FVRO Conferencing

From July 2021, Conferencing will initially be available in the Perth Magistrates Court for Family Violence Restraining Order matters.

Conferencing is a method of resolving disputes.

The Conference is heard by a Magistrates Court Registrar who will meet with both of the parties to discuss the Family Violence Restraining Order.

The parties will be placed in separate rooms at the Court, and the Registrar will "shuttle" between the two rooms to see if the parties can reach an agreement without having to go before the Magistrate.

At no stage during the Conference process are parties required to be present in the same room.

At the Conference, the Registrar will try to develop options with the parties to resolve the proceedings as quickly as possible. In doing so, the Registrar will determine:

Where the matter cannot be resolved at the Conference, the Registrar may make orders to ensure that the matter is ready for the final order hearing, allowing the proceedings to proceed as quickly and as orderly as possible.

Conferencing is a less formal environment than going before the Court. It allows parties to ask procedural questions of the Registrar, and to get an understanding of each other's issues.

In Western Australian Courts, many matters are resolved by alternative dispute resolution. Conferencing is a safe method of alternative dispute resolution, and is expected to resolve a high number of Family Violence Restraining Order matters.

Conferencing allows the Registrar to make orders that are more flexible than ordinary Court orders, as they are tailored to suit the individual needs of the parties.

When making orders at the Conference, the Registrar will explain the purpose of the orders, which helps parties to understand the effect of the orders, and what each of the parties can and can't do under the orders.

Initially conferencing will only be available for Family Violence Restraining Order applications lodged at the Perth Magistrates Court. Conferencing will be extended to other metropolitan court locations later in 2021.

See Court Locations and Contacts.

No. To have the matter listed for a Conference, both the Applicant and Respondent must not have opted out of Conferencing.

If you are the Applicant you may opt out of the Conference when you lodge the form “Information for an application for a Family Violence Restraining Order or Violence Restraining Order”.

On page 3, you will be asked the following question “If conferencing is available, do you object to the matter being listed for a Conference?”. If you object to the Conference, you must place a cross in the box marked “yes”.

For the applicant to opt out put a x in the box marked yes

At the interim hearing, the Magistrate may ask you again if you wish to opt in or out of the Conference and provide further information about Conferencing.

If you are the Respondent you may opt out of the Conference when you lodge the Objection with the Court. On the Objection form, you will be asked the following question “If conferencing is available, do you object to the matter being listed for a Conference?”. If you object to the Conference, you must place a box in the box marked “yes”.

Respondant to opt out put a x in the box marked yes

Regardless of whether you are the Applicant or the Respondent, if there is no response provided to the Conferencing question, the Court will assume that you do not object to the matter being listed for a Conference.

Where you wish to opt back into Conferencing you must write to the Court to request that the matter be listed for a Conference. You may lodge the letter with the Court over the counter, or by sending an email to the court location where the application was lodged. For a list of Court telephone numbers and email addresses, please see the Court locations and Contacts page.

You may opt into Conferencing any stage up to 28 days before the Final Order hearing. This allows sufficient time for the final order hearing date to be reallocated to another matter.

Where you or the other party is legally represented, it is best practice for you to copy the legal practitioners into correspondence with the Court.

Where neither party is legally represented, the Court will contact the other party to inform them that you have opted back into Conferencing. It is important to remember that just because you have opted in, it doesn't mean that your matter will automatically be listed for a Conference. Both parties must not have opted out of Conferencing for the matter to be listed for a Conference.

At the Conference, both the Applicant and Respondent can be represented by a lawyer and have support people available.

The support people can be from a recognised support agency, or can be a friend or family member. The only exception is that the support person cannot be a person who will be called to give evidence at the Final Order hearing.

Please refer to the Legal Services Contacts for details of where you can find legal services.

Legal Aid WA

Advises and assists women about legal matters including family law and children's matters.

Phone: 1300 650 579

Sussex Street Community Legal

Sussex Street Community Law Service is a ‘non-profit’ non-government community based organisation that provides access to accountable, non- judgmental and effective legal and social services to low income people in the community.

Phone: (08) 6253 9500

Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre Inc

Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre aims to provide clients with a service that is specific to their needs. We understand that legal and social matters can be complex and often require a combination of legal, social and financial support.

The Joondalup office provides a Respondent Duty Lawyer Service at the Joondalup Magistrates Court, which is the only one of its type in Western Australia, and we also appear as legal counsel in Family Violence Restraining Order Shuttle Conferencing at the Joondalup Magistrates Court.

Joondalup Phone: (08) 9301 4413

Mirrabooka Phone: (08) 9440 1663

Fremantle Community Legal Centre (FCLC)

A not-for-profit organisation which provides legal services to financially disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community and includes as priority; victims of violence, CaLD and Indigenous clients. The centre provides assistance with legal advice in family law, protection and care, criminal injuries compensation claim, tenancy, social security matters.

FCLC also provides document drafting, court representation at the Fremantle Magistrates Court for Family Violence Restraining Order matters, limited representation in Family and Chidren's Court of WA, mediation, information and referrals, and non- legal support.

Phone: (08) 9432 9790

Community Legal Centres Association of Western Australia

Services provided may include legal information advice and representation to individuals and groups. Most services are free or very low cost.

Phone: (08) 9221 9322

Aboriginal Family Law Service

Provides legal and community education services for all Aboriginal people, including children who have experienced family or domestic violence, sexual assault, including men, women and children.

Phone: 1800 469 246

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia

Provides legal representation and support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Western Australia.

The service provides information, support and referrals for people affected by family and domestic violence (including safety planning, risk assessment, court support, and assistance in bringing applications for Family Violence Restraining Orders).

Phone: (08) 9265 6666

Free call: 1800 019 900

After hours: 9265 6644

Law Society of Western Australia

The Law Society of Western Australia is the peak professional association for lawyers in Western Australia.

This website provides a search facility to find Law Society members with experience in particular areas of law, or assistance to find contact details if you already have the name of a lawyer.

1800RESPECT

A telephone service that offers confidential counselling support, information and referral options for anyone impacted be family violence or sexual assault.

This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Phone: 1800 737 732

Aboriginal Family Support Service

Aims to support and strengthen Aboriginal Families through the generations.

The program provides information, advocacy, referrals as well as group activities, respite camps and peer support groups.

Phone: (08) 6330 5400

Anglicare WA

Provides support and advocacy to adult victims of family and domestic violence.

Anglicare can provide a range of services including referrals to agencies, support with legal and court proceedings, police liaison and emotional support services.

Phone: 1300 11 44 46

Centrecare

A Catholic not-for-profit community services organisation delivering professional counselling, support mediation and training services throughout Perth, Goldfields, Esperance, and South Western regions of Western Australia.

It operates a telephone hotline, counselling and help programmes. It offers crisis specific held and long term post crisis support.

Phone: (08) 9325 6644

Crisis Care

A telephone information and counselling service for people in crisis needing urgent held, including those escaping family violence.

This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Phone: (08) 9223 1111

Department of Communities’ Domestic Violence Help Page

The Department of Communities provides a Domestic Violence help page which links to a range of services, including services specific to CALD people, people of diverse sex, sexuality and gender, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Phone: (08) 6217 6888

Free call: 1800 176 888

Lifeline

Provides services that aim to prevent suicide, support people in crisis and create opportunities for emotional wellbeing.

Phone: 131 114

Multicultural Women’s Advocacy Service

This service is available to women who are recent arrivals or long- term residents.

They may be in crisis situations, refuges, still remaining in their relationships, or re-establishing themselves into the community after leaving a refuge.

Phone: (08) 9328 1200

Relationships Australia Western Australia

Provides a range of counselling, mediation and educational services, including relationship and family counselling, specialist family violence counselling, post separation services, trauma support services, services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and elder relationship services.

Phone: 1300 364 277

Salvation Army

Provides assistance in a variety of ways including financial counselling, accommodation and homelessness support and food.

Phone: (08) 9328 8529

Sexual Assault Resource Centre

Provides a range of free services to people affected by sexual violence.

Phone: (08) 6458 1828

Free call: 1800 199 888

St Vincent de Paul Society

Can provide assistance in a variety of ways including direct assistance, emergency housing and homelessness support, food, domestic and family violence.

Phone: (08) 6323 7500

Uniting WA (formally Uniting Care West)

Provides free and confidential support to any Aboriginal women who is experiencing or is at risk of family and domestic violence.

Their Indigenous Family Violence program offers counselling, mediation, advocacy and practical assistance.

Phone: 1300 663 298

Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline

Provides support and counselling for women experiencing family and domestic violence.

It is a state wide service and this service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Phone: (08) 9223 1188

Freecall: 1800 007 339

Aboriginal Family Support Service

Aims to support and strengthen Aboriginal Families through the generations.

The program provides information, advocacy, referrals as well as group activities, respite camps and peer support groups.

Phone: (08) 6330 5400

Anglicare WA

Provides support and advocacy to adult victims of family and domestic violence.

Anglicare can provide a range of services including referrals to agencies, support with legal and court proceedings, police liaison and emotional support services.

Phone: 1300 11 44 46

Centrecare

A Catholic not-for-profit community services organisation delivering professional counselling, support mediation and training services throughout Perth, Goldfields, Esperance, and South Western regions of Western Australia.

It operates a telephone hotline, counselling and help programmes. It offers crisis specific held and long term post crisis support.

Phone: (08) 9325 6644

Crisis Care

A telephone information and counselling service for people in crisis needing urgent held, including those escaping family violence.  This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Phone: (08) 9223 1111

Department of Communities’ Domestic Violence Help Page

The Department of Communities provides a Domestic Violence help page which links to a range of services, including services specific to CALD people, people of diverse sex, sexuality and gender, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Phone: (08) 6217 6888

Free call: 1800 176 888

Family Relationship Centre

This service provides information about family relationships at all stages.

If you are parents experiencing separation, the Family Relationship Centre can help you focus on your children’s needs and help you decide what to do next.

Phone: (08) 6164 0300

Lifeline

Provides services that aim to prevent suicide, support people in crisis and create opportunities for emotional wellbeing.

Phone: 131 114

Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline

Provides counselling and referrals for male perpetrators, as well as male victims of family and domestic violence.

Phone: (08) 9223 1199

Free call: 1800 007 339

Mensline Australia

A national telephone support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns.

Phone: 1300 789 978

Relationships Australia Western Australia

Provides a range of counselling, mediation and educational services, including relationship and family counselling, specialist family violence counselling, post separation services, trauma support services, services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and elder relationship services

Phone: 1300 364 277

Sexual Assault Resource Centre

Provides a range of free services to people affected by sexual violence.

Phone: (08) 6458 1828

Free call: 1800 199 888

Family Violence Service is available from the Department of Justice’s Court and Tribunal Services Division. The Service provides information and support to family violence victims who are involved in the court system.

The Service is available to family violence victims who are involved in a Family Violence List or wish to make application for a Family Violence Restraining Order. Please contact Family Violence Service for further information.

Contact details

Family Violence Service

Phone: 1800 600 476

Email: FamilyViolenceService@justice.wa.gov.au

Web: www.justice.wa.gov.au > Court and Tribunal Services > Victim Services

The Department of Justice provides the following services:

Aboriginal Mediation Service

The Aboriginal Mediation Service (AMS) assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to resolve conflicts before they escalate into violence or result in court action, by providing an effective and culturally appropriate dispute resolution service.

Contact details:

Level 23, David Malcolm Justice Centre
28 Barrack Street
PERTH WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9264 6176
Freecall: 1800 045 577
Email: aboriginalmediationservice@justice.wa.gov.au

Call 000 now if you, a child or another person is in immediate danger.

Call police on13 14 44 to report an incident of family or domestic violence.

Dial 0403 227 478 for SMSAssist, a text messaging service for people who are deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired to contact police for assistance.

For a list of Court numbers, please see the Court locations and Contacts page.

For more resources and national contacts, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)

For Men's Domestic Violence Helpline, please call 9223 1199 or freecall 1800 000 599

For Women's Domestic Violence Helpline, please call 9223 1188 or freecall 1800 007 339

Last updated: 14-Jun-2021

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