Monday, 21 April 2014
Q: I read some of your posts in your blog about legal rights of Trinidad and Tobago. I noticed there aren't any about restraining orders. I noticed this because I was searching for answers about how to get one...and why do people get them anyway. It would be very helpful for you to post very soon about restraining orders in your online blog.
A: Your wish is my command.
According to s.4(2)of the Domestic Violence Act 1999, as amended:
Domestic violence includes physical, sexual, emotional or psychological or financial abuse committed by a person against a spouse, child, any other person who is a member of the household or dependant;
As long as a qualified person has been a victim of, or can potentially become a victim of domestic violence, an application for a Protection Order may be made by—
(a) the spouse of the respondent;
(b) a member of the household of the spouse or respondent, either on his own behalf or on behalf of any other member of the household;
(c) a child—
(i) by consanguinity or affinity of either the spouse or respondent;
(ii) of whom either the spouse or respondent is a guardian; or
(iii) who is or has been a member of the household of the spouse or the respondent;
(d) a dependant;
(e) a parent or sibling by consanguinity or affinity of either the spouse or respondent not being a member of the household;
(f) a person who has a child in common with the respondent; and
(g) a person who is or has been in a visiting relationship with a person of the opposite sex for a period exceeding twelve months.
If you do not fall within one of the aforementioned categories, you cannot file for a protection order, which, to me, is absolutely ridiculous.
The application for a protection order can be made at the Magistrate’s Court in your area or at the Family Court, in conjunction with another matter, such as a custody, maintenance, divorce, etc.