A Personal Protection Order (“PPO”) is a court order issued to protect against an individual whom might potentially incite, assist or even commit violence against you or your family members. When an application has reached the trial stage, parties will be heard before a judge in open court. The duration of the trial process may take a few hours, a day or even longer.
If the Applicant, or Complainant, does not want to see his/her perpetrator in court, he/she may inform a counsellor or a Protection Order Services Unit staff. Arrangements can be made for the Applicant to give his/her evidence remotely via video-link.
The process of obtaining a Personal Protection Order
During the open court hearing, the Applicant will give his/her evidence first. After being called to the stand to first be sworn in, the Applicant’s solicitor will lead the evidence of the Applicant by asking him/her some questions.
Next, the Applicant will be cross examined by the Respondent’s lawyer, if represented. The purpose of cross examination is to ‘poke holes’ in the Applicant’s story so that the Court will not, or be less inclined to believe the Applicant’s version of events.
Once that is done, the Applicant’s solicitor will re-examine the Applicant in an attempt to ‘patch the holes’ created by the Respondent.
Consequently, the same process will be repeated for the Applicant’s witnesses (if any), followed by the Respondent, and lastly for the Respondent’s witnesses (if any).
Finally, the Applicant and Respondent will state their arguments, telling the judge why the PPO should or should not be issued, respectively. After examining the relevant documents, hearing the parties and witnesses, and listening to the submissions made, the judge will decide whether or not to grant the PPO.
What are the requirements for a Personal Protection Order?
For the applicant to succeed in getting a PPO, the court must be satisfied with two things, on a balance of probabilities:
- 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.
To prove on a balance of probabilities means that the court must be persuaded that there is a higher likelihood of violence. To prove this, it may be helpful for the applicant to produce medical reports, police reports, or photographs relating to the family violence.
It is helpful to have legal representation, as the written complaint must identify the parties involved in the alleged incident with proper description of the alleged abuse or assault by the perpetrator, or how he or she was involved in the incident, especially if the application goes to trial.
What can you do to get started?
Engaging a good lawyer is very important and helpful, as they will help you make the necessary submissions and assist you in drafting the relevant documents. If you are seeking legal assistance on a PPO matter, do speak to our Lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu.
He has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws, including Maintenance orders, and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.