​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Defending an Apprehended Violence Order - Frequently Asked Questions

​Respo​​​nding to an Apprehended Violence Order 

1. I had a fight with my girlfriend and she went to the police. A couple of days later, they served me with an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO). The application asks for Order 1. What does this mean?

Order 1 is on every AVO. The orders listed in Order 1 are often called mandatory orders or standard orders. From 3 December 2016, these orders are listed under the heading ‘Orders about behaviour’.

The mandatory orders say that you must not assault, harass, threaten, intimidate or stalk the protected person, or destroy their property. This extends to anyone they have a domestic relationship with, such as their husband or wife, partner, parent, or child,

These are orders that are designed to protect the protected person but they do not require you to do anything that you wouldn't usually be expected to do.

Other orders are optional. The applicant can also ask for extra orders that are not listed on the application, if necessary.

For more information, see Mandatory and additional orders.

2. My partner and I had a fight and the police came to our house. I was served with an AVO. I don't know why my partner needs an AVO. He is not scared of me at all. Why would he need an AVO?

An AVO is made to protect a person from violence or intimidating behaviour.

For an application for an AVO to be successful, and a Final AVO made, the applicant needs to prove to the court that:

  • ​the protected person fears you, and
  • that it is reasonable for the protected person to have that fear.

The applicant must prove these things on the balance of probabilities. This means by proving that something is more likely than not to be true.

In domestic violence cases the court can make a final AVO even if the protected person doesn't actually fear you, provided there are reasonable grounds for them to fear you. For more information, see Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order.

In this case the court will be limited to making the mandatory or standard orders.

For more information, see Responding to an application for an Apprehended Violence Order.

3. I have been having a long running dispute with my neighbour about where the boundary line is between our properties. I have been served with an application for an AVO to protect him and we have to go to court next Tuesday for the mention. I am going to dispute it. Can the court make an AVO before the hearing?

If you do not consent (agree) to the AVO being made, the court will list the matter for hearing. If the applicant asks, the court may make an Interim APVO. This is a temporary order protecting the protected person until the date of the hearing. The Interim APVO has the same affect as a Final APVO.

For more information, see Provisional, Interim and Final Apprehended Violence Orders.

The court may ask the applicant to provide reasons why they need the Interim AVO. You will be asked if you consent to the Interim AVO. If you do not, the court may want you to give reasons why the Interim AVO should not be made.

For more information, see Going to court.

For information about boundary disputes, see the Fences topic.

4. The police have served me with an application for an AVO, naming my wife as the protected person. I don't agree with what the application says, but I just want to move on with my life and put it behind me. Should I just agree to the AVO?

After you are served with an AVO, you have a number of options for responding.

You can agree to the AVO being made without agreeing with the facts that are alleged in the application. This is called 'consenting without admissions'. If you consent, a Final AVO will be made. If a Final AVO is made, it may have an impact on your employment, particularly if you work in the security industry, or need a firearm and a firearms licence.

For more information, see Options after being served with an application for an Apprehended Violence Order and Consequences of an Apprehended Violence Order.

Alert Icon

Alert iconBefore consenting to an AVO, you should get legal advice.

You should also be careful not to breach any of the orders in the AVO. If you breach any of the orders you may be charged with a criminal offence.

For more information, see Consequences of breaching an Apprehended Violence Order.

5. I have been served with an application for an AVO. The application was made by a co-worker. There are a lot of orders on the application. How do I tell which ones apply to me and what they mean?

For AVOS made before 3 December 2016 applications usually show all the orders that are available to an applicant.

The orders described in Order 1, which are called the 'mandatory orders' or 'standard orders', are always part of an application and will always apply if an AVO is made. Orders 2 to 11 are optional. The orders where the corresponding box is ticked or marked with an 'x' are the orders that the applicant wants in an application. The applicant may also have put a line through the additional orders they don't want.

For AVOs made after 3 December 2016, the mandatory orders are listed under the heading 'Orders about behaviour'.

There are also other orders that the court can make. This includes, 'orders about contact',  'orders about family law and parenting', 'orders about where you cannot go', and 'orders about weapons'.

Only the orders that apply to you are written on your form. 

For an explanation of what each of the orders mean, see Mandatory and additional orders.

Going to court

1. The police served me with an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), naming my girlfriend as the protected person. The application says that there is a mention on next Tuesday. What is a mention and do I have to go?

A mention is the first time an application for an AVO will be in court. It gives you the chance to either agree to the AVO being made, or let the court know that you want to defend it.

You must attend the mention. If you don't attend, the court may make a Final AVO without hearing from you. The court also has the power to issue a warrant for your arrest to be brought before the court.

For more information, see Mention.

2. The police made an application for an AVO against me, naming my girlfriend as the protected person. She told me she doesn't want to go through with it. Can she have it withdrawn at the mention?

The police prosecutor will make decisions about the AVO. Your girlfriend can ask them to withdraw the application, but they may not agree They will make their own decision.

For more information, see Mention.

3. My neighbour made a private application for an AV​O against me. A friend of mine said I should offer an undertaking if she agrees to withdraw the application. What is an undertaking?

An undertaking is a formal promise by you to the court that you will not do certain things.

An undertaking is not the same as an AVO. An undertaking is not legally enforceable but remains on the court record and the court can take it into consideration if another application for an AVO is made.

For more information on undertakings, see Mention.

4. The police made an application for an AVO against me naming my son as the protected person. At the mention I did not consent to the AVO. The magistrate then made orders that we both file and serve witness statements. We have both done this and have now been given a date for the hearing. Do I need to attend?

Yes. Even though you have filed and served your statement, you still need to give oral evidence in court.

At the hearing, the applicant may cross-examine (question) you about the evidence in your statement, and you or your lawyer will be able to cross-examine the protected person and any witnesses.

If you do not attend, the magistrate may make a Final AVO in your absence.

For more information, see Preparing for the hearing - Step by step guide.

5. A former friend of mine made a private application for an AVO against me. I have to go to the mention next week. Will the court want me to get written statements from my witnesses?

At the mention, the magistrate or registrar will want to know if the applicant still wants the AVO. If the applicant still wants the AVO, the magistrate or registrar will then ask you how you want to respond.

What happens next depends on what you want to do.

You will only need to get written statements from your witnesses if you don't consent (agree) to the AVO. The magistrate or registrar will then usually make directions (orders) for both of you to file and serve written statements. You will also be given another date to come back to court for a further mention, to make sure you have followed the directions.

For more information, see Mention.

6. I am worried that an AVO will be made against me and I won't be able to go back home and get my stuff. What should I do?

You can ask the court to make a Property Recovery Order. This order will allow you to go to your home and get your belongings without contravening any AVO that is made. The court may also order that the police or another person must go with you while you collect your property.

For more information, see Recovering personal property​.

7. At the mention, the magistrate ordered me and my husband, the applicant, to prepare witness statements. What information do I need to put in my statement?

Your witness statement must include all of the evidence you want to give to the magistrate. You will not be able to give any more evidence at the hearing, unless you are given permission by the court. You will only be able to be cross examined at the hearing (asked questions) by the applicant or his lawyer (if he made a private application), or the police prosecutor (if the police applied on your husbands behalf).

For more information, including instructions on how to prepare your statement and to see a sample statement, see Written statements and evidence.

If you are not sure what to do, and you need more help, you should get legal advice.

After court 

1. The court made an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) against me, protecting my ex-girlfriend. The order was made for two years and it expires in one month. The other day I was served with an Application to Vary or Revoke Apprehended Violence Order. She wants to extend it for two more years. Can she do this?

If the AVO is about to expire and your ex-girlfriend still fears you, she or the police can apply to the court for an extension of the ADVO.

For more information, see Extensions, revocations and variations.

For more information, see Consequences of breaching an Apprehended Violence Order.

2. My neighbour applied for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) against me. The magistrate said that she would make the mandatory orders only, for 12 months. What does this mean?

Mandatory orders (standard orders) are the orders that all AVOs must have. There are also additional orders that can be made to suit the needs of individual protected persons.

For more information, see Mandatory and additional orders.

The magistrate's decision to make the mandatory orders for a period of 12 months means that you cannot assault, molest, harass, threaten, interfere with, intimidate or stalk the protected person, or any person that they are in a domestic relationship with. If you do anything to breach the AVO within the 12 months you may be charged with contravening the AVO.

For more information, see Consequences of breaching an Apprehended Violence Order.

If you do any of the things you are restricted from doing after the 12 month period, you may still be committing a criminal offence, for example, if you assault your neighbour, but you will not be committing the specific offence of breaching an AVO unless the protected has applied for, and been granted, an extension of the AVO.

For more information, see Extensions, revocations and variations.

3. The police made an application for an ADVO against me on behalf of my wife. I consented without admissions to the mandatory orders an order, that said that I was not to contact her except through her lawyer. Since then I have sent her a few text messages asking her to come back to me. All of my messages have been polite and friendly. Am I breaching the ADVO?

If you contact the protected person directly, when the AVO says you can only contact them through their lawyer, you will be breaching the AVO. You may have also breached other orders in the AVO.

For more information, see Consequences of breaching an Apprehended Violence Order.

4. My wife made an application for an ADVO against me. The court made the mandatory orders and an order that I not live at the family home. Since then I have received counselling for my anger issues and I feel like I have changed a lot. My wife would like for me to be able to come back home, but she still wants the ADVO. Can I get the ADVO changed so that I can move back home?

You or your wife can apply to vary (change) an AVO. The police can also apply to vary an AVO if they made the original application. The court will only make an order to vary the ADVO if there has been a change in circumstances.

It is possible to vary the AVO so that you and your wife can continue to live together.

For more information, see Extensions, revocations and variations.

5. One year ago the court made an APVO for six months against me after I consented without admissions to an application made by a co-worker. Now I want to apply for a firearms licence but I've heard I can't for 10 years after an AVO is made against me. Is there anything I can do to reduce this time?

If a Final AVO is made against you, you have to wait until 10 years after the date the Final AVO ends before you can apply for a firearms licence.

If an AVO is revoked, you are free to apply for a firearms licence before the 10 years is up. You can only apply to have an AVO revoked while it is stll in force. 

For more information, see Extensions, revocations and variations.

6. I am applying for a new job and my potential employer says that it will conduct a criminal record check on successful applicants. Will they find out that my former partner has an AVO against me?

If an AVO is made, you are not given a criminal record. However, if you breach the AVO it is a criminal offence.

A criminal record check will not bring up AVOs. However, if in addition to the AVO you were also convicted of an offence, that conviction, and any other convictions that you may have, will come up in a criminal record check.

For more information see Consequences of an Apprehended Violence Order. ​

7. My partner has a final ADVO against me in NSW.  I heard he has now moved to another state. Can the ADVO made in NSW be enforced in another state?

If the Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) was made in NSW after 25 November 2017 it is recognised and enforceable in any Australian state or territory. The protected person does not need to make a separate application to register the order.

If the ADVO was made before 25 November 2017, the protected person may apply to any Local Court for the order to be declared and nationally recognised.  There is no requirement for the notice of the declaration to be served on you. 

For more information, see Interstate orders.

8. Can I apply to a NSW Local Court to vary a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) made in Queensland?

If the order was made after 25 November 2017 it is nationally recognised. If you want to vary the order you can apply to any NSW Local Court.  This means that an order made in another state or territory may be replaced by a new order or a variation in NSW. 

If possible, it is a good idea to make the application in the state that made the original order as that court would have the most information.

If the order was made before 25 November 2017 you would need to apply to a Local Court in the state it was made unless the protected person applies to have it declared and nationally recognised.

For more information, see Extensions, revocations and variations.

For more Frequently Asked Questions, see: