Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer

A Woman’s Nightmare in Personal Protection Order Application in Court

A Woman’s Nightmare in Personal Protection Order Application in Court

One needs to know that the legal system in Singapore is one of due process where an entire process of filing affidavits (in to court) and having a trial will have to take place before a judge orders a PPO in favour of a party.

Scared dog threatened with a belt by her owner at home

Grace, a battered housewife of 20 years decided to protect herself against her abusive husband. She suffered injuries in one of the attacks and called the police. But she was merely advised by the police to seek legal advice and was given a form to seek medical attention and to go Family Justice Courts to apply for a PPO. The police told her that it was a family matter and they cannot do anything more for her.

Having not much savings, Grace decided to approach PPO court to seek the miracle protection of a PPO order. Her nightmare starts.

The typical timeline for a PPO application in court would entail the following:

  1. Filing an application at a Family Violence Service Centre or Family Protection Centre at the Family Justice Courts;
  2. Attending before a Judge to have your application affirmed/sworn (this is to ensure that nothing, but the truth is stated);
  3. Counselling session with a Court Family Specialist;
  4. Mention in Court; and
  5. Hearing in Court.

The entire process would take 3 – 6 months to conclude and during the interim, Grace continues to stay with the abusive husband.

In the midst of the application, the abusive husband engages a lawyer to defend the action. He even accused Grace of lying to the court over her injuries. He has also applied for a cross-PPO application against Grace, claiming that he has suffered violence too.

Grace has no choice but to engage her own family lawyer as well to represent her in the PPO application.

There are many steps involved when it comes to a PPO application which naturally takes time where the due-process of the judicial system will ensure that falsehoods are filtered out and only the truth will stand the test of time. In conclusion, one should only make genuine PPO applications (where actual family violence is involved and safety is of a family member is at stake) in court as at the end of the day, thanks to the Singapore judicial system, the truth will be out, and justice will prevail.

Grace eventually won the PPO application and a PPO order was granted to her. The judge ordered that the husband pays costs for the trial in the sum of S$3,000 to Grace (usual costs awarded is S$1,500 to S$6,000, and nothing more). However, her finances become strained as her legal fees is more than S$30,000.00 for the full-blown PPO trial.

PPO order is useful only upon a subsequent breach of PPO. With the PPO order, the police will be able to interfere and bring the aggressor into police custody.

At Yeolaw Family Law Firm, we do our part to protect the victim of family violence. Balancing our operational costs, we are able to offer drastically reduced fees for bringing PPO application all the way to trial. Our fees for PPO application are from S$2,500.00. If the matter has to go for trial, our fees are capped at S$9,500.00. Call us at 62203400 to seek protection.

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