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QLD Domestic Violence Order Help - Representing Myself?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Johnny be good, 26 July 2014.

  1. Johnny be good

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    Hi. I really need your help as unfortunately men seem to get left out of the help cycle in these and a lot of other situations.

    4 weeks ago, I was served with a Private DVO QLD ( Domestic Violence Order) on Friday afternoon at 5.04pm. Mention was the following Monday at 11.30am. How was i suppose to get legal advice? The mention date was set, no temporary DVO was placed on me and I advised the court I would be placing a counter DVO and will be strongly disputing the application. The evidence she provided was a joke and should of been thrown out of court in my opinion. She had an email stating an alleged event which is lies, an incident report from an email company suggesting I had taken over her account, which was mine, with vital bits of information being deleted. A photo of a phone with my number ringing it, that you could not see. All of these events occurred 12 to 24 months ago.

    I have since put a DVO application in on her and we have had the mention. They will be heard together. I submitted most of my evidence. The issue I have is that I asked for evidence to be submitted within 14 days of hearing and was refused. So I suspect she has put in little evidence so, 1) I think i could fight it and not put a counter one on her, and 2) rock up with all the bullsh*t under the Sun and nail me, which does not seem right to me. I will be 100% honest and say she would have very little on me, but she is very good at convincing herself of things.

    So these are my questions -
    - If she rocks up on the day with loads more stuff than she submitted, and i don't have items to defend her claims, can or should I adjourn?
    - Do I need to submit evidence separately, as in one pile to defend her claims and another pile with evidence against her for my DVO application?
    - What is the way the hearing will go, as in the procedure?
    - What is the best way to submit my evidence?
    - How to submit voice recordings of phone calls?
    - Anything else i should know?

    Should I include a pile of paper work showing the rates men are wrongly accused of DVO's? Did you know there is even an online register for people who have a history wrongly accusing others?

    Ok, so I know you probably think I'm crazy defending myself but I refuse to spend money on her games. If a DVO was put on me, and apparently it will because this is how our wonderful government works, what effect does it actually have these days? Can it affect government jobs?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Judges don't tend to like cross applications because it creates problems proving who breached what in future, and because neither party clearly wants anything to do with the other, so why not just put both in place?

    Remember that if a privately-lodged DV application is passed, it does not give you a criminal conviction or have any significant implications, except if you breach it. You have an option to accept without admission, and cease contact. If you think she will fight your application and not accept without admission (which judges see as frustrating because in simple terms, it's like "I want to be able to harass him but I don't want him to be able to harass me"), what I would suggest is writing up mutual undertakings - a formal agreement to the court that is not enforceable by the court, but does it make it easier for either party to get a DVO later if one of the parties misbehaves - and giving it to the court at the beginning of procedures. It will keep both parties free of having a DVO against them and show that you are not interested in further conflict.

    In terms of procedures, both of you are 'the aggrieved' so you must both submit an affidavit stating the facts of your respective cases so the other party can lodge a response. She won't be allowed to spring random evidence on you on the day - that's considered trial by ambush and will basically just annoy the judge. Anything she plans to use must be brought to your attention before the hearing, and if it isn't, you can request an adjournment or the judge may strike it out at his discretion. In any case, it will not be considered unless you have been given an opportunity to respond to it.

    In your affidavit as the aggrieved, stick to facts, exclude your emotions. Judges don't want your opinion or your emotional response, they just want to know what happened. Explain each incident in which she committed domestic violence against you in it's own paragraph, with times and dates, as well an annexures listing the evidence (such as text messages and emails etc).

    In your response, address a few things - what parts of her affidavit are fabricated or inaccurate and what you have to prove this; why you don't pose a threat to her, what contact you have had with her since the incidents took place, etc.

    For the actual hearing, they will guide you through the process. The courts can be intimidating, but they have made proceedings more 'informal' for the sake of a rising number of self represented litigants, particularly in family matters. A few things to remember - dress in a clean, pressed suit and refer to the judge as 'your honour'. Answer questions in cross examination honestly, directly and without trying to defend yourself by explaining details that you might feel she is expressly skipping over. You will have the chance to cross examine your ex as well, so write down some questions based on her affidavit, and try to ask them as "It is true you did x, correct?"

    It's very important to be the reasonable one. Familiarise yourself with the court website and the relevant legislation. And finally, see a legal aid solicitor, who can give you free legal advice as a self represented litigant.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Lyle Williams

    Lyle Williams Member

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    Hi and thank you :)

    Your information is excellent but I am hoping you can expand on one topic, what sort of questions one should ask. Is it best to question inaccuracies in the affidavits or more general questions like "how many times did you call the police for domestic violence", "how many times did you ask a neighbour or friend for help", etc.

    I feel I have responded to her affidavit in my response affidavit already, so am not sure what to go over or should I pick one or two things that stand out?

    It is very difficult to get help as a respondent so I appreciate any help I can get.

    Thanks for your work.

    Regards
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Cross-examination is about casting doubt on the other party's evidence. Questions must only relate to the affidavit material, so go through both your affidavit and their response, find the inaccuracies between the two and ask questions that bring those inaccuracies to light.

    It's best to stick to questions with yes or no answers, as well.

    Legal Aid offers I think up to three free consultations on a single matter, they're very helpful to SRLs with sample documents you can use to help you run your case. Would be worthwhile having a chat with them.
     
    Lyle Williams likes this.
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have kids or do you share assets like a house with this person? The opinion I'd give would change. If you answer yes to either then that would affect my opinion.

    Forget statistics of false claims, etc. Post them here if you like, I'd like to have a look, but it is about your case, not all those other cases...
     

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