection of the family member.
After you file an application for PPO, the court will issue a summons against the Respondent (the person said to have committed (or is likely to commit) family violence).
The summons will expressly state the date and time for the first mention of the PPO case in Family Court No. 1 of the Family Justice Courts.
You (the Complainant) and also the Respondent are required to attend the first mention date.
Service of summons
After the summons is issued, the court's process server will try to deliver the summons to the Respondent (personal service) at that address that you have given in your application.
This is so that the Respondent is notified of the application and also the first mention date.
First mention date
On the first mention date, you and the Respondent should attend punctually at Family Court No. 1 of the Family Justice Courts. If you fail to turn up, your application is likely to be struck out. If the Respondent fails to turn up, a warrant of arrest will be issued against him or her.
At the first mention date, the court officer will ensure that the Respondent is made aware of the contents of your complaint.
If the Respondent admits to your complaint and consents to your application and the court is satisfied, the court will issue a PPO.
If the Respondent does not admit to your complaint or refuses to consent to your application, the court may direct you and the Respondent to attend before the court family specialist for mediation. (Depending on the availability of time slots, this mediation session may or may not take place on the same day as the first mention date.)
After the mediation session, the parties will appear before the Judge again.
Again, if the Respondent admits to your complaint and consents to your application and the court is satisfied, the court will issue a PPO.
But, if the Respondent does not admit to your complaint or refuses to consent to your application, the court will give directions for the parties to prepare for the hearing of the case.
Preparation for hearing
To prepare for the hearing, the court will usually:
- ask the Respondent whether or not he or she wishes to engage a lawyer.
- ask you and the Respondent how many witnesses each of you wish to call for the hearing of the case.
- give directions for the parties to prepare their statements, their witnesses' statements (if any) and other documents.
Further mention date(s)
The court will also direct that the parties' statements, their witnesses' statements (if any) and other documents be filed and exchanged at a subsequent further mention date(s).
These further mention dates often lasts for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Once the court has determined that all the parties' documents are in order and the parties are ready for hearing, the court will fix a hearing date or hearing dates.
The hearing date will usually be fixed about 4 weeks from the last mention date.
The timing is often at 9.30am, 11.15am, 2.30pm or 4.15pm.
Depending on the complexity of the case, the number of witnesses, etc., the court may allocate a quarter day or a half day or a full day or more days of hearing.
On the hearing date(s), the parties should attend punctually together with their witnesses and extra copies of the relevant documents.
Before that, the parties should request the court for an interpreter if either of the parties or any of the witnesses require one.
The hearing will be held in camera. This means that (unless the court directs otherwise) only the parties can remain in the court room when evidence is being given.
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