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

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Service of documents

Service is the process of giving or sending court documents to a person to notify them of those documents.

If you are the defendant in an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) matter, you must be served personally with the application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO). You must be told that an application has been filed against you and that you have to go to court. 

If an AVO has already been made against you, you must be served with a copy of the AVO, because you must be told if there are court orders that you must follow. 

You can’t be convicted of breaching an AVO if you have not been served with a copy of the AVO, unless you were in court when the AVO was made. 

There are rules for how different documents must be served in AVO matters. 

    Serving an application for an Apprehended Violence Order 

    An application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) must be served on you personally. This includes:

    • a Provisional AVO
    • an application for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO)
    • an application for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO). 

    The application must be:

    • handed to you, or
    • put down in your presence and you must be told what you are being served with. 

    If the server can’t approach you because of violence or threatened violence, they can serve the application on you by leaving it as close to you as possible while still staying safe. 

    A Provisional AVO must be served on you as soon as practicable after it is made. 

    Who can serve you

    If the police applied for the AVO, they must serve you with a copy of the application. 

    If the protected person applied for the AVO (private application), the application must be served on you by:

    • the police
    • a sheriff’s officer
    • a process server
    • a lawyer or an employee of a lawyer. 

    Serving an Apprehended Violence Order or variation or revocation of an Apprehended Violence Order

    If the court makes an Interim or Final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), or varies or revokes an AVO, you must be given a copy of the:

    • AVO, or
    • record of the variation or revocation. 

    If you go to court

    If you go to court, the Registrar must serve you personally with a copy of the AVO or record of the variation or revocation. 

    If you go to court, but after the hearing the Registrar is unable to serve you personally, the Registrar must arrange for a copy of the order or record to be posted to you or another appropriate person. 

    If you don’t go to court

    If you don’t go to court, the Registrar must arrange for a police officer or other suitable person to serve you with a copy of the AVO, or record of the variation or revocation. 

    Police detention

    The police can detain you while they apply for and serve you with an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).

    The police must not detain you for any longer than it takes to serve you with a copy of the AVO. This can’t be more than two hours. This doesn't include the time taken to travel to the police station or other place they direct you to.

    Provisional Apprehended Provisional Violence Orders 

    To serve you with a Provisional Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) the police can order you to:

    • wait at the scene 
    • remain at the place where they have found you.

    Provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Order 

    To serve you with an Provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO), the police can order you to:

    • wait at the scene
    • wait at a place where they have found you (including a vehicle)
    • go to and wait at a place (including a vehicle) agreed with the police
    • go to and wait at a specific police station
    • go with a police officer to, and wait at, a police station
    • go with a police officer to a place to receive medical treatment and wait at that place. 

    If you don’t follow with the police’s directions, they can detain you at:

    • the scene
    • another location (including a vehicle), or
    • a police station.

    It is a criminal offence to not comply with police direction. If you don’t follow the police’s directions you may be arrested.

    Interim, Final, varied and revoked Apprehended Violence Orders 

    The police can order you to stay where you are to serve you with an Interim or Final AVO, or record of variation or revocation of an AVO. 

    If you don’t follow with the police’s directions, they can detain you:

    • at the scene
    • at a police station.

    It is a criminal offence to not comply with police direction. If you don’t follow the police’s directions you may be arrested.

    Interstate orders

    If the police believe that you are the defendant in an interstate Domestic Violence Order (DVO), they can order you to stay where you are so that they can serve you with a copy of the DVO or a record of variation of the DVO. 

    If you don’t follow with the police’s directions, they can detain you at:

    • the scene
    • a police station.

    It is a criminal offence to not comply with police direction. If you don’t follow the police’s directions you may be arrested.

    Police searches

    If the police have detained you to serve you with an AVO, they can search you and anything in your possession. 

    The police can:

    • ask you to remove your coat, jacket, gloves, shoes, socks and hat to inspect them
    • hold onto your possessions until you are released from detention. 

    The police must return your belongings to you after you have been served with the AVO. 

    Substituted service

    Substituted service is the process of serving someone with court documents in a different way to the rules. 

    The Court can make orders for you to be served by substituted service with:

    • an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)
    • an AVO
    • a record of variation or revocation of an AVO. 

    Examples of substituted service include: 

    • leaving the application in your mailbox, at your front door, or at your work
    • serving the application on a family member or another person.