“Domestic violence” as defined in the Domestic Violence Act means any controlling or abusive behavior that harms the health, safety or well-being of a person or any child and includes but is not limited to the following:
a.    Physical abuse or threats of physical abuse
b.    Sexual abuse or threats of sexual abuse
c.    Emotional, verbal or psychological abuse
d.    Economic abuse (the avoidance of financial obligations owed to the applicant and child or a dependant of the respondent, including mortgage or rental obligations.)
e.    Intimidation
f.    Harassment
g.    Stalking
h.    Damage to or destruction of property, or
i.    Entry into the applicant’s residence without consent, where the parties do not share the same residence.

Who may apply for a Protection Order?

A person may apply to the court for a protection order on the grounds that the respondent engaged in domestic violence.
An application for a protection order may be made by –
a.    The spouse of the respondent
b.    A member of a shared household, either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of any other member of the shared household
c.    A child – a person under the age of eighteen (18) years
d.    A dependant (a person over the age of eighteen (18) who be reason of physical or mental disability, age or infirmity is reliant on either the applicant or the respondent for his or her welfare.
e.    A parent or sibling by consanguinity or affinity of either the spouse or respondent not being a member of the shared household.
f.    A person who has a child in common with the respondent.
g.    A person who is or has been in a visiting relationship with a person of the opposite sex for a period exceeding twelve months; or
h.    A person who is or has been in a visiting relationship with a person of the opposite sex for a period less than twelve months, provided that the consent of an approved social worker is first obtained.

An application may be brought on behalf of the applicant by any other person, who has a material interest in the well-being of the applicant, including a police officer, the Director, a probation officer or an approved social worker, except that the application shall be brought with the consent of the applicant, but such consent shall be dispensed with in the circumstances where the applicant is:
a.    a child
b.    a dependent
c.    physically or mentally incapacitated by unsoundness of mind or a disability;
d.    unconscious
e.    under the influence of intoxicating liquor or is misusing drugs; or
f.    a person whom the Court is satisfied is unable to provide the required consent.

A child or dependent may apply for a protection order through:
a.    a person with whom the child or dependent ordinarily or periodically resides or resided or is reliant upon for his or her welfare or any adult member of his or her household;
b.    a parent or guardian or a person who is in loco parentis to the child;
c.    the Director or other person who has parental responsibility for the child; or
d.    a parent or person who has responsibility for the dependent.

Procedure for applying for a Protection Order

  • Applicant is interviewed by the Court, i.e. to obtain details of the type of violence, date of  incident, place of work or address where Respondent can be reached etc.
  • Applicants must show I.D. in order for applications to be processed.
  • He or she is given the option to have the matter settled through counselling or through mediation.
  • If not he/she is free to proceed with application for the Order.
  • $1.20 in stamps is required to process the application.
  • All Applicants must sign his/her own application.
  • In the case of a child or person under age sixteen (16), the guardian or parent may make application on behalf of the  minor as next friend.
  • The Applicant is given a court date within seven (7) working days in which he or she will appear along with the  Respondent in the case, who will be served with summons by the Bailiff to appear on  that specific date.


What happens after an application for a Protection order is filled?

  • The Applicant is given a date for court hearing and is expected to appear on that date.
  • Summons is served by the Court on the Respondent.
  • The Respondent shall appear in Court on the specified date on the summons.


What happens if the Respondent appears in court and the Applicant did not show?

  • the matter can be struck out on the grounds of non-appearance by the applicant.
  • non-appearance can be taken to mean that the applicant no longer has any interest in the case.
  • if someone decided not to pursue the case he or she can come to Court and let the Court know that he/she does not  wish to go ahead with the matter and wishes to withdraw it.


Is every Applicant granted a Protection Order?

No – it depends on the evidence that is presented in court.

An Order can be granted ex-parte (i.e.) in the absence of the Respondent; an ex-parte Order is valid for seven days.  This order can be an Interim Order, which gives the Respondent a chance for a hearing.  The Order may specify the duration of the time for which it should be in place.


What happens when the Abuser breaches the Order?

- the Applicant should report the matter to the nearest police station.  The police upon being satisfied that the Order  was breached can arrest the abuser.

- abuser can be arrested and charged.

- may be brought before the Court

- can be fined or imprisoned or both



Credit Union League Building,
Pauls Avenue,
Office Hours (M-F)
8:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Court Hours (M-F)
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
1 (784) 457-1091