The respondent will be given the opportunity to file a sworn statement in
response. The respondent has three options:-
- Submit to the order
- Offer undertaking
- Defend the application
1) Submit to the Order
If the respondent chooses to submit to the order he/she needs to fully
understand the implications of the power of arrest if this is included.
Normally an order will last for 6 or 12 months. At the end of that
period, if the victim is still in fear of the respondent, victim can apply
to the court for an extension.
This is a promise to the court not to do or to do something, eg to not
contact the victim. If a breach takes place then you can apply to the
court for a committal application. The victim must first serve a penal
It is for the victim to decide whether to apply back to the court, this
does not offer the same swift root but does protect the victim if an
undertaking is breached.
Breaching an undertaking is not automatically a criminal offence and
no power of arrest cannot be attached to an undertaking so the victim
has to consider this carefully before accepting the compromise of an
Frequently matters are settled via undertaking and this saves the
court time of a contested hearing. The court will also consider whether
an undertaking offers sufficient protections for the victim given the
seriousness of the violence alleged.
3) Defend the application
If the respondent refuses to accept the allegations made then the
matter will be set down for a fully contested hearing and each party
will submit evidence they wish to rely on and any other witness
Depending upon the volume of evidence and/or the number of
witnesses the hearing normally lasts between 1 to 3 days. This can be
extremely costly and you may be liable for the other partyís costs if