My application for a Personal Protection Order (PPO) has been denied. What can I do next?
If you are a victim of family violence and your application for a Personal Protection Order (PPO) has been denied, it is natural to be disheartened and confused about the next steps to take. Nonetheless, there are a number of key things you can do to improve your chances of getting the PPO after your application has been denied.
Seek to understand why your application was denied.
Under Section 65 of the Women’s Charter, there are 2 conditions that must be met before the Court can grant a Personal Protection Order (PPO) against your abuser:
- The court must be satisfied that family violence has been committed or is likely to be committed against a family member; and
- A PPO is necessary for the protection of the family member.
When your PPO application is denied, it inevitably means that the conditions for a PPO are not satisfied. The judge may give detailed reasons for why that is the case, or they may not. If the abuse or threat of abuse continues, it is advisable to consult a lawyer to get a proper understanding of why the application was denied and what more you need to do to get the PPO.
Related Article: Avenues Available for Victims of Family / Domestic Violence
Consider appealing your case to a Judge of the High Court.
If you are not satisfied with the Court’s Order, you may file a Notice of Appeal in the High Court Family Division within 14 days of the said Order. You must also provide security for the other party’s costs of the appeal in the sum of:
- For appeals against a Magistrate’s Order: $2,000
- For appeals against a District Judge’s Order: $3,000
Related Article: Personal Protection Orders (PPO) and Divorce
Gather more evidence.
If you fail to succeed in your PPO application, it is likely that you have failed to satisfy the Court on a balance of probabilities that family violence has been committed or is likely to be committed. To prove on a balance of probabilities, the Court must be convinced that the abuse is more likely than not to have occurred. In mathematical terms, there is more than 50% chance that the abuse occurred / is likely to occur in the future.
How do I gather more evidence?
- Make a police report during and/or after each incident of family violence.
- Document each incident of family violence and forward the evidence to your lawyer for safekeeping.
- Write down the date and time of each altercation, the events leading up to it and the injuries sustained.
- Take photographs of your injuries.
- Get a medical report from certified medical professional. If your abuser prevents you from seeking medical attention, document that refusal.
- Identify any witnesses who can corroborate your account(s).