In terms of section 7 (a) (i) (ii) of the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998, the Presiding Officer may not refuse to grant an application for a protection order or refuse to impose a condition in a protection order or make an order which the Court is competent to impose merely on the ground that the complainant should exhaust all his or her remedies before approaching the Court.
Section 7 (b) of the Act states that, if the Presiding Officer in the Domestic Violence Court is of the opinion that if A were to approach the Civil Court requesting for an Order to evict B, such an order would be granted in favor A; or if A were to approach the Maintenance Court claiming for spousal maintenance, the likelihood of A succeeding in his or her claim against B is high, the Presiding Officer must grant the protection order or impose a condition in the protection order which shall be enforceable for a limited time just to enable the complainant an opportunity to seek appropriate relief in terms of the applicable law.
This would be applicable in the instance where A is the Lessor and B the Lessee. B approaches the domestic violence court to prevent A from evicting B.
The Presiding Officer may not dismiss B’s application merely on the ground that A has already proceeded with the eviction process.
What the presiding officer must do is issue an interim protection order against A and impose a condition that A must not prevent B from entering the property leased to B pending the outcome of the eviction matter.
Domestic violence Act 116 of 1998