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Before you go to court you need to prepare the evidence for your case.
Usually, the Court will make directions (orders) for the applicant to file and serve their statements first. They will usually be given no more than two weeks to do this.
You will then have to file and serve your statements. You will usually be given another two weeks to do this.
Your statement and your witnesses' statements are very important. In your statement you should include information about you and the protected person, the incident or incidents, your response to the protected person's statement, and how you feel about the applicant.
You should get legal advice about what to include in your statement.
Your witness statements can be written by somebody who saw or heard something that supports your case, for example, a person who:
Instructions: Instructions for preparing a witness statement
Sample: Defendant witness statements
These statements must include all of the evidence you want to give to the magistrate. You and your witnesses will not be able to give any more evidence at the hearing, unless you are given permission by the Court. You will only be able to be cross examined at the hearing (asked questions by the applicant).
You should also gather other supporting evidence to attach to your witness statement.
Your supporting evidence could include:
To get a copy of this information you may need to issue a subpoena, a court order that makes someone give documents to the Court or come to court to give evidence, or apply to the police for a Police Incident Report.
In order to issue a subpoena you will need to file the subpoena with the court registry. Once the subpoena has been stamped (sealed) by the registry, you will be able to serve it on (give it to) the person or organisation that you want to subpoena.
If an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is being sought, the protected person can use an audio or video recording as their evidence in chief. This can include an interview with the police and is called the Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief (DVEC) recording.
If you are unrepresented the police won’t give you a copy of the video recording, but they must serve you with a copy of the audio extract of the recording.
Where it is reasonably practicable, the police must give you an opportunity to view the video recording at the police station before the hearing. If they can’t, the police prosecutor must give you the opportunity to view the video recording on the day of the hearing.
Where possible, you should try to view the recording before the day of the hearing so that you can be fully prepared for the hearing when you go to court.
The police cannot use the recording as evidence if you are not given a reasonable opportunity to listen to or view the recording.
The Court can adjourn your case for no longer than 14 days to allow you to view the recording.
There are three types of subpoenas:
You can get subpoena forms from:
If you want to use a subpoena in your case there are many rules about when you can serve a subpoena and how much time the person you serve must have before they need to respond to your subpoena.
When you serve the subpoena you must also give the person or organisation you are serving with the subpoena some money, called 'conduct money'. The amount to be given is not specified but must be reasonable. It must be enough to cover the cost of travelling to and from the Court or the cost of looking for, photocopying and sending the documents to the Court. Many organisations will have a set amount for conduct money. You should contact the organisation before serving the subpoena to make sure you provide enough conduct money.
If you want to issue a subpoena, you should get
Sample: Subpoena for Production.
Sample: Subpoena to Give Evidence.
Sample: Subpoena for Production and to Give Evidence.
If you need to issue a subpoena to get someone to come to court, you may want to consider whether they will actually help your case.
Sometimes, you might need to apply for an extension of time for the service of a subpoena. For example, you find out about new evidence a few days before your hearing date and you don’t have time to comply with the standard rules.
A court may order short service if it is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so. Any order made for short service must be attached to the subpoena and served.
If you are considering applying for an order for short service of a subpoena, you should get legal advice.
To apply for an order for short service, you will need a Notice of Motion form and an affidavit in support of your application.
You can get copies of forms from:
Sample: Sample Notice of Motion for short service of a subpoena
Sample: Sample Affidavit in support of short service
Whether you served the subpoena yourself or arranged for a friend or relative to do it, the person who served the subpoena needs to fill out and sign an Affidavit of Service setting out when and how the subpoena was served.
If a professional process server serves the subpoena, they will also prepare an Affidavit of Service.
If the police were called to any incident involving you and the protected person, you may be able to get a copy of the Police Incident Report or a summary of the incident from the NSW Police.
You will need to fill out an Informal Access Application form. There is no fee for this application. You can get a copy of the form from the
NSW Police Force website.
You should then complete the application and send it to:NSW PoliceInformation Access and Subpoena UnitLocked Bag 5102Parramatta NSW 2124
Don't forget to keep copies of everything that you file and serve on the applicant. You should also make a note of the date that you filed, posted or delivered any documents.
If you are unsure about what evidence you need, you should get legal advice.