Neighbourhood disputes are reasonably common in society. Fortunately, neighbours often reach amicable solutions between one another, with or without legal assistance. However, on occasion there is no amicable solution possible and things can turn hostile and violent. If a person (whether they’re your neighbour or not, but particularly if they are) is threatening you or your property, and the Police can’t or won’t get involved, it can be very difficult to extricate yourself from the situation. If you’re in Queensland and find yourself in this position, then a Peace and Good Behaviour Order may be the best way to resolve it.
What is a Peace and Good Behaviour Order?
A peace and good behaviour order is an order made under the Peace and Good Behaviour Act 1982. to protect your rights to peace & quiet and remain undisturbed by threats to your wellbeing & quality of life. The key difference between a peace and good behaviour order and a domestic violence order, is that a domestic violence protection order under the “Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act” is limited to parties in a domestic relationship. This rarely applies to neighbours. Peace and good behaviour orders are made against individuals who are not in such a relationship and is a fine tool to compel an attitude-change from unruly, aggressive or disorderly neighbours.
How do I Apply?
You can apply for a peace and good behaviour order if someone has threatened to assault or do any bodily injury to yourself or anyone under your care, or if someone has threatened to destroy or damage any of your property.
An order can also be made if the person has procured someone else to threaten to assault you or anyone under your care or threatened to destroy or damage your property.
The legislation has an additional requirement in relation to threats (as opposed to actual violence or damage). You must have a reasonable fear that the threat may be acted upon.
If you can demonstrate that each of these elements has been met, then you may have a strong case for obtaining a Peace and Good Behaviour order.
We recommend engaging an expert to assist you in filing the application as doing so incorrectly and without sufficient evidence is guaranteed to have the application dismissed at an early stage.
What happens next?
Once a Peace & Good Behaviour Order has been made, the police are responsible for ensuring compliance. The court is at liberty to decide the duration of the order however 2 years is common in our experience. Any person who contravenes a peace and good behaviour order during its currency commits a criminal offence and is subject to a maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment or a fine of up to $14,375.00. That’s for each offence. There is also the probability of the criminal offence being recorded, such that it will be on a person’s criminal history and prospective employers can find it; it’s not something an employer likes to read when considering a job applicant’s suitability.
If a Peace and Good Behaviour Order has been issued against you, then you must adhere to the order strictly as to not breach the order. Defences to such criminal charges are hard to come by. However, if the order has been made unjustly or without your knowledge then you should contact us to have it rectified soonest. An act as relatively common as cutting your neighbour’s overhanging trees and throwing them back over the fence can be sufficient to justify a charge for breach of a PBGO.
Contact us today 1300 334 566, firstname.lastname@example.org or start a live chat at the corner of this screen.
We have offices in South East Queensland but work electronically and have the capability of working with you without the need to ever step foot in an office.