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At your personal protection order application hearing

On the day of the hearing, parties should:

  • Arrive early and find their way to the venue.
  • Confirm their case is heard in the venue they are about to enter. Inform the court officer before entering, if applicable.
  • Dress neatly and decently when attending court.
  • Speak and conduct themselves in a courteous manner.
  • Bring the required documents that were submitted and exchanged at the court mentions.

Attendance is compulsory

Parties must attend your personal protection order (PPO) application hearing.

If you are the party who filed the application (the applicant) and are absent from the hearing, the court may strike out your application. If you still wish to proceed with the application, you will need to apply for the application to be reinstated via the Integrated Family Application Management System (iFAMS). The court will decide if you have valid reasons for your absence before reinstating your application.

If you are the party against whom the application was filed (the respondent) and are absent from the hearing, the court may still proceed with the hearing and a PPO may be issued against you.

Alternatively, the court may issue a warrant of arrest against you in which case the hearing will be adjourned pending your arrest.

If you are unable to attend

If you are unable to attend the hearing on the stated date, you can make an application to change it via iFAMS accompanied by supporting documents. This must be done at least 5 working days in advance.

Alternatively, you may contact the Family Justice Courts (FJC) Registry at fjcourts_maintpos@fjcourts.gov.sg or 6435 5471.

If the court grants your request, a new date for the hearing will be arranged. Otherwise, you are required to attend the hearing as scheduled.

Order of proceedings

The court will proceed to hear the case if both parties are present. Both parties will take turns to present their case to the judge in the stages as follows:

What to expect:

  • The applicant will first present their case and evidence (also known as the examination-in-chief).
    • If the applicant is represented by a lawyer, their lawyer will conduct the examination-in-chief.
  • If the applicant has witnesses, they will call their witnesses to the witness stand to give evidence.

What to expect:

  • The respondent will then get a chance to ask the applicant and their witnesses questions on their case and evidence.
    • If the respondent is represented by a lawyer, their lawyer will conduct the cross-examination.
  • (If the applicant is represented by a lawyer) After the respondent or their lawyer has conducted the cross-examination, the applicant's lawyer may also ask the applicant or their witnesses further questions. This is known as the re-examination.

What to expect:

  • The respondent will present their case and evidence.
    • If the respondent is represented by a lawyer, their lawyer will conduct the examination-in-chief.
  • If the respondent has witnesses, they will call their witnesses to the witness stand to give evidence.

What to expect:

  • The applicant will then get a chance to ask the respondent and their witnesses questions on their case and evidence.
    • If the applicant is represented by a lawyer, their lawyer will conduct the cross-examination.
  • (If the respondent is represented by a lawyer) After the applicant or their lawyer has conducted the cross-examination, the respondent's lawyer may also ask the respondent or their witnesses further questions. This is known as the re-examination.

After the parties and their witnesses have been examined, each party may present to the court a summary of their case. The court will then make a decision or reserve judgment and inform parties of their decision at a future court hearing.

The court will make a order if it is satisfied that the following conditions are met:

  • Family violence has been committed or is likely to be committed.
  • Protection of the applicant is necessary.

If these conditions are not met, the court may dismiss the case.

The court may also make a counselling order (CGO) for both or either party to attend mandatory counselling. Find out more about mandatory counselling and what to expect.

If a party breaches (disobeys) an order after it is issued, it is considered a criminal offence. This means that the party who breaches (disobeys) the order can be punished with a fine, an imprisonment term or both.

Find out what to do if a party breaches a court order.

If you are not satisfied: appeal

If you are not satisfied with the court's decision, you may appeal to the Family Division of the High Court by filing a Notice of Appeal.

You need to file and serve the notice within 14 days of the order.

You must also provide security for the other party’s costs of the appeal. This will cost $3,000.

Find out about the appeal process.

Note

Court officers cannot help parties file their appeal papers. Parties who need assistance in such matters may wish to approach the Community Justice Centre, Community Legal Clinic or the Legal Aid Bureau.

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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