AVOs AVO Apprehended Violence Order

When applying for an AVO, you should first consider if you can prove (under the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007) that you need an AVO. When applying for an AVO you will need to prove two matters:

  1. that you fear that another person will be violent towards you, harass you or intimidate or stalk you (this is a subjective test, which means that it is based on what you actually feel), and
  2. that your fear is based on reasonable grounds (this is an objective test, which means it is based on whether the court believes that a person in your situation would feel the same as you).

There are two types of Apprehended Violence Orders:

  1. Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) are used where the protected person and defendant are in or have been in a domestic relationship.
  2. Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVO) are used in all other cases.

How do I apply for an AVO?

An application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) can be made in two ways:

  1. by the police on your behalf (called a ‘police application’)
  2. by you personally at your local court (called a ‘private application’)

If the application is for an APVO, the court will make an order that you and the defendant attend mediation, unless there is a good reason not to do so.

When an application is made, the people involved in the application are called:

  1. Applicant: this is the person asking the court to make an AVO. If you made the application through the Local Court, you will be the applicant. If a police officer made the application for you, the applicant will be the police officer. The applicant may also be called ‘the complainant’.
  2. Protected person: this is the person who needs protection from the defendant. You may also be called the ‘Person in Need of Protection’ (PINOP).
  3. Defendant: this is the person who you want protection from and who you want the AVO to be made against. An AVO can’t be made against more than one defendant. If you want protection from more than one person, a separate application should be made for each defendant.

Can the police apply for an AVO on my behalf?

The police usually have to make an application on your behalf if:

  1. the police believe that a domestic violence offence has been, is being, or will be committed against you, or
  2. a person stalks or intimidates you with the intention of causing you to fear physical or mental harm, or
  3. an offence against a child or young person has been, is being, or will be committed.

If you want an AVO against someone you are, or have been, in a domestic relationship with, you should contact the police.

What happens if I make a false or misleading statement whilst applying?

It is an offence to make a false or misleading statement to a magistrate or registrar when applying for an APVO. The police can also charge you for making a false or misleading statement to the court in an AVO matter.

What are the costs involved in applying for an AVO?

In AVO matters, the court may award costs against the unsuccessful party. However, if you are applying for an apprehended domestic violence order, the court can only award costs against you if your application was ‘frivolous or vexatious’. A frivolous or vexatious application is an application that is trifling or not serious or deliberately made to cause unnecessary trouble.

How do I get my personal property back?

If you have left personal property with the defendant, or the defendant has left personal property with you, the court can make orders that the property be returned. Orders may be made about clothes, personal papers and children’s toys. In most cases a police officer or officers will come with either you or the defendant to get the property.

A Property Recovery Order can only be made at the same time that a Provisional, Interim or Final AVO is made. If you need to recover your property urgently and can’t wait until the matter is heard in court, you should contact the police, as they may be able to help you get your belongings. The police can’t help you take property if there is disagreement about who owns it as disputes about property ownership need to be resolved in court.

Further details about AVO’s can be found at our AVO information page.

Turnbull Hill Lawyers have decades of experience in prosecuting APVO and defending all AVO matters before the Court. If you have an AVO matter please contact our Criminal Law team.


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