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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself > AVOs > Defending an AVO > Responding to an application for an AVO

Options after being served

When you are served with (given) an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), the application will tell you the date that you have to go to court, the time you have to be at court and which court you have to go to.

You have a number of options for responding:

    ​​​​Go to the mention

    The mention is the first date an application for an AVO is heard in court. You should go to court on this date so that you can tell the court what you want to do. You could:

    • ask to adjourn (postpone) the mention to another day
    • consent (agree) to the AVO with or without admissions (with or without agreeing to the facts in the application)
    • not consent (not agree) to the AVO and have the matter listed for a hearing
    • agree to give an undertaking (formal promise) to the court if the application is withdrawn.

    If you do not go to court, an Interim or Final AVO may be made in your absence.

    For more information on what happens at the mention, see Going to court

    Ask for an adjournment

    If you haven't had a chance to see a lawyer before your court date you can ask the court to adjourn the case to give you some more time to see a lawyer. You could do this by letter or you could ask for more time at the mention.

    The court will usually adjourn a case for one or two weeks if it's the first time a party has asked for an adjournment. The next time that you go to court you will have to tell the court whether you consent or do not consent to the AVO.

    If you don't know what you should do about the AVO, you should get legal advice

    Ask for the case to be moved to another court

    If you are served with an AVO and it tells you to attend a court that is far from where you live, or is difficult for you to get to, you can write to the court and ask that the case be transferred to a court closer to you (but still in NSW). Make sure you do this before the mention. The court will notify you of the decision. You should contact the court if you haven't received a response before your mention date.

    You could also ask for a change of venue at the mention.

    If the mention will be held at a court that is difficult for you to get to, you should get legal advice.

    Make a cross application

    If you have been served with an AVO but you also fear the protected person (also known as the Person in Need of Protection (PINOP)), you may wish to make a cross application against the protected person. The court should treat your application in the same way it would treat a normal application for an AVO.

    For more information, see Cross applications.

    Do nothing

    If you do not go to court for the mention, or you do not contact the court to ask for an adjournment or for the case to be moved to a different court, the court may decide to make the AVO without hearing from you. The court may also issue a 'warrant'. This is an order that you be arrested and brought before the court.

    Alert IconIf the court does make an order when you are not there, you can apply to have it annulled (cancelled) within 2 years of the date of the order being made. Having an AVO annulled means you would be back in the same position as you were when you were served with the application for an AVO. An AVO may be annulled where it is in the interests of justice to do so. You will usually be successful in annulling an order if you can show that you were sick on the date the order was made or you were not aware of the court date.

    For more information about getting an AVO annulled, see After court. ​