Avoiding ex-parte Protection Orders

If you think there is a possibility your partner may apply for a protection order as a tactic to separate you from your children, send the following letter to the Family Court (more details below).

The Registrar

(Local court name) Family Court

Your name

Your address

Your telephone number

I have reason to believe that a protection order will be taken out by my wife/partner, (her name) against myself. There are no grounds for this order. I have never been violent or abusive during our relationship.

There is no necessity for an ex parte order and I wish to appear if any application is made.

Yours faithfully,

(your name)


“Ex parte order” means a protection order being given without you being present and able to put your side of the story forward.

Copy this letter, add your own details and print with extra-wide margins.

Take it to the Registrar of the Family Court nearest to where your partner is living. It is a good idea to take it to other Family Courts in the area because this letter will only work at the court at which it has been presented.

When delivering the letter to the court, have them photocopy and stamp it so that you have a record of the letter having been delivered.

Update 2015

I know this has worked in the past for several men. However, I have recently received feedback that the Auckland Central Family Court refused to accept a letter following this model.

It is important to note that this is not an official document, and Courts are not required to accept it. You will need to be courteous and polite. Make it clear that all you are asking for is to be allowed to tell your side of the story before a Protection Order is issued.

If you give this a go, please leave feedback about the response you get below. Comments that are not directly related to this strategy will be removed.


  1. What can I do if a protection order has already been issued and there are no grounds for this order. I have never been violent or abusive during our relationship. I need help but cannot find a lawyer the one I went to was appointed lawyer for child and another one just talked money, she didn’t seem to want to help

    Comment by Shane — Fri 25th May 2018 @ 1:41 am

  2. Hi Shane, I’ve removed your full name to avoid making your situation worse.

    Please tell us which city you live in, but make sure you don’t include any identifying details.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Fri 25th May 2018 @ 9:06 am

  3. I live in Whanganui

    Comment by Shane (not real name) — Fri 25th May 2018 @ 9:11 am

  4. Kia Ora Shane,
    Kidz Need Dadz (Wellington) loosely covers Whanganui.
    You can e-mail me on allan.harvey”at”xtra.co.nz or cal me on 0272420112.
    As John says stay away from Public forums.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Fri 25th May 2018 @ 10:51 am

  5. I have been in a 10 year relationship with a partner,we have 2 kids. I found out 2 weeks ago that a fabricated protection order had been made…duplicated police evidence. Writing on refill paper that dire as they are were stolen from my sock drawer. It was made permanent 22nd January and never served till 24th March…whole time we lived together and she begun this 14th Nov 2018 and finalized it including our 2 children on 20th Nov. To add to the kick in the guts I dropped what I was doing and picked her up and dropped her off waited for 1 half hours to give her a ride back home. No idea that I just drove her in to sign my kids away…

    Comment by Richard — Mon 1st April 2019 @ 1:00 am

  6. # 5,,, Hi Richard, it is a sad and shocking story you tell,,,if you are in the Auckland region and if you need advice going forward I would encourage you to come along to the workshop advertised here… an important aspect of these workshops is the knowledge that you are not alone and hearing what others have and are going through at the least can give some comfort that you are not alone but more importantly can lead you on the right path. Franks has designed and refined these workshops, he has been through the system himself and hopes to be able to turn parents in hopes they will choose to work things out rather than have it go to court.

    Comment by mama — Mon 1st April 2019 @ 11:49 am

  7. Hi Shane,
    Sad but happening and happened to so many, Most Family lawyers do not help only extend the problem for there financial gain leading to your financial ruin, believe me fighting the family court for two years lead to this !Hiring a family lawyer with criminal background helped a lot as Judges and lawyers especially child lawyers repeatedly break laws, protected by there own set of laws and the behind closed doors rules the many Judges you will appear before without a fear hearing for many months if not years as my case will ignore this, not make a decision and leave it to Lawyers to come to agreements which will not happen until you are financially and mentally destroyed our courts are a disgrace our Judges are pathetic and criminals in there own right should be held accountable for not fulfilling there obligations to uphold the law. I will go to jail making sure the public of New Zealand discovers the truth the lives they have ruined !Your children will go through hell in the court proceedings lead by corrupt profiteering child lawyers unqualified psychologists and inhumane system .If I knew I would never have battled, left the country to establish a future for my child, when she became of age to make her own choices, realise lies and the alienation now my child has no financial backing for the future while the lawyers have there children in the best education! Good Luck

    Comment by sean neal — Mon 1st April 2019 @ 2:34 pm

  8. Hi folks
    My wife left me just over a year ago – literally walked out one night.
    She took the kids and the dog and moved into her our mutual friends house placing a trespass order on the property she was staying. After several weeks of no being able to see my 2 children (then 6 & 9) and in a poor mental state I visited the property to see my kids. This started a downward spiral resulting in my defence of a trespass order and obstruction of justice (asking her to help remove the trespass charge). Discharge with out conviction. Very good criminal lawyer.
    My wife was granted a Protection Order due to a crappy Family Lawyer who I later found out has been labeled a man hater. 2 or 3 years ago CYFs investigated the family and concluded on one was at risk.
    I have care of my kids every second weekend and around half of all the school holidays, the love being with me.
    I thought things were calming down until last week I received via my criminal lawyer a document with 8 new charges of breach of a protection order, all the charges are in relation to my approaching and talking with my children whilst not under my care (at school, in public places etc. I never approach their mother – I’m terrified of her). In all but one of the charges their mother was not even in town (small town in the South Island)
    It’s clear that their mother is using the protection order to slowly ruin me and my life and alienate my children from me. She has emailed me stating she has told the kids how unreasonable and basically how bad a father I am. She is not scared of me whatsoever.
    I’ve been to the police and other government agencies to ask for their help, but they do nothing. I dare say / no, I know and have been prosecuted due to her walking in and complaining that I talk with my kids.
    I need help
    a: dealing with my anxieties about thinking the police are targeting me, and
    b: This protection order has to be able to be removed.
    No wonder men go crazy under these circumstances, there is no support for men, all government organisations are built around helping women.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Comment by Cam — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 12:54 pm

  9. It’s the same story for many of us Cam.

    You’re just trying to do the best for your children and the hate machine is out to get you.

    Comment by Boonie — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 1:31 pm

  10. #8,, Hi Cam, oh man, it is so frustrating hearing what guys go through when it all go pear shape.

    I wish I could point you in the right direction, it is indeed hard to know who to turn to, but what I do know is that you have to look after yourself and make it through without loosing too much of yourself.

    I dont know if any one here knows Pete Westbury at Menzwork but he sounds like a good soul and may be able to help, with at least pointing you in a direction that is useful immediately.

    He is a counsellor and I am not partial to this at all but he is a self described good guy I reckon, and you have to start somewhere.


    Otherwise if you google menshealth you should get somewhat of a directory to find the most excellent guys in Christchurch, there is help out there you just have to find some.

    good luck.

    Comment by mama — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 3:02 pm

  11. #8 Cam. While I have some sympathy for your plight, you have made some massive errors. Probably through not knowing what or how a Protection Order works. Initially you would have been served with a Temporary PO. If you file no notice to contest it and do nothing, it becomes Permanent after 3 months. You should have consulted with a Lawyer OR approached people in the “Support For Men” link at the top of the page. When you are served with the Temporary PO, no one tells you what you can and cannot do. Personally, I think that nothing is said on purpose because the authorities know that you will breach it. Permanent POs can contain conditions under which you may see and even have care for you children. Outside those conditions you must not initiate any contact or communication with your children. Your children may contact you and you can conversate with them. You CANNOT initiate a phone call. If they call you and and you lose the connection, you MUST not call them back because that is a breach of the PO. Protection Orders are extremely draconian.

    Comment by golfa — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 5:01 pm

  12. Yes,,,oops,, at the top of this screen under Support are Mensline and Canmen,[email protected] thanks golfa.

    Comment by mama — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 5:11 pm

  13. #12 And if in Auckland …. Meetings are held every Thursday at 6.45pm in the Melville Cricket Pavilion, Melville Park, (north end) 18-20 St Andrews Road, Epsom, behind the Epsom Campus of the University of Auckland. A Lawyer is present.

    Comment by golfa — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 5:21 pm

  14. @11 — great sensible advice

    BUT do you not think you are participating in the general propaganda?

    Have you stopped to ask yourself on what right?
    They take your kids and replace them with papers saying do and don’t

    on what fucking right?

    And the best advice one can give is play the game. Be obedient. Be docile. Do what they say otherwise they will take more…

    When will we ever wake up to say no more?
    No Fucking more of his bull shit?
    Now! today and forever!!!!

    All of us that have gone throug this shit are giving hte lsame advice… follow the rules… foloow the bread crumbs…

    how about the kids, the paternal family, the bigger wider family?

    Comment by JustCurious — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 5:33 pm

  15. I mean for as long as we take it and go through it.
    we are accepting criminal conduct on the part of those that have been put here to protect our rights, freedoms and liberties.
    And when we go into their “laws” which are in direct breach of even the Children care Act of 2004 or any other right we have and hold; our only option is to see it though to the other end.
    When we enter their buildings or we do not act, they take it for granted that we accept waht they iumpose on us.
    And when we do enter their buildings, we find that we cannot be seen nor heard.
    Because we are human and they cannot deal with human… everything for them is on the papers.
    Hence you need a lawyer who is a court employee.
    The whole system is fucked.
    And the whole shenanigans is entering human and processing them into paper form.
    Seriously I am now of the man that one protection order or one without notice is too many.
    Not one fucking more. Someone needs to be made accountable.
    If there is anyone in Dunedin or anyone within travelling range of that court room go and spend the day in support and mediatize it. let the whole world now we have enough.
    Let’s not let one more brother go through this shit.

    Comment by JustCurious — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 5:45 pm

  16. Who the hell is expecting these things to happen to them???,, young men are not educated in law, who is?… and you simply do not train toward “when you lose your family”, “what to do if your partner leaves”..and as Cam and Richard above here have just told us there was no discussion, it was perhaps being planned for some while and completely without their knowledge.

    What is missing is the respect, the respect for at least the sake of the children or the history of the two of you, the couple. It is jaw dropping and the blame is on the absolute option of being able to take the financial leap that awaits. …for the man left behind, dropped jawed, in total disbelief, he faces a cold ,lonely and expensive road.If only in applying for a single motherhood situation, the criteria insisted upon consultation of both parents first, then maybe some common sense could prevail.

    Comment by mama — Thu 4th April 2019 @ 8:12 pm

  17. Cam, you are right in believing the police are targeting you, they do treat you as guilty from day one! Delete your x partner from your phone this should be told to all served with protection orders. While working gathering evidence on my phone I pocket texted a letter J ,I was arrested and locked up for a night for this, latter forwarding a email sent by my x as evidence to a lawyer, pressed reply all this has cost me valuable time and over 20,000 still defending 15 months latter police determined to charge me Judges unwilling to make a verdict. forensic experts explanations thrown out by Judges that don’t understand technology while the police have no experts to back there charges! I have been followed, pulled over for so called dirty work truck visited at home and harassed many times by the police now I film any encounters this and harassment allegation’s through criminal lawyer have deterred the filth from further harassment! Human rights do not exist in NZ family court Family lawyers are making a fortune, being given the authority to control the outcome as NZ Judges are weak and unaccountable in there role Lawyers are protected under there own set of laws they do not work for you or your children’s best interests ,they work with the opposing lawyer to financially gain as much as possible from each case, Child lawyers are a disgrace most inexperienced bias though given more say and power than any other including Judges. Phsicologists mostly unqualified to deal with alienation limited time given to them is just another wasted expense, In my case report was in my favour recommendations ignored by Judges disputed by child lawyer last Judge requesting a second 133 report obviously to stretch the case out a few more years and to get a result that will satisfy the corrupt family court, Hey I am about to go bankrupt Judge !!!!

    Comment by sean neal — Fri 5th April 2019 @ 10:57 am

  18. My ex girlfriend has fabricated a protection order in order to get me out of a house we both own. She has instigated the altercation and 4 days later amended her statement with the police to include a black eye in which never happened. I am not abusive to women. The house is on the market and we have a contract which will split the proceeds once it is sold. She also got an order to keep my furniture but I suspect I will get that back once the house sells. My question is I just want to wash my hands of the whole situation and I done want to ever see her again anyway there are no children involved. I do not want this protection order on my record. What happens if I do nothing and just go to the class I have been ordered to attend. Is there a way to have it removed but just do what is asked?

    Comment by Devan Hagberg — Sun 10th November 2019 @ 8:02 am

  19. Devan – get a certificate of completion. I would recommend asking your lawyer to ask for undertakings to be signed if you never want to see her again. Failing this you will need to go to court otherwise it will be there permanently and they have control over what they claim you did.

    Comment by Rapopi — Wed 25th December 2019 @ 12:48 pm

  20. Hi Guys

    I am now going into this nightmare. Are there any courses, groups or support in Hamilton.


    Comment by Mike Lafferty — Tue 4th February 2020 @ 4:25 pm

  21. #20, Hi Mike check out the workshop in the newest post here, unfortunately it is in Auckland but it would be worth the journey, in the mean if you need advice right away email them.

    Comment by mama — Fri 7th February 2020 @ 9:47 am

  22. Hi all,

    My wife did drama and complained to police by saying i was violent which police didn’t find anything wrong at the time officers came to my home.police didn’t ask me to leave a house but I made a request to officer as I want to leave a house in front of them(because I was scared off making any other false allegations.
    We start attending family counseling she asked me so many times to come back home even on calls and texts when I refused as I was scared from her. After 2 months of leaving my house she made application for protection order without notice. But she didn’t get protection order against me yet. We have court hearing. She I agree to withdraw application if I continue relationship otherwise she will continue application in court(clearly blackmailing me). I am very stressed from one year. Lost lot of money can’t see my son(only 2 hours supervised care)
    Can I apply anything against her in court like protection order.


    Comment by Mike — Tue 14th April 2020 @ 1:33 am

  23. Try Kidz Need Dadz 0800 563 123

    Comment by allan harvey — Fri 15th May 2020 @ 2:11 pm

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