​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

​​Once the application for an Apprehended Violence Order​ (AVO) has been made, your case will be listed for mention (the first court date).

    ​Who is going t​​​o r​​epresent you

    ​Police application

    If the police applied for the AVO, you will be represented by the police prosecutor. You should speak to the police prosecutor before the mention and find out when and where you need to be at court.​

    Private application

    If you made the application yourself at the Local Court, you will either need to get a private solicitor or represent yourself.

    For referrals to private solicitors contact LawAccess NSW

    There are organisations that can help arrange information, support or, in some cases, representation. For more information, see Getting more help.

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

    Alert IconIf you are representing yourself and you don't attend the mention, your application may be dismissed.

    Domestic violence

    If you are a woman experiencing domestic violence, you may be able to get support or representation from a Women's Domestic Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS). WDVCAS is available in most courts.

    You may also be able to get assistance from a specialist police officer called a Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO) who can help you while you are at court. The DVLO can give you information about the 'safe room'. The safe room is a special room for women and their children who are worried about going to court and seeing the defendant. You can stay in this room until you have to go into the courtroom. 

    You can watch a video below about going to court for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) and getting support at court. 

    You can also read a transcript of this video (34 kb).

    ​​This video is available with the audio description.

    Support is also available for people experiencing domestic violence in same-sex or LGBTIQ relationships. The Safe Relationships Project provides support, advocacy, referrals and information. For more information, go to the Safe​ Relationships Project website.​​

    Alert IconIf you are the protected person and you are under 16 years of age, see Apprehended Violence Orders to protect children. If the defendant is under 18 years of age, 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, if you have one
    • any written statement you have prepared
    • any witness statements you have collected as they may be needed if you want an Interim AVO
    • any witnesses who can give evidence if you want an Interim AVO.

    It is an offence to make false and misleading statements to a registrar or magistrate in an application for an APVO. It is also an offence to make false or misleading statements to the court hearing an AVO case or to the police for the purposes of any AVO application. If you think you may have given a false or misleading statement, you should get legal advice.  

    What might happen at the mention

    Waiting your turn

    Get to 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 are often many cases listed on the same day and you have to wait until your name is called. 

    • Sit in the courtroom, outside the courtroom or in the safe room. Stay close enough to the courtroom 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 may 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 court room.

    When your case is called

    The magistrate or registrar will want to know:

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

    Your options

    You may want to:

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

    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.

    Ask to get your property back

    If you have left your home because you fear the defendant and you would like to collect some of your belongings, you can ask the court to make a Property Recovery Order.

    If you have a Property Recovery Order, the defendant 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.

    For more information, see Recovering personal property​.​

    Withdraw your application

    If you don't want the AVO because you don't fear the defendant anymore, you can ask the court for leave (permission) to withdraw your application.

    If you made a private application for an AVO you may be asked why you want to withdraw the application. The court may order that you pay the costs of the defendant. The court can only award costs against you if your application was 'frivolous or vexatious'.

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

    If the police made the application on your behalf, you should talk about withdrawing the application with the police prosecutor or Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO). The prosecutor may:

    • agree and apply to the court to withdraw the application
    • ask for an adjournment to allow you time to make representations (write to the police) and explain why you want the AVO withdrawn
    • continue with the application

    Alert IconIf the police made the application and children are involved it may not be possible to withdraw the application.

    Alert IconIf you are being pressured to withdraw the application for an AVO, you should get legal advice.

    The defendant's options

    The defendant may:

    • Ask for an adjournment
    • Consent (agree) to the AVO
    • Give an undertaking
    • Not attend court
    • Not consent (not agree) to the AVO​.

    Ask for an adjour​​nment

    The defendant may ask to adjourn the case so that he or she has 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 the defendant has a good reason why they have not already had legal advice.

    The court may refer the matter to mediation.

    The magistrate may adjourn the case if it is an application for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO). The magistrate must refer the matter to mediation unless there is a good reason not to. If mediation is appropriate then the case will be adjourned to a future date. At the mediation you, the defendant and a mediator will discuss the issues. 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 more information, see Mediation.

    Consent (agree) to the AVO

    A defendant may consent (agree) to an AVO being made, without admissions. If they 'consent without admissions', this means that they consent to the orders being made but do not admit any of the things you say happened in your application.

    The defendant may try to negotiate with you or the police, and may only consent to an AVO if you change the orders you are asking for. The magistrate cannot change the mandatory orders (standard orders), but can decide which additional orders need to be made.

    For more information, see Mandatory and additional orders.

    If the court makes a Final AVO, it will be made for a specified period of time, for example, six months, 12 months or two years. Most AVOs are made for 12 months. This will be the end of the case unless the defendant appeals. You should make sure you get a copy. You can get a copy from the court registry or it may be posted to you.

    For more information, see After court.

    Offer to give an undertaking

    The defendant may suggest an undertaking instead of agreeing to an AVO. An undertaking is a formal promise made by the defendant to the court that he or she will not do the things listed in the AVO.

    Undertakings are not legally enforceable and if a defendant breaches an undertaking it is not a criminal offence. 

    The police often do not accept undertakings, particularly if it is an application for an ADVO, as police have a duty to act in domestic violence matters.

    Alert IconBefore you accept any undertakings, you should get legal advice.

    Not attend court

    The defendant may not attend court.

    If there is evidence the application was served on (given to) the defendant, and the defendant has failed to come to court, the magistrate may make an order in the defendant's absence (without the defendant 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.

    Not consent (not agre​e) to the AVO

    If the defendant does not consent (not agree) to the AVO, the court may make directions (orders) including:

    • The applicant (you or the police if they applied on your behalf) to file and serve their written statement, and the statements of any witnesses, by a certain date. You will usually be given no more than two weeks. If you want to ask for a longer time you should let the court know and be prepared to say why.
    • The defendant to file and serve a written statement and the statements of any witnesses, by a certain date, usually two weeks after the date the applicant was to file and serve their statements. 
    • The parties are to return to court for a further mention on a certain date for another mention.

    The court may also make some orders about whether the police need to provide a brief of evidence to the defendant, but only if the defendant has 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 you don't go to court on the next mention date, your application may be dismissed.

    If the defendant doesn't follow the orders, and does not go to court on the next mention date, an AVO may be made.

    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. ​​​​