​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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Responding to an application for an Apprehended Violence Order

If you have been served with an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) there are many things you need to consider.


    Alert Icon If you are under 18 years of age, your case will be dealt with differently. For more information, see Apprehended Violence Orders against children

    ​Who ap​plied for the Apprehended Violence Order

    An application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) can be made by:

    • a police officer on behalf of the person who wants protection (called a 'police application')
    • a guardian appointed under a guardianship order
    • 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: 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: the person that 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: the person the protected person says they need protection from. If you have been served with an application for an AVO, you are the defendant.  ​

    What the applicant needs to show the Court

    To get an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), the applicant will need to prove that:

    • they, or the protected person, fears that you 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).

    The applicant doesn't need to prove that you have been violence towards them or the protect person to get an AVO. 

    In some cases, the applicant does not need to show that the protected person actually fears the other person. The Court can make an AVO even if the protected person doesn’t actually fear you, if the protect person:

    • is a child
    • is a person of appreciably below average intelligence functioning
    • has reasonable grounds to fear a domestic violence offence
    • has been the victim of a personal violence offence committed by you on more than one occasion, there is a reasonable likelihood that you will commit a further personal violence offence against the protected person, and the AVO is necessary to protect them. 

    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 Apprehended Domestic Violence Order 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.

    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 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. If you are not served with a copy of the AVO you can’t be convicted for breaching the AVO, unless you were at court when the order was made. 

    This section covers:

    • Serving an application for an Apprehended Violence Order
    • Serving an Apprehended Violence Order
    • Police detention
    • Substituted service. 

    For more information, see Service of documents.  

    How to respond to an application for an Apprehended Violence Order

    There are a number of ways that you can respond to an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO):

    • ask for an adjournment to get legal advice
    • ask for the case to be moved to another court
    • consent (agree) to the AVO without admissions (without agreeing to the facts)
    • consent (agree) to the AVO with admissions (agreeing to the facts)
    • give the Court an undertaking (formal promise)
    • make a cross application
    • oppose the application
    • do nothing.

    For more information, see How to respond to an application for an Apprehended Violence Order.

    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 and Interim Apprehended Violence Orders

    While an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is being decided, there are two types of temporary AVOs that can be made to protect the protected person:

    • a Provisional AVO, and 
    • an Interim AVO. 

    The police can apply for an urgent Provisional AVO.

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

    Final Apprehended Violence Orders

    A court can make a Final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) if:

    • you didn’t go to court
    • you agreed (consented) to the AVO
    • the Court believes that an order should be made.

    Once a Final AVO is made there are consequences of having the AVO and of breaching it.

    For more information, see Final Apprehended Violence Orders.

    Mandatory and additional orders

    There are two different types of orders that may be included in an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO):

    • mandatory orders
    • additional orders. 

    All AVOs include mandatory orders that may be called standard orders or 'Orders about behaviour'. 

    The applicant can also ask 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 Apprehended Violence Order cases

    In Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) matters, the Court may award costs against the unsuccessful party.

    If the Court dismisses the application, you can ask the Court to make an order that the protected person or the police 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.

    A Property Recovery Order can only be made at the same time that a Provisional, Interim or Final Apprehended Violence Order is made. It can't be made after the case is finished. You should ask for the order at court and prepare a list of the property you want to recover.

    For more information, see Recovering personal property.

    ​Charges and Apprehended Violence Orders

    If an application for an Apprehended Violence Order has 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.

    ​​Cross application

    If you have been served with an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), but you also fear the protected person, you may want to make a cross application against them.

    The Court will treat your application like a normal application for an AVO.

    For more information, see Cross applications.

    Apprehended Violence Order being served

    Further informat​​​​ion

    Commu​​​​​nity Justice Centres