​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

If you are named as a defendant in an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) there are a number of things you should consider.

    ​Responding to ​an application for an AVO

    An application for an AVO can be made by:

    • a police officer on behalf of the protected person or
    • the protected person themselves through the Local Court, unless they are under 16.

    Alert IconIf 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.

    Once the application has been filed and you have been served with (given) a copy of the application, you will need to go to court to respond to the application.

    The police can detain you or order you to go to or stay at a particular location so that they can serve an AVO on you. If you don't comply with their orders you can be charged with an offence.

    If you have also been charged with a criminal offence, for example, assault, when you go to court you will need to respond to the AVO and the criminal charge.

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

    Going to court

    The first court date is called a 'mention'. The magistrate will want to know:

    • if the applicant still wants to go ahead with the application
    • how you want to respond to the application

    Depending on what you and the applicant want to do, the matter may be finalised on the day or it may be adjourned (postponed) to another day. You may:

    • ask for more time to get legal advice, and the case may be adjourned
    • agree with the AVO being made, without admitting any of the allegations, and a Final AVO will be made
    • give a formal promise (undertaking) to the court to stop the behaviour causing the protected person to fear you
    • not attend, and if there is evidence the application was served, an order may be made against you in your absence
    • not attend, and if there is no evidence the application was served, the matter may be adjourned to allow the application to be served on you

    You may also not agree with the AVO being made. If you don't agree the magistrate may:

    • make orders for statements to be filed, then list the case for a further mention, before listing it for a hearing
    • refer the case to a Community Justice Centre (CJC) for mediation, if the application is for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order.

    If the police applied for the AVO on behalf of the protected person, they will represent the protected person. At some courts a police officer may want to talk to you about what you want to do before the case. This may be a Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO). You should not discuss what happened with the police officer or DVLO as it might be used against you at a hearing. Only tell the police officer whether or not you agree to the AVO being made.

    For more information, see Going to court.

    After court

    If a Final AVO is not made, that is the end of the case.

    If a Final AVO is made, then the protected person will be protected by the AVO. You may be able to appeal the decision to the District Court within 28 days. If you did not go to the hearing, you may be able to apply for an annulment.

    If an AVO is made against you, you are not given a criminal record. However, if you breach an AVO it is a criminal offence. An AVO may also place some restrictions on you, such as stopping you from having a firearms or security licence, or working with children.

    After the Final AVO is made, you can apply for the AVO to be varied or revoked. The protected person and the applicant may also apply to have the AVO varied, revoked or extended.

    For more information, see After court.

    Case study

    ​​​Case study - Saabeah, Didier and MarkCase study icon

    Mark has lived in his house for 20 years. Saabeah and Didier recently migrated from Africa and moved into the house next door. A few months ago Mark started doing some work around his house, and has been placing the building rubble and garbage in his yard next to the fence. Saabeah and Didier have sent Mark a letter accusing him of throwing the garbage over their fence. Mark is really angry and frustrated. He believes Saabeah and Didier should mind their own business. Mark wrote them a letter warning them to leave him alone. On Tuesday Mark was served with an application for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order. Mark has to go to court in two weeks and doesn't know what to do.​

    ​Getting more help

    There are a number of services that may be able to help you if somebody wants an AVO against you.

    For further assistance, see Getting more help. ​

    Neighbours arguing over dumped rubbish
     

    Further inf​ormation

    Domestic​​​​ Violence Line 
    1800 656 463
    (TTY 1800 671 442)
    24 hours 7 days