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), you can ask the Court to make an order that the defendant pay your legal costs.
The amount of costs that the Court orders the defendant to pay may not be the full amount but only part of the actual costs that you have to pay to your lawyer. The Court will decide what it thinks is reasonable.
Costs if the Court dismisses the application
If the Court dismisses the application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), the defendant might ask the Court to order that the applicant pay their legal costs.
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 protected person.
The Court will only make a costs order against you (private application) if it decides that your application for an ADVO was frivolous or vexatious.
An application is frivolous or vexatious if it is:
- not serious, or
- deliberately made to cause unnecessary trouble.
If the Court makes a costs order against you, it may also order you to pay court costs.
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.
If the police applied for the AVO, you cannot be ordered to pay costs if the application is dismissed.
Costs and Apprehended Personal Violence Orders
If your application for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) was dismissed the Court can award costs against you where:
- your application was frivolous or vexatious
- you, or you and the defendant don't go to court
- you withdraw the application
- the case is invalid for any reason, for example, you named the wrong defendant in your application.
The amount of costs that can be awarded is an amount that the Court thinks is reasonable.
If you are ordered to pay the legal costs of the other side, you should pay the money to the court registry unless the court makes a different order. The court registry will then pay the money to the other party.
You have 28 days to pay these costs. If you don't pay within 28 days, the other party could take steps to recover the money from you. For more information on what happens if the other party does this, see If you don't pay.
The Court can make a costs order against you if:
- if you ask the Court to adjourn (postpone) a case, and
- the defendant 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 defendant for the same reasons.
The Court can make this order even if the defendant doesn't ask for it.
If you want to make an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) but you are concerned that the Court might award costs against you, you should get legal advice.
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 defendant, they can appeal the decision to the District Court within 28 days of the date of the order.
For more information, see After Court.