Q. What is Domestic Violence?
A. Includes any form of abuse whether it be mental, verbal, physical, sexual, financial, emotional or psychological, committed by a person against a spouse, child, and any other person who is a member of the household or dependant.
Q. What is a Protection/Restraining Order?
A. A Protection or Restraining Order is a court document which restrains a person from engaging in abusive behaviour of any type.
Q. Where do you go to apply for a restraining Order?
A. To the Clerk of the Peace of the District Magistrate Court in which you live.
Q. Who can apply for a protection order?
A. A Spouse; a member of the spouse’s household i.e. a child; a dependant; a parent or sibling of either the spouse or respondent of that sibling or parent who is not a member of the household; a person who has a child in common with the respondent; a person who is or has been in a visiting relationship with a person of the opposite sex for a period exceeding twelve months; a police officer, a probation officer or approved social worker on behalf of an alleged victim.
Q. What is the procedure to obtain a protection order?
A. The procedure to obtain a protection order is listed as follows:
i. The applicant goes to the court’s registry at the respective Magistrate’s court;
ii. The applicant speaks to the Clerk of the Peace, who identifies the problem and determines whether it is a domestic violence matter or a matter for another court;
iii. Applicant pays $3.00 in cash or the value of $3.00 in stamps for filing a domestic violence complaint;
iv. The Clerk of the Peace then prepares the complaint and summons and at the same time fixes the date of hearing within seven days of filing of the application;
v. The applicant is required to sign the complaint;
vi. The applicant takes the summons to be served on respondent to the police or may be served by the applicant or his/her agent;
Q. What information is required when applying for a Protection Order?
A. The parties correct name and address and a specific time of at least six months before filing when the incident/pattern of behavior occurred.
Q. What is the duration of a protection order?
A. A protection order remains in force for any period specified by the court, but such period shall not exceed three years.
Extracted From: The Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago