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VIC Served with Intervention Order Application - Sue Ex for Defamation?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by Jace, 5 January 2016.

  1. Jace

    Jace Well-Known Member

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    I've just been served with a summons for an intervention order application. I'm needing to go to court on 7th March.

    The application, made by my ex-girlfriend, is making claims that I physically and sexually abused her during our relationship, and I "don't like to be told." This never happened, and I'm not the sort of person that would do this. She also claims in the application that I am "mentally and emotionally unstable".

    She also claims that I abused her mother when she asked me about not paying board. I always paid board when I was living there, in accordance with what was agreed. I never abused her mother, but it was, in fact, her mother that abused me, and that was the reason we moved out, as well as me staying at my brother's house before moving out because I was too scared to live there.

    I have been told by 3 different people that I should respond with suing her for defamation. Given the information above, is this actually possible for me to do this under Defamation Law?
     
  2. Ponala

    Ponala Well-Known Member

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    Defamation is not the route to take with this one imo.

    Contest the IVO at court.
     
  3. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    While her remarks technically may be defamatory, it is a defence to any action for defamation that the statements were made in the course of a court or tribunal proceeding. Therefore, unless she is making these claims outside of the court proceedings you don't have a case.
     
  4. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    Defend the VRO charge. She will need evidence to back up her claims. Get some character witnesses and find a local family lawyer who deals with VRO defences. You can then use the same family lawyer if need be for potential family actions.

    I wouldn't go down the defamation path as it is a very expensive law suit. In the upwards region up to $30,000.00.

    To be connected with a local lawyer see Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You
     
  5. richrider

    richrider Member

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    Hi Jace,

    Firstly, it would be wise to get some advice from a lawyer in relation to this, however, I can share with you from my experience...

    It is important to know the process. There will be a mention hearing where your ex will need to attend if she wishes to make a final order. It will not be easy for her to do so with you defending the application.

    #1 - Attend the Mention hearing and defend the accusations. Ask for "Further Particulars of Complaint" by a set date and make a direction hearing. You could even apply pressure to go straight to a Contested Trial without a directions hearing. Your ex will need to substantiate the evidence. Note that if there are examples of harassment, intimidation and arguments then the court may make a ruling in her favour.

    #2 - Wait for the Further Particulars of the complaint, and then respond to them. You are able to do this without a lawyer however if you intend on taking this to the trail then the act prevents from you representing yourself and cross-examining the protected person. It is worth defending this as if your ex slanders your reputation, then even the general notion of you consenting to the order can imply the perception of guilt in some respects, however, you need to weigh up how far and how much money you wish to take this. This may take anywhere of $2,000 - $10,000 if it does go to a contested trial.

    #3 - Play the legal perception and maintain that you will take this to contested trial. This will also mean that your ex needs to lawyer up, however in some cases she will be able to seek representation from Legal Aid for free. If she knows that you are defending this, then she may withdraw and thus an interim order was for her protection during the course of the breakup and she may withdraw. Any evidence by way of SMSes and emails would assist to demonstrate that she may be lying. She will also need to substantiate the claims also by way of doctors reports, hospitals reports, police reports, social work reports, and witnesses.

    #4 The process is:

    a) Mention hearing - usually 5 minutes because you defend your position and if your ex attends then you are able to ask for a date to a directions hearing and then a deadline for Further Particulars to be received. In some cases then the opposing party will ask for an answer from you before or after the directions

    b) Further Particulars - Get a deadline, at least, a month before the Directions hearing and if you need to provide a response, then 2 weeks before the directions hearing.

    c) Directions hearing - it may or may not resolve and your ex may wish to withdraw or may not even come to the court on the day. in that way, you can ask for the application to be struck out. If it still cannot resolve then you can make a contested trial date, and then be prepared to lawyer up. You can do the abovementioned steps without legal representation and save yourself several thousand dollars. The most important thing is not to agree to anything you don't wish to. Don;t agree to a lengthy interim order or an IVO for a period of x months. Don;t agree to anything except either an undertaking or a withdrawal of the order. An undertaking could be not to have anything to do anything with your ex, not to communicate with her etc.

    d) Contested trial - You will need a lawyer and both of you will be cross-examined.

    Good luck mate.
     
  6. Jace

    Jace Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. No need to be concerned about this situation anymore. The mention date came and went and she didn't turn up to it so it was struck out.

    Now just waiting for the Parenting Order initial court date next week and will see if she shows up to that or not.
     

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