Conduct Agreement Orders (Conduct Order) in Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) Matters

Conduct Agreement Orders (Conduct Order) in Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) Matters

If you or someone you know is involved in an FVRO matter than you may like to read on.

A Conduct Order can resolve an FVRO application without the need to go to a final order hearing (or trial as it is commonly known). This is because the Respondent (also referred to as the Person Bound) can agree to be subject to a Conduct Order without making any admissions as to the truth of the allegations of family violence made against him or her.

Once a Conduct Order is made by the Court, in practical terms it becomes an FVRO and is enforceable as though it is an FVRO made at a final order hearing. In other words, it is taken to be an FVRO for the purposes of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA) and it can include all the restraints and conditions that are included in an FVRO. Please note that a Conduct Order is not an Undertaking and is enforceable by the police and the courts, whereas an Undertaking is not.

A Conduct Order comes into force immediately if the Respondent is in court when it is made and otherwise it will come into force when it is either served on the Respondent by the Police, or at any later date stated on the order. Conduct Orders can be agreed by the parties to last for any period of time. However, if no duration is stated on the order then it will expire two years after it was made (for adults) and after six months (if it is made against a child). If the Respondent is in prison at the time, it must have a minimum duration of two years and that period only starts running from when the Respondent is first released.

A Conduct Order is not a criminal charge and is not recorded on the Respondent’s criminal record. However, it is an offence to breach a Conduct Order and if a breach is alleged, then the Police will investigate. If there is sufficient evidence of the alleged breach, then the person subject to the Conduct Order may be arrested and charged. Any conviction for a breach will be recorded on the person’s criminal record and at the time of writing, the maximum penalty is a fine of $10,000 or imprisonment for two years.

Further, if the person has previously breached a Police Order or an FVRO (including a Conduct Order) more than once in the last two years, then they may be treated as a repeat offender. In these cases, the court must impose a sentence that includes a term of suspended or immediate imprisonment, unless it would be clearly unjust to do so.

Furthermore, for people who are also involved in Family Court proceedings you may like to note that a Conduct Order will not usually override orders made by the Family Court. In other words, any Family Court orders will tend to ‘trump’ a Conduct Order. However, you should get legal advice about your specific situation in this regard.

Finally, if you have read this far and think that you need some practical advice or assistance in relation to your matter, then now is probably the time to get in touch. Austral Legal can help and we offer an initial discounted 30-minute SmartMove appointment for $80 by phone or in person at our office. Bookings can be made online through our website or simply by phoning our office on 08 9745 9550. Once we have a handle on what is required, we may well be able to offer a fixed fee for any further legal services, giving you cost certainty from the start. Austral Legal. Practical advice.