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

Responding to an application for an Apprehended Violence Order

    ​Who ap​plied for the AVO

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

    • a police officer on behalf of the person who wants protection (called a 'police application')
    • the person who wants protection themselves through the Local Court (called a 'private application')

    Alert Icon From 3 December 2016 the Children's Court in care proceedings can make an AVO to protect children.

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

    • Applicant: this is the person asking the court to make an AVO. The protected person will be the applicant if they made the application for an AVO through the Local Court. If a police officer made the application for the protected person the applicant will be the police officer. The applicant may also be called 'the complainant'.
    • Protected person: this is the person the applicant says needs protection from you. If a person makes an application to protect themselves from you they are both the protected person and the applicant. They may also be called the 'Person in Need of Protection' (PINOP).
    • Defendant: this is the person the protected person say they need protection from. You are the defendant if the application for an AVO names you as the defendant. ​

    What the applicant needs to show the court

    To get an AVO, the applicant will need to prove that:

    • they, or the protected person, fears that another person will be violent towards them, harass them, intimidate or stalk them (this is a 'subjective test', which means that it is based on what the protected person actually feels), and
    • that the protected person's fear is based on reasonable grounds (this is an 'objective test', based on whether the court believes that a person in the protected person's situation would feel the same as the protected person).
    • In some cases, the applicant does not need to show that the protected person actually fears the other person (the subjective test). This applies when the person is a child or has an appreciably below average intelligence function. 
    • From 3 December 2016, an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) can be made without showing that the protected person fears the other person.  The magistrate must be satisfied that the person in need of protection has been subjected to a personal violence offence by the defendant and that there is a reasonable likelihood it will happen again and the order is necessary to protect the person

    Case study - Lette and CarolCase study icon

    Letti and Carol have been friends for years. A year ago, Letti started dating Carol's ex boyfriend, Bill. Carol was very unhappy with Letti and Bill's new relationship and sent Letti nasty emails for several months. Six months ago, Letti ran into Carol at the shops. Carol started yelling at her, saying she felt betrayed. Letti walked away, but is now scared to go out in case she sees Carol.​

    ​Case study - Lino and Daniel ​​Case study icon

    Lino and Daniel lived together for almost seven years. Six months ago, Lino told Daniel he wanted to take a break and Lino moved out of their flat. About two weeks ago, they met up at a party. Lino was with his new boyfriend. Since then, Daniel started calling Lino's mobile up to 50 times a day. At first the phone calls were just annoying but then Daniel started threatening Lino. Lino also noticed Daniel hanging around outside his workplace. Last night, Daniel followed Lino to his car and attacked him. Daniel pushed Lino to the ground, punched him and grabbed Lino's neck. A passer-by called the police and managed to pull Daniel off Lino. The police applied for an ADVO for Lino.​

    In Letti and Carol's case, the court may decide not to make a Final AVO because a great deal of time has passed since Carol sent Letti the emails and Carol has not acted in a threatening manner. In Lino and Daniel's case, the Court is more likely to make an AVO because the events happened recently and Daniel has been violent.

    Options after being served

    There are a number of ways that you can respond to an application for an AVO:

    • go to the mention
    • ask for an adjournment
    • ask for the case to be moved to another court
    • make a cross application
    • do nothing.

    For more information, see Options after being served.

    Before responding to an application for an AVO you should consider:

    • Whether the applicant can prove there is a need for an AVO to be made
    • Who is listed as a protected person. A child of the protected person will often automatically be included as a protected person in an application for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders. This may affect contact with your children. If your child has been listed as a protected person, you should get legal advice.

    Provisional, interim and final AVOs

    The court can make:

    • ​an Interim AVO – which lasts until the next hearing date, or
    • a Final AVO – which lasts for a set period of time, usually a number of years.

    If the application is made by the police, the police can also apply for an urgent Interim AVO (called a Provisional AVO). If it is a provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) a senior police officer can make (authorise) the order.

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

    Mandatory and additional orders

    All AVOs include some compulsory orders that may be called standard orders or 'mandatory orders'. From 3 December 2016, these orders are listed in an AVO under a heading or 'Orders about behaviour'. The applicant also has the option of asking for a range of additional orders. The applicant can also have orders that are written especially for their matter.​

    For more information, see Mandatory and additional orders.

    ​Costs in AVO cases

    In AVO matters, the court may award costs against the unsuccessful party.

    If the court decides not to make a Final AVO, you can ask the court to make an order that the protected person or the police (if the police made the application) pay your legal costs.

    Legal costs include lawyer's fees and expenses such as conduct money for witnesses. Legal costs do not include lost wages.

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

    Recoveri​ng your personal property

    If you have left personal property with the protected person, or the protected person has left property with you, the court can make a Property Recovery Order.

    This order can only be made at the same time that a Provisional, Interim or Final AVO is made. It cannot be made after court action is finished. You should ask for the order at the court and prepare a list of the property you want to recover.

    For more information, see Recovering personal property.

    ​Charges and AVOs

    If an application for an AVO had been made against you, you may also have been charged with a criminal offence, for example assault.

    For more information, see Charges and Apprehended Violence Orders.

    ​​Do you fear the protected person?

    If you have been served with an AVO but you also fear the protected person, you may wish to make a cross application against them. 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.

    Apprehended Violence Order being served
     

    Further informat​​​​ion

    Commu​​​​​nity Justice Centres