​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 |

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Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order ​​

    Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order through the Local ​Court or the police

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

    • the police on your behalf (called a 'police application')
    • a guardian appointed under a guardianship order
    • you personally at your Local Court (called a 'private application').

    You can apply for an AVO if you:

    • are experiencing or have been threatened with physical violence
    • are being intimidated, harassed, molested or stalked by someone
    • have suffered property damage or been threatened with property damage. 

    Alert Icon If you have immediate concerns for your safety, you should call the police. 

    There is no cost for applying for an AVO. ​

    When an application is made, the people involved in the application are called:

    • Applicant: the person asking the Court to make an AVO. If you made the application through the Local Court, you will be the applicant. If a police officer made the application for you, the applicant will be the police officer. The applicant may also be called 'the complainant'.
    • Protected person: the person who wants protection from the defendant. If you make an application to protect you from someone else, you will be the protected person and the applicant. You may also be called the 'Person in Need of Protection' (PINOP).
    • Defendant: the person who you want protection from and who you want the AVO to be made against. An AVO can't be made against more than one defendant. If you want protection from more than one person, a separate application should be made for each defendant.

    Police application

    The police must apply for an AVO to protect you if:

    • a domestic violence offence has been, is being, or will be committed against you
    • the defendant has recently, is currently, or will likely stalk or intimidate you with the intention of causing you to fear physical or mental harm
    • an offence against a child or young person has been, is being, or will be committed
    • there are proceedings against the defendant for any of the above offences. 

    The police must apply for a Provisional AVO if they believe that an order need to be made immediately to:

    • ensure your safety and protection, or
    • prevent substantial damage to your property. 

    The police don't have to apply for an AVO if:

    • there is already an AVO in place to protect you
    • you are going to make your own application for an AVO
    • there is a good reason not to make an application. 

    If the police decide not to apply for an AVO to protect you they must write down the reasons for their decision. 

    Alert IconIf you want an AVO against someone you are, or have been, in a domestic relationship with, you should contact the police.

    Alert IconOnly the police can apply for an AVO against a child under the age of 16. However if you are an adult seeking an AVO, your children can be included in your own AVO.

    Step-by-step guide iconStep by step guide: Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order through the police

    Private application

    You may make a private application for an AVO.

    You can make a private application if you wish to represent yourself or if the police will not make an application on your behalf.

    Before you contact the Local Court about making an application for an AVO, you should consider your reasons for wanting an AVO carefully. If you make an application and you lose in court, you may be ordered to pay the defendant's costs. For more information about costs, see Costs in Apprehended Violence Order cases.

    Alert iconIt is an offence to make a false or misleading statement to a magistrate or registrar when applying for an APVO. 

    Alert iconIf you don't know whether you should make an application for an AVO, you should get legal advice.

    Step-by-step guide iconStep by step guide: Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order through the Local Court

    What the a​​pplicant needs to show the Court

    Before applying for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), you should consider whether you can prove that you need an AVO.

    The applicant will need to prove that:

    • they, or the protected person fears that another person will be violent towards them, harass them or intimidate or stalk them (this is a subjective test, which means that it is based on what the protected person actually feels), and
    • the protected person's fear is based on reasonable grounds (this is an objective test, which means it is based on whether the Court believes that a person in the protected person's situation would feel the same as the protected person).

    You don't have to suffer actual violence to get an AVO. 

    The Court can make an AVO even if the protected person doesn't actually fear the defendant, if the protected person:

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

    Case study - Letti 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 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 his 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's actions may not be considered threatening. Carol could talk to staff at her Local Court about making an application. In Lino and Daniel's case, the Court may be more likely to make a Final AVO because the events happened recently and Daniel has been violent.

    Provisional and Interim Apprehended Violence Orders​

    While an application for a Final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is still being decided, you may be able to get a temporary AVO to protect you. 

    There are two types of temporary AVOs:
    • a Provisional AVO, and
    • an Interim AVO. 

    If the situation is urgent, the police can apply for a Provisional AVO on your behalf. This means you will be protected until your case is heard in court. 

    If the case is not finalised, the Court can make an Interim AVO until your case is finalised. 

    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:

    • the defendant doesn't come to court
    • the defendant consents (agrees) to a Final AVO
    • you are successful at a hearing. 

    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 compulsory orders that may be called standard orders, mandatory orders or orders about behaviour. From 3 December 2016 these orders are listed on an AVO under a heading 'Orders about behaviour.' 

    There are also additional orders that can be included in an AVO especially for your situation. 

    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 you apply for an AVO and the Court dismissed your application, the defendant may ask the Court to you to pay their legal fees. 

    If the police apply for an order to protect you, a costs order can't be made against you because you are not the applicant. 

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

    Recovering personal property

    If you have left personal property with the defendant, or the defendant has left personal 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 (AVO) is made. It can't be made after your case is finished. You should ask for an order at the Court and prepare a list of the property you want to recover.

    For more information, see Recovering personal property.