How to Cancel or Vary a Violence Restraining Order

Once a Violence Restraining Order (VRO) is in force, sometimes circumstances between the Applicant and Respondent improve and it is no longer needed. Criminal lawyers can give you good advice on how to go about cancelling the order, otherwise you can still be tried for breach of the order if you breach the terms.

To have the VRO cancelled you have to fill in a special form called Form 8 Application and lodge it with the Magistrates Court. The form has a space for you to write down the reasons for the cancellation or the variation so the court will know if there is sufficient reason.

In fact, for a couple to get back together there will have to have been a breach of the VRO, and so the respondent is likely to be on trial for the breach. It is then necessary to have that Form 8 filled out in readiness so that the court can know that the Applicant – the person who applied for it – actually helped cause the breach and no longer wants the VRO to be in effect.

However, in cases where there has been no reconciliation and you just want the terms varied, when the form is filled out you have to state what terms you would prefer and give a reason. This reason could be in order to visit a child, or in order to continue working in a place that may be close to where the Applicant lives.

The court looks for evidence that you are experiencing severe and unnecessary hardship and thus, that your hearing should go ahead as soon as possible. They will then set a date for a new hearing which you must attend.

The person who applied for the VRO can also apply to have it cancelled or extended. In the case of an extension, the respondent does not have to be in attendance at the court hearing if the Applicant does not wish them to be there. Otherwise, they will receive a summons to the court hearing and should attend, especially if they want to object. This has to be done before the previous VRO expired, or a new one will have to be applied for.

If there has been a clerical error, or if something has been left out accidentally, either the Applicant or the Respondent can apply to have it fixed.

If a person from another state has taken out a VRO on an their ex and they move from there to Western Australia and want the VRO to be in force there, they have to apply to have it registered there by filling out a form from the Magistrates court. In this case, any VRO will operate as a final order, not as an interim order.