Domestic Protection Orders – Court process

The ADLS Family Law Committee has been advised that when Domestic Protection Orders are made, the Court process is as follows:

  • The Court will endeavour to give priority to issuing Domestic Protection Orders given that the orders are made following allegations of domestic violence and concern vulnerable people who may be experiencing ongoing domestic violence issues.
  • As a matter of urgency, Domestic Protection Orders should be scanned by the Court Registry and emailed to the Police. This applies to both temporary and final Domestic Protection Orders.
  • Police are then to load details of the Domestic Protection Order into its computer system.

The Committee would like to remind practitioners that a Domestic Protection Order should be served on the respondent:

  • Personal service should not be effected by a party to the proceeding or by a representative of a party (Rule 51 Domestic Violence Rules 1996);
  • If a party has filed an address for service then service can be effected using that address for service; and
  • Until a respondent is served (and therefore has notice of the orders), Domestic Protection Orders are not able to be enforced.

When a Domestic Protection Order is discharged, the Court Registry should scan and email the discharge to the Police as a matter of priority.

As there may occasionally be an error in processing, it is prudent for the party relying on a suspension or discharge of a Domestic Protection Order to carry a copy of the sealed order with him or her.

This is especially so if the Domestic Protection Order has been discharged or suspended to enable overseas travel.

If you encounter any issues with Domestic Protection Orders either as counsel for a defendant or counsel for a vulnerable person, please forward information about these to the Committee Secretary at committee.secretary@adls.org.nz.

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