What to note before initiating any actions

As criminal provisions do not have retrospective application, the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) only applies to acts committed on or after the date it comes into force (15 November 2014).

If the victim is a minor (i.e. below the age of 21 years), the application must be made by the minor's litigation representative (who should be the parent or legal guardian). Under the Rules of Court, a litigation representative of a minor must act by a solicitor. A written consent to be litigation representative of the minor, and a certificate by the solicitor under the Rules of Court, would need to be filed.

Staff of the State Courts are unable to provide you with legal advice. If you require legal assistance, please refer to the Community Justice Centre - HELP Services (CJC).

List of civil remedies

​Term Definition​
​Protection Order (PO)​A Protection Order (PO) is a court order made under section 12 of the Act against a harasser to stop harassing/stalking the victim and/or remove any publication that is the cause of harassment.
​Expedited Protection Order (EPO)​An Expedited Protection Order (EPO) has the same effect as a Protection Order, but is granted under section 13 of the Act where the circumstances require an urgent intervention. Certain conditions need to be fulfilled before the Judge will grant an EPO. In addition, an EPO is a temporary order that will automatically expire after 28 days or on the first day of the PO hearing, whichever is earlier.
​Non-Publication Order (NPO)​An order under section 15 of the Act to a harasser not to publish or to stop publishing the offending statement unless a notification on the falsehood of the offending statement is also published.
​Monetary compensation​Commencing civil proceedings against the harasser to order him/her to financially compensate the victim in respect of his/her harassment towards the victim.

Applying for a PO/NPO

The application for a PO/NPO consists of the following phases:

  • Pre-Filing Assessment
  • Application
    1. Preparation of documents
    2. Affirming/Swearing your Affidavit
    3. Filing of documents
    4. Service of documents
    5. Respondent's reply
  • Pre-Trial Conference
  • Hearing

Pre-Filing Assessment

If you are enlisting the services of a lawyer to formally represent you when your case is filed in Court, it is not necessary for you to undergo Pre-Filing Assessment as your lawyer will be in the best position to assess your case and advise you accordingly.

Before preparing any documents, you should approach the Harassment Cases/Neighbour Disputes Registry at the Community Justice and Tribunals Division (State Courts, Level 1). The counter staff will explain the civil remedies process before referring you to an Assessor for Pre-Filing Assessment.

You should bring the following:

  • Your NRIC or other forms of personal identification;
  • Evidence of the harassing act, such as print-outs of emails, blogs, websites, photographs; and
  • Police report or medical report (if any).

The Assessor will look through the background of your case in greater detail and take notes regarding your case. In addition, depending on the nature of your case, the Assessor may be able to provide suggestions for alternative remedies out of Court.

Application

1. Preparation of documents

You are required to prepare your Supporting Affidavit (SA) using the prescribed Form in the Rules of Court. A sample of the Form can be found and downloaded on this website (under Resources → List of Forms) as well as the self-help kiosks located in the Community Justice & Tribunals Division. If you intend to obtain samples of the Forms at the self-help kiosks, you may wish to consider bringing a thumbdrive with you to save your work.

You will also need to ensure that you have copies of all other supporting documents that you wish to use as evidence in your case.

If you are filing an Originating Summons (OS), you are known as the Applicant. The person against whom your OS is made is the Respondent.

2. Affirming/Swearing your Affidavit

Your SA contains evidence that will be presented before the Court. It is therefore necessary for you to affirm/swear that the contents of your SA are true to the best of your knowledge.

Affirmation/Swearing of your SA is done before a Commissioner for Oaths. You may approach a law firm to assist you with the affirmation/swearing of your SA. Alternatively, you can approach the Harassment Cases/Neighbour Disputes Registry, who will assist you in the affirmation/swearing of your SA.

Please take note that affirming/swearing your SA in Court will cost at least S$15.00.

3. Filing of documents

Once you have prepared your OS and SA, you will need to file these documents in eLitigation to formally commence your application for a Protection Order. Filing of your documents in eLitigation can be done at the CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. Please note that costs, such as filing fees and service charges, will apply.

The location, operating hours and contact numbers of the service bureau is as follows:

LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau

133 New Bridge Road,
#19-01/02 Chinatown Point
Singapore 059413
Tel: (65) 6538 9507
Fax: (65) 6438 6350

Operating Hours:
Mondays to Fridays: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturdays: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

 

More information on eLitigation and the CrimsonLogic Service Bureau can be found on their respective websites at eLitigation.sg and CrimsonLogic.com.sg.

4. Service of documents

Service is the formal procedure by which you inform another party that he/she is being sued or of any court order issued against them.

After filing your documents in eLitigation, you will need to serve a copy of your OS and SA on the Respondent. Service must be done personally or through the CJC's process server. Thereafter, within 8 days from the date your documents are served on the Respondent, you must file an Affidavit of Service.

5. Respondent's reply

Within 14 days after he/she is served with your OS and SA, the Respondent, or anyone else to whom the PO/NPO is to apply and who has been served with your OS and SA, may file a Response to your application using the prescribed Form.

Pre-Trial Conference

Your case will be fixed for a Pre-Trial Conference before a Judge three to four weeks after your OS and SA are filed and processed in eLitigation. Both you and the Respondent will be required to attend in Court on the PTC date.

At the PTC, the Judge may refer the parties for mediation to explore an amicable settlement or counselling. If the case is settled at mediation, the case is concluded. If the matter cannot be amicably resolved, the parties will be given another PTC date, whereby the case may be directed for hearing.

Hearing

On the day of the hearing, you must bring along all your evidence, such as witnesses, photographs, police and/or medical reports, and computer print-outs of harassment online.

If you are granted a Protection Order by the Judge, you must serve it on the Respondent and are recommended to thereafter file an Affidavit of Service.

The PO/NPO only takes effect after it has been served on the Respondent.

Applying for an EPO

Application for an EPO is only applicable if you are also applying for a PO.

The application process for an EPO is similar to that for a PO/NPO. However, during the filing of your OS and SA at the Service Bureau, you can indicate that you are applying for an EPO in addition to a PO.

Should you indicate as such, the application process for the EPO will be slightly different in the following ways:

  1. Your case will be fixed for a PTC before a Judge within the next three working days instead of at least three weeks from the date you filed your OS and SA;
  2. If you are represented by a lawyer, you will still need to appear in person in Court on the PTC date mentioned above; and
  3. You do not need to serve a copy of your OS and SA on the Respondent immediately; during the PTC mentioned above, the Judge will give you specific directions for service of your documents, including directions for service of the EPO should your application be successful.

The EPO only takes effect after it has been served on the Respondent.

The outcome of your application for an EPO does not affect your application for a PO. Regardless of whether your application for an EPO is granted or dismissed, your case will still be fixed for a PTC regarding your application for a PO once your application for an EPO has been fully dealt with by the Court.

Suing for monetary compensation

If you intend to sue a harasser or stalker for monetary compensation, please refer to the process to commence a civil action here.

Last updated on: 8/11/2016 11:07 AM

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