Intervention Order – Is that it or can I change it?


So someone had successfully convinced the Court to make an Intervention Order (‘IVO’) against you.  Whilst the IVO is in place, you are bound to comply with the terms and conditions of the IVO and, if you breach those terms or conditions you are likely to receive a punishment which may include imprisonment.


I am commonly asked if you can appeal an IVO or have the conditions of an IVO changed.  The short answer is ‘yes you can’.  You cannot, however, appeal an Interim Intervention Order.


Some of the common grounds for appeal of an IVO include:


  • That you did not attend the hearing because you were not aware of the hearing.  This can occur if you were not served with copies of the relevant documents.
  • That you were not represented at the initial hearing and have now engaged a solicitor to act for you.
  • That you disagree with the decision made in the Magistrates’ Court and wish to appeal to the District Court to make an alternative decision.


The first option being that you did not attend the hearing can be sufficient grounds for an appeal or simply to have the matter reheard.  Having the matter reheard is the preferred option as the matter will remain in the Magistrates’ Court where decisions are usually made quicker with less costs than in the higher courts. 


Once an IVO has been finalised by the Magistrates’ Court any appeal to have the IVO varied or overturned such that it is no longer in place needs to be made to the District Court.  To be successful in this appeal, you will need to be clear as to the reasons why you want to have the decision varied or overturned.  One of the most compelling reasons to have an IVO varied or overturned is with the support of the protected person, that is the person who took out the IVO against you in the first instance.  It is not uncommon for someone to change their mind about how much of a threat someone is after the reality of the consequences of an IVO become apparent.  Another compelling reason for a variation or overturning of an IVO may be if there are children listed as protected persons who should not be on the IVO, particularly so children can spend time with a parent.


Time limits apply as to when you can appeal an IVO.  You ought to obtain urgent legal advice as soon as possible after an IVO has become final as the time limits imposed by the Courts are very strict.  Missing a crucial deadline may mean that you are bound by an IVO for a very long time.


When you lodge your appeal, you are usually issued with a date for hearing fairly quickly, commonly at the same time as you file your appeal.  The final IVO does not cease during the time that you are waiting for your appeal hearing.  You are still bound by the terms and conditions of the IVO until another order is made to either vary or overturn the original IVO.


It is important that you attend every hearing relating to an appeal of an IVO because missing a hearing may mean that the Judge simply confirms the IVO which means that it remains in place.


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