Costs in Apprehended Violence Order cases
The Court can make an order that one party pay the legal costs of the other party in an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) case.
Legal costs include lawyer's fees and expenses such as conduct money for witnesses. Legal costs do not include lost wages.
Costs if the Court makes a Final Apprehended Violence Order
If the Court decides to make a Final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), the applicant can ask the Court to make an order that you pay their legal costs.
The amount of costs that the Court orders you to pay may not be the applicants full legal costs. The Court will decide what it thinks is reasonable.
If you are a defendant in an AVO case and are concerned that the Court might award costs against you, you should get legal advice.
Costs if the Court dismisses the application
If the Court dismisses the application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), you can ask the Court to make an order that the applicant pay your legal costs.
The amount of costs that the Court may order be paid to you might only be part of the actual costs that you have to pay to your lawyer.
Costs and Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders
If the Court dismisses an application for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO), it can make an order for costs against the applicant in very limited circumstances.
The applicant might be:
- the police, or
- the applicant and protected person.
A court will only make an order for costs against the applicant (private application) if the application was frivolous or vexatious.
An application is frivolous or vexatious if it is:
- trifling, or
- not serious, or
- deliberately made to cause unnecessary trouble.
A court will only make an order for costs against the police (police application) if it can be shown that:
- the officer made the application knowing that it contained important information that was false or misleading, or
- the officer deviated from the reasonable case management of the proceedings so significantly as to be inexcusable.
Costs and Apprehended Personal Violence Orders
The Court can award costs against the applicant for any reason, including where:
- the application was frivolous or vexatious
- the applicant, or the applicant and you don't go to court
- the applicant withdraws the application
- the case is invalid for any reason, for example, if the application named the wrong defendant.
The amount of costs that can be awarded is an amount that the Court thinks is reasonable.
The Court can make a costs order against you if:
- if you ask the Court to adjourn (postpone) a case, and
- the applicant incurs more legal fees as a result of any unreasonable conduct or delay caused by you.
The Court can make a costs order against the applicant for the same reasons.
The Court can make an order for costs, even if you or the applicant doesn’t ask for it.
If the Court makes a costs order against you, you can appeal the decision to the District Court within 28 days of the date of the order.
If the Court makes a costs order against the applicant, they can appeal the decision to the District Court within 28 days of the date of the order.
For more information, see After Court.