​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 |

Mention

    ​Preparing for t​he mention

    Representation

    You have two options for representation in an AVO:

    • you can get a solicitor to represent you, or
    • you can represent yourself.

    Legal Aid is not usually available for defendants in AVO cases unless you have been charged with criminal offences and meet Legal Aid NSW eligibility requirements. Legal Aid NSW may provide representation for defendants in ADVO cases, even if there are no related criminal charges, if there are exceptional circumstances. Legal Aid is available for defendants under the age of 18 years. For more information, see the Legal Aid NSW websi​te​.

    You can arrange for a private solicitor to represent you. You can get referrals to private solicitors by calling LawAccess NSW.

    If you are going to represent yourself, you should get legal advice.

    Who will represent the protected person

    If the police applied for the AVO on behalf of the protected person the protected person will be​ represented by a police prosecutor. 

    If the application was made by the protected person at a Local Court they will either be represented by a solicitor or they will represent themselves.

    Alert IconIf you don't go to the mention, the court may make an order against you while you are not there, or the court could issue a warrant ordering that you be arrested and brought before the court.​​​

    Alert IconIf the protected person is under 16 years of age the police will represent them at court. For more information, see Apprehended Violence Orders to protect children.

    If you are ​under 18 years

    ​If you are the defendant and you are under 18 years of age your case will be dealt with differently. For more information, see Apprehended Violence Orders against children.

    What to take to the mention

    You should take the following to the mention:

    • a copy of the application for the AVO application or Provisional AVO that was served on you
    • your written statement, if you have prepared one
    • any witness statements that you have collected as these may be necessary if you want to argue against the court making an Interim AVO
    • any witnesses who can give evidence if you want to argue against the court making an Interim AVO. 

    What might happen at the mention

    Waiting your turn

    Get to the court half an hour earlier, to find out what courtroom your case will be heard in. If you think you are going to be late, you should ring the court registry and let them know.

    There will be many cases listed on the same day and you have to wait until your name is called. 

    • Sit in the courtroom or if the courtroom is full you can wait outside. Stay close enough to the courtoom to hear the court officer call your name or tell the court officer where you are going.
    • Do not leave the building.
    • If you leave, or are not there when you are called, your case can be decided without you.

    It is possible that you could be at the court for a few hours, so you should make arrangements with your work or childcare if necessary.

    Remember to turn off your mobile phone before going into the courtoom.

    When your case is called

    The magistrate or registrar will want to know:

    • if the applicant still wants the AVO
    • how you want to respond to the application
    • if you and the applicant attempted mediation recently (if it is an application for an APVO).

    There are a number of options for you and the applicant. Depending on what you decide to do, your application may be finalised on the day or it may be adjourned (postponed) to another day.

    You can watch a video below about what your options are when someone applies for an AVO against you. ​

    You can also read a transcript of this videoWord icon(42 kb). 

    ​This video is available with the audio description​.

    For more information about your options, see Options after being served with an application for an AVO.

    The applicant's options

    The applicant may want to:

    • Withdraw the application
    • Ask to get their property back
    • Ask for an interim order

    Withdraw the application

    If the protected person doesn't want an AVO anymore they can ask the court for leave (permission) to withdraw their application.

    If the application was made by the police on behalf of the protected person they may refuse to withdraw the application. The court can also refuse to give leave to withdraw an application.

    If the police made the application and children are involved it may not be possible for the protected person to withdraw the application.

    If the protected person made the application themselves and now wants to withdraw it, the court may want them to explain why.

    If you are served with an application for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) and the protected person later withdraws the application, it is possible to ask the court for an order that the protected person pay your costs if you are represented by a lawyer.

    For more information, see Costs in Apprehended Violence Order cases.

    Ask to get their property back

    If the protected person has left their home and they would like to collect some of their belongings, they can ask the court to make a Property Recovery Order.

    If the protected person is given a Property Recovery Order, you must let them enter the premises to remove their property. The court can also order that the police or another person may come with them.

    For more information, see Recovering personal property.

    Ask for an interim order

    An interim order is a temporary order. An Interim AVO stays in place until the court makes a Final AVO, the police withdraw the AVO application or the court dismisses the case.

    A magistrate can make an interim order at a mention if they think it is necessary.  For more information, see Provisional, Interim and Final Apprehended Violence Orders​.​

    ​Your options

    You may want to:

    • Ask for an adjournment
    • Ask to get your property back
    • Consent (agree) to the AVO and a Final AVO will be made
    • Give an undertaking
    • Not attend ​​court
    • Not consent (agre​e) to the AVO​

    Ask for an adjournment

    You may ask the court to adjourn (postpone) the case so that you have more time to get legal advice. The court will usually adjourn the case for a week or two if this is the first mention, or you have a good reason why you have not already had legal advice.

    Hint iconIf you are served with an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO), the court may also adjourn the case if they think it is appropriate to refer the case to mediation and both you and the protected person agree. At the mediation you, the protected person and a mediator will discuss the matter. Any decision to resolve the dispute reached by the parties at mediation can be made into an enforceable agreement if both parties agree to this.

    For m​ore information, see Mediation.

    Ask to get your property back

    If you had to leave home because of the AVO and you need to collect your belongings, you can ask the court to make a Property Recovery Order.

    If you have a Property Recovery Order, the protected person must let you enter the premises to remove your property. The court can also order that the police or another person may go with you so that you do not have to go there alone.

    Property Recovery Orders can only be made at the same time that Provisional, Interim or Final AVOs are made by the court.

    For more information, see Recovering personal property.

    Consent (agree) to the AVO and a Final AVO will be made

    You may consent (agree) to the AVO being made without admissions. If you 'consent without admissions', this means that you consent to the orders being made but do not admit any of the things the applicant says happened.

    If you want to consent to the AVO but don't agree with all of the orders sought, you can try to negotiate with the police prosecutor if it is a police application, or with the protected person or their solicitor if it is a private application.

    For more information, see Mandatory and additional orders.

    If the court makes a Final AVO, it will be made for the length of time requested in the application, or a different amount of time if the magistrate decides this is necessary. Most AVOs are made for 12 months.

    You can get a copy of the Final AVO from the court registry or they might send it to you by post.

    For more information about the consequences of an AVO and what might happen if you breach the AVO, see After court.

    You can watch a video below about what to say in court when you are consenting to an AVO without admissions.

    You can also read a transcript of this video Word icon(33 kb).

    ​​​This video is available with the audio description​.

    Give an undertaking​​

    You may give an undertaking instead of agreeing to an AVO. This is a formal promise made by you to the court that you will not do the things listed in the AVO, in return for the application for the AVO being withdrawn.

    If the police made the application on behalf of the protected person, they often will not accept undertakings, particularly if the application is for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order.

    Undertakings are not legally enforceable and breaching undertakings is not a criminal offence.

    Not attend court

    If there is evidence the application was served on (given to) you, and you fail to come to court, the magistrate may make an order in your absence (without you being there).

    If there is no evidence the application was served, the case may be adjourned so that the police (or nominated person) can have more time to try and serve the application on you.

    Not consent (agree) to the AVO

    If you don't consent (agree) to the AVO, the court may make directions (orders) including:

    • The applicant file and serve their written statement, and the statements of any witnesses, by a certain date. They will usually be given no more than two weeks.
    • You file and serve a written statement and the statements of any witnesses, by a certain date. This is usually another two weeks after the applicant was to file and serve their statements. If you want to ask for a longer time, you should let the court know and be prepared to explain why.
    • The parties return to court for a further mention on a certain date.

    The court may also make some orders about whether the police need to provide you with a brief of evidence, but only if you have also been charged with a criminal offence.

    At the next court date the court will check that all the statements have been filed.

    If you don't follow the orders, and do not go to court on the next mention date, an AVO may be made in your absence.

    If the applicant doesn't follow the orders, and does not go to court on the next mention date, the application may be dismissed.

    If both parties have followed the orders and filed their statements, the court will give you a hearing date.

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

    Alert IconIf the court has made an order about filing and serving witness statements, and you are not sure what to do, you should get legal advice.

    Alert IconSome courts may make orders that the parties serve and file other written documents, such as, statements of agreed facts and issues. If you are asked to prepare other documents, you should get legal advice.​