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Peace Order


    • What is a peace order?

      A peace order, also known as a protection order, is a legal document that specifies the conditions that the wrongdoer must adhere to as specified by the courts.

      For example, the wrongdoer:

      • should not commit any act of domestic abuse;

      • should pay rent, mortgage or other monies such as child support;

      • should hand over any firearms or dangerous weapons to the police.

      Prior to obtaining a protection order you need to apply for an interim order.

      The interim order specifies the date at which the final order will be considered by the court. Only once the final order is made, it will be permanent and can only be changed by applying to court.

      Any court that covers the area in which you live or work, or in which the wrongdoer lives or works, or the area in which any incidents of abuse took place can grant you a protection order.

Peace Order

    • The process of obtaining a protection order

      • The application for a protection order is ex parte, which means that it is brought by the complainant without notice given to the respondent. In
        addition, the application can be brought on behalf of the complainant by another person who has a material interest in the well-being of the complainant.

        The application is on affidavit and therefore needs to be certified by making an oath in front of a commissioner of oaths stating that you know and understand everything that you have written.

        The prescribed form can be found at police stations and courts, or downloaded from the Justice and Constitutional Development website.

        The form must then be completed in full by the complainant, or alternatively by the clerk of the court, or an attorney can assist the complainant.

        The magistrate will then consider the application, and if satisfied that there is prima facie (accepted on the face of it) evidence that the
        requirements set out below have been met, must issue an interim protection order.

        • The interim order, as well as a copy of the application and a record of any additional evidence which was considered by the court,
        must fully be served (delivered) on the respondent by a police officer or a sheriff in order to have effect. Serving the interim order
        by the police is free. However, if you can afford the service charges of a sheriff this will be more effective as the police have
        many cases and are likely to take longer than the sheriff.

        • Once the clerk receives the return of service in respect of the interim order, confirming that it has been served on the respondent
        in the prescribed manner, a warrant of arrest which authorises the arrest of the respondent must be served on or given to the
        complainant. The warrant’s execution is suspended and is subject to the respondent complying with any prohibition, condition, obligation or order imposed by the court.

        • Should the respondent contravene the terms of the interim order or a final protection order, the complainant may hand in the warrant
        of arrest together with an affidavit, detailing the incident relating to the respondent’s non-compliance, to a member of the South
        African Police Service (SAPS).

        The SAPS then have the option to either arrest the respondent if it appears that the complainant may suffer imminent harm as a result
        of the breach, or deliver in person a written notice to the respondent calling on the respondent to appear before court on a
        specified date, on a charge of contravening the terms of the interim order. This charge will be dealt with as a criminal matter, separate from the civil proceedings of the protection order.

        The interim order only remains valid until the return date, which is typically about three months from the date of the interim order having
        been issued, on which date the respondent must show cause and establish why a final protection order should not be granted.

  • The final protection order:

    • This order will be granted if the wrongdoer does not oppose the interim order of if the wrongdoer is not present at court but there is proof that the
      interim order was served on the wrongdoer, or if neither party is present but there is proof that the interim order was served then the final protection order will be granted.

      If the wrongdoer is present and contests the granting of a final protection order, the case will go to trial. The magistrate will hear all the evidence
      given by you or any other witnesses and make a decision.

      Once a final order is granted, a warrant of arrest is issued immediately but is suspended as long as the wrongdoer does not break the
      conditions of the protection order.

  • The application form for a protection order

    • 1. The applicant – this requires your information as the complainant. However, if you are applying on the complainant’s behalf you will
      need to fill out their details which include: ID number, home and work address, employment details, and relationship to the wrongdoer;

      2. If you are not the applicant you need to fill out your details which include: ID number, home and work address, employment details,
      relationship to the victim, reason for making the application, and whether you have permission from the victim;

      3. The respondent – information about the wrongdoer, including their ID number, home and work addresses, telephone numbers and job
      details should be provided. Residential and work addresses are important for effective service of the order. If you do not know the
      addresses, then you should give any information about where the respondent can be found, such as public places or friends they visit often;

      4. Others affected – details of anyone else affected and how they are affected;

      5. Statement of the incident – an affidavit detailing the incident by the wrongdoer;

      6. Any information on how urgent the application is – for example, reason to fear that the respondent may act violently;

      7. What conditions you need in the protection order – these conditions should match up with the type of abuse you have noted;

      8. Personal property – a list of property you consider to be personal. If you have asked for assistance from the police in collecting your
      personal property they will require this list.

  • Required Documents –

    • Certified Copy of Identity Documents.

    • Respondents Details.

  • Procedure

    • The process are as follows -

      • Applicant to approach the district court they reside in with the details of the complaint (Peace order department).

    • An affidavit detailing the nature, extent and severity of the incident against him/her must be documented. Exact dates and violent conduct must be stated in the affidavit.

    • Peace orders may be brought by non-family members.

    • The magistrate’s court will grant an order against the respondent warning said party stop the violent behaviour against the applicant.

    • Respondents have the opportunity to respond to the allegations before a final order is granted.
      ___________________________________________________________
      Hi, I’m Kailash Pillay, an attorney from the city of Johannesburg. My passion for the law
      stems from a desire to improve upon the lives of the vulnerable who fall prey to a
      corrupt system.
      I studied at the University of Johannesburg where I obtained my Bachelor of Laws
      degree, the starting point to the long journey of becoming a legal practitioner.
      This profession has taught me to persevere through the complexities of the law and to
      continually develop my skills as a legal professional.