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Intervention Orders in South Australia (SA)

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Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.


Under the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 (SA) the court can issue an order against a party to protect another party. They will only make this order under the law where it concludes that the (applicant) needs protection from the other party.

All orders or conditions under the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 (SA) that protects the party are called an Intervention Order. And while these laws are also active and present in other States and Territories, they are usually referred to by different names.

Breaching the conditions of an intervention order is a criminal offence and the offence will in most circumstances show up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check SA.

Who can apply for an Intervention Order?

The Act details the conditions and eligibility of those who can apply for an intervention order., any of the following parties can apply for an Intervention Order;

  • The Person seeking protection

Where you are suffering or fear a case of assault, you should report to the Police or the Court. When you go to the court you must complete the two forms of;

Application for intervention order (Form 28AA)

Affidavit (Form 45)

  • The Police

If you complain of apprehension or assault from a party, the Police can apply for an intervention order on your behalf. In most cases, this method has proven the most effective and quickest method of getting Court protection.

The Police assessing the exigencies of a situation may also impose interim intervention orders against the defendant. These interim orders are binding, but temporary until the matter is settled in the court.

  • Affected Children

A child is eligible to apply for an intervention order where they feel they are being "abused: or "assaulted".

If the child is less than 14 years, a parent/guardian/representative can make the application on their behalf.

  • Multiple applications

It is also possible for multiple applicants to apply for an intervention order against the same person (defendant)

If you fear an imminent assault, harm or threat to your life, especially from another party, you should apply at once for an intervention order.

What are the details the Court is interested in your application?

Before the court will grant a protection order, it will consider some factors to impose the necessary conditions.

Some of these factors include;

  • Relationship with the other person
  • If there are children in the union; names and age
  • If the children witnessed these abuses or were abused themselves
  • The other person has access to a weapon
  • If there are harassing behaviours/acts, including; blackmail posts, Social media messaging, cyberbullying. The court will require a proof
  • Details of physical violence, threats, intimidation, stalking property damage or dangerous driving
  • If other close relatives of yours were threatened or have reasons to fear.
  • Copies of any Family Court orders or Protection orders

Who can get an Intervention Order?

Section 7 of the Act (SA) 2009 guides the type of people that intervention orders are issued to protect.

It is issued in cases of apprehension; if there is reasonable cause of fear

    ✔ Where the court concludes the defendant may commit an act of abuse
    ✔ To protect a child who is exposed to the effects of abuse by a defendant
    ✔ Can be issued even in cases where the person who needs protection did not apply for it.
    ✔ An intervention order may be issued even if it is not originally on behalf of the protected person.

How does the Court treat an application for an Intervention Order?

Not all applications are passed and granted by the court; they must sit and listen to all arguments before imposing anything. The conditions the court imposes must satisfy the law and be appropriate to the circumstances of the case.

The Court has the power to;

  • Confirm the Interim Order by the Police and make it final
  • Issue a custom Intervention Order in substitute of the interim order
  • Dismiss the application and cancel the interim order

What happens if a defendant does not appear in court?

If the Police apply for an intervention order against a defendant or propose an interim order in court, the court will also summon the defendant.

However, if there was no summon or it came late, the court may reschedule the hearing.

Furthermore, the court will set another day for the hearing of the defendant to contest the application. However, the defendant will not engage directly with the applicant at any point.

However, if the defendant does not appear in court knowingly, the matter will be heard in their absence.

When does an intervention Order become enforceable?

The Intervention Order charge is either upheld or dismissed by the Court. When the police prosecutor concludes that there is sufficient evidence, they will appeal to the court for an intervention order against the defendant.

If the court imposes a conviction order, the Police must serve it to the defendant. It becomes binding and enforceable once the defendant has received a copy.

The defendant cannot be guilty of a breach of the Intervention Order if they have not officially received a copy.

When the court issues an intervention order, it becomes enforceable immediately the defendant gets a copy.

Restraints the Court may impose on defendants

The Court will usually impose conditions of the intervention order in the best way to protect the applicant. And it lasts as long as the court feels the applicant is safe.

  1. The restraint order can prohibit the defendant from;
  • Proximity to the applicant, or their property and relatives
  • Harassing, contacting or blackmailing the applicant
  • The defendant from making moves or actions about a disputed property
  1. Order the defendant to undertake a rehab program; mental, physical or psychological

The applicant may also appeal to the court for special conditions to be imposed on the defendant. The court will consider and impose them if it will make the applicant feel safer.

What is the punishment for a breach of the Intervention Order?

While Intervention Orders are not criminal offences or convictions, a breach is a serious criminal offence and the offence will in most circumstances appear on a police check in SA.

In the case of a breach, the defendant will be arrested and charged.

Where the court rules that the defendant breached some/all the conditions of an intervention order, section 31 allows them to impose penalties of up to;

$1250 in fines and expiation fees of $160, under section 13 if you fail to abide by an intervention program order.

However, subsequent contravention and blatant disregard for the intervention program may lead to penalties of;

  • $20 000 or
  • 4 years maximum imprisonment term

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