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Prepare for a personal protection order application hearing

An application for a personal protection order (PPO) will proceed for hearing if the matter is not resolved at the first court mention.

At the first court mention, the court will direct the party who filed the application (the applicant) and the party against whom the application is filed (the respondent) to prepare the relevant documents for the hearing.

Documents to prepare

If you are the applicant, the documents you will be required to prepare typically include the following:

  • Police reports filed on the incidents (if applicable).
  • Medical reports, in relation to the injuries sustained (if applicable).
  • Statements from witnesses (known as Affidavits of Evidence-in-Chief) (if applicable).
  • Other evidence such as photographs of your injuries, audio or video recordings (translated in English) and text messages between you and the respondent (if applicable).

If you are the respondent, you may also prepare documents that you intend to show the court at the hearing to defend yourself.

When preparing your documents, you should:

  • Compile them in proper order with page numbers.
  • Ensure they are in English.
    • If you have non-English documents or evidence, you will have to attach English translations from official translators.
  • Make 3 complete and identical sets.
    • One copy is for you to refer to, and the other 2 copies are each for the court and the applicant.

Bringing witnesses to court

The court will also ask parties how many witnesses they will be calling during the first court mention. If parties wish to call any witnesses to give evidence at the hearing, they should inform the court.

Each party must also ensure that their witnesses are available to attend the hearing. This is because no person other than the parties and their witnesses will be allowed to remain in court while evidence is being given unless the judge gives permission.

A party may also not be allowed to have additional witnesses give their evidence during the hearing unless the court gives leave (permission) for them to do so.

If a witness is unwilling to attend court, a party may apply for an order called a subpoena at the Family Protection Centre (FPC) requiring the witness to attend court on the specified date and time.

Note
If any of your witnesses or yourself are not comfortable communicating in English at the court mention when the hearing date is given, you may request an interpreter conversant in the language you or they are comfortable with for the hearing.

If a vulnerable witness has to attend court

Depending on the nature of the case, a vulnerable witness may be required to give evidence at a family protection hearing.

A vulnerable witness may be one of (but not limited to) the following:

  • A child below 16 years of age.
  • An adult with a mental capacity below the age of 18.
  • An elderly victim above 65 years old.
  • A victim or eye-witness of a family violence-related crime or sexual offence who may be traumatised by the alleged offence.

For these cases, the judge may direct the vulnerable witness to be assigned to the vulnerable witness support programme if there is a need to provide support for them.

Find out more about the vulnerable witness support programme.

Attending future court mentions

Each party will exchange and file these documents at another court mention date about 3 weeks after the first court mentions.

The duration of your court mention may vary depending on the nature and complexity of your case, and the issues to be raised at the court mention. The court may also arrange for further court mentions if the parties' documents are not ready or if they require time to engage a lawyer.

Once the court is satisfied that parties are ready for hearing with their witnesses’ statements and documents, a hearing date will be arranged about 4 weeks from the date of the last court mention.

Note

The court will schedule for hearings to start at 9.30am, 11.15am, 2.30pm or 4.15pm. Depending on the number of witnesses and complexity of the case, the parties may be allocated a quarter, half or a full day or more for the hearing.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Refer to Personal protection order under the Women's Charter: the essentials


2021/07/23

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