The recent case of a Tiffany Paterson who sued the police
for not adequately enforcing her restraining order provides court ordered
restraining orders with enhanced prospects of providing meaningful and
Ms Paterson had a restraining order against her former
partner issued in the Northern Territory. She complained to police about clear
breaches of that order after her ex-partner repeatedly contacted her in
contravention of the restraining order.
She alleged police failed to adequately respond to her
complaints regarding the breaches and that she subsequently suffered a serious
The case was settled out of court to the satisfaction of Ms
Paterson. However, her successful action against police creates an important
precedent. Police could be found to be
negligent for failing to adequately investigate breaches of court ordered
restraining orders and conditional release orders in the future.
Police are only expected to act reasonably and within their
capabilities and resources. However, this important case confirms police have a
duty of care to enforce court ordered restraining orders and protect those who
have been awarded protection by them.
Police around Australia are on notice to take complaints
regarding alleged breaches of restraining orders seriously and take reasonable
If you have, or are contemplating applying for a restraining
order you can be sure that Ms Paterson’s case makes your possession of a
restraining order more powerful than ever before in terms of ensuring your
safety and protection.
HHG Legal can assist you in applying for and enforcing your
misconduct or violence restraining orders.
Murray Thornhill is the Director at HHG Legal Group with the Litigation/Commercial Law team. Nicole Young is a Criminal Solicitor with the Litigation/Commercial Law team at HHG Legal Group. This
is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. If
you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal
matters please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1800
For more information on restraining orders, Click Here.