Before you apply, make sure you:
The following parties may apply for an order to protect a VA:
If the VA has the mental capacity to consent to the application
If the VA lacks the mental capacity to consent to the application
A family member must be related to the VA in one of the following ways:
An applicant who is below 21 years old will need to act through a representative who is at least 21 years old. This representative must appoint a lawyer to file the application.
In some cases, an approved welfare officer (from a Family Violence Specialist Centre) or an officer from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) may apply for a protective order for a VA.
In these cases, the MSF officer may apply for additional types of orders. Examples of such orders include committing the VA to a place of temporary care and protection, or placing the VA under the supervision of an approved welfare officer.
If you file the application, you are the applicant (also known as the complainant).
The party against whom the application is filed is the respondent.
What you will need to prepare for your application depends on who you are:
If you are a...
You should prepare...
VA (with mental capacity)
You may visit the Family Protection Centre (Level 1, FJC at Havelock Square) during the operating hours to apply in person.
You may visit any of the following Family Violence Specialist Centres (FVSC) to apply in person:
You will need to follow these steps to file your application:
|1. File your application|
Your application is filed with the Family Justice Courts (FJC).
|2. Meet a court family specialist or social worker|
You obtain information about the application process and your safety, and may be referred to support agencies, if required.
|3. Meet the duty judge|
The court accepts, rejects or dismisses your application.
You are encouraged to submit your draft application and documents online via the Integrated Family Application Management System (iFAMS) before visiting the FJC or the Family Violence Specialist Centre (FVSC). Doing so will mean less time spent processing your application at the FJC or the FVSC.
Refer to the following steps:
Note: For step-by-step instructions, refer to the iFAMS user guide for VAA protective order application (PDF, 500 KB).
Bring all the required documents to the FJC or one of the FVSCs to file your application.
If you are filing at the FJC, you will meet a court family specialist (CFS) for a one-to-one session. The session may take around 30 to 45 minutes (excluding waiting time).
If you are filing at an FVSC, a social worker will guide you through the session instead.
During the session, the CFS or social worker will:
In most circumstances, the session will involve the CFS or social worker speaking to you. If required, a support person such as a family member may be involved in the session.
During the session, it will be helpful for you to:
Note: The session will be conducted in a private room and the details of the session will not be disclosed to other parties. Only details provided in your application form and the outcome of the session will be made known to the respondent. If necessary, the CFS will seek your consent before sharing any information which may be helpful for the respondent to know.
You will have to appear before a duty judge. During this session, you will confirm the truth of the contents of your application.
You will need to:
It is a serious offence to include statements that you know to be untrue or incorrect in a sworn or affirmed application.
If your application is in order, the judge will issue a summons to the respondent. If not, the judge will dismiss your application.
The summons is a court document directing the respondent to attend court on a scheduled date and time for a court session known as a mention.
If the judge issues a summons, you will need to pay a sum of $1. The court will serve the summons on the respondent at the address that you provided in your application.
You will also be issued a mention slip containing the date and time for you to attend the court mention. Find out what happens at the court mention.
Note: In some cases, the judge may issue an expedited order if the VA is experiencing or is in immediate danger of abuse or neglect. This order will be served on the respondent together with the summons.