After the Court has read all of the statements and heard all of the evidence, it will either make a Final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or dismiss the application.
This page has information about:
When will a court make an Apprehended Violence Order
The Court will make a Final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) if it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities (meaning something is more likely than not to be true), that the protected person fears, and that it is reasonable for them to fear, that you will:
- physically hurt them
- intimidate, harass or stalk them
- damage their property.
You don’t have to suffer actual violence to get an AVO.
When deciding whether you fear the defendant, the Court can consider any actions the defendant may have taken towards someone you are in a domestic relationship with.
The Court can make an AVO even if the protected person doesn’t actually fear the defendant, if the protected 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.
The Court must make an Interim AVO for your protection if the defendant has been charged with a serious offence, regardless of whether an application for an interim AVO has been made. It must do this even if the defendant doesn’t go to court.
The application is dismissed
If you don't prove to the Court that an AVO should be made, it will dismiss your application for an AVO.
If the Court dismisses your application, any Provisional or Interim AVO made on your behalf will also end.
If your application is dismissed, the defendant might ask the Court to may make a costs order against you.
For more information, see
Costs in AVO cases.
A Final Apprehended Violence Order is made
What orders will a court make in an Apprehended Violence Order
If the Court decided to make an AVO against the defendant, it will want to hear from you and the defendant about whether it should make any additional orders.
You should only ask for orders that you think you need, and not orders that inconvenience the defendant just for the sake of it.
When making an AVO, the Court must only include the orders that are necessary for the safety and protection of:
- yourself and your property, and
- any child directly or indirectly affected by the defendant’s behaviour.
The orders should be clear and not conflict with each other.
If the Court makes an AVO even though you don’t fear the defendant, it can only include the mandatory orders. It can’t include any additional orders.
For more information, see
Mandatory and additional orders.
Duration of Apprehended Personal Violence Orders
The duration of a final APVO is the length of time specified by the Court.
If the Court fails to specify a time, the AVO will last for 12 months from the date it was made.
Duration of Apprehended Domestic Violence Order made before 28 March 2020
The duration of a final ADVO is the length of time specified by the Court.
If the Court failed to specify a time, the AVO will last for 12 months from the date it was made.
Duration of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders made after 28 March 2020
The duration of the final ADVO is:
- the period specified in the order, or
- two years, if the Court didn’t specify a length of time.
From 27 March 2021, when an ADVO is made against a Defendant who is sentenced to full time gaol for a serious offence, the court can order that the ADVO remain in place for the time the Defendant is in gaol and continue for 2 years after the gaol term is complete.
A serious offence may include:
- attempted murder
- a domestic violence offence or an attempted domestic violence offence
- stalking or intimidation with the intention of causing the victim to fear physical or mental harm
- wounding or grievous bodily harm
- sexual assault or attempted sexual assault
- sexual touching.
Indefinite Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders
From 28 March 2020, a court can make a final ADVO for an indefinite period of time.
Before a court can make an ADVO for an indefinite period of time it must be satisfied that:
- you (or the police) have asked for an indefinite ADVO
- the defendant was 18 years or old when the application for the ADVO was made
- there is a significant and ongoing risk of death or serious physical or psychological harm to you or any of your dependents
- this risk cannot be reduced by an AVO in force for a limited time.
When deciding whether there is a significant and ongoing risk of death or serious injury to the protected person the Court must consider:
- any prior convictions the defendant has for domestic violence offences, including breaching an AVO
- the defendant's actions leading to the risk of death or serious physical or psychological harm
- the nature, number and timing of the defendant’s actions.
An ADVO cannot be made against the defendant for an indefinite period of time if they were under 18 years of age when the application was made.
When does the Apprehended Violence Order come into effect?
A Final AVO comes into effect:
- when the Court makes the AVO – if the defendant goes to court
- when the defendant is served with a copy of the AVO – if they don’t go to court.
Recovering Personal Property
If a Final AVO is made and you need to collect your belongings from the defendant you can ask the Court to make a Property Recovery Order. The Court may order that the police or another person must go with you.
For more information, see Recovering personal property.
If the Court makes a Final AVO, you should get a copy of the order. If the defendant breaches the orders, you should contact the police straight away and show them a copy of the orders.
For more information, see
Appealing the decision
You can file an appeal with the District Court if:
- the Court dismisses your application and makes a costs order against you
- the Court makes an AVO but doesn’t include all of the orders that you or the police asked for in the application.
You must file an appeal within 28 days of the date the AVO is made. Before you appeal, you should get legal advice.
For more information, see After court.
If the Court dismisses your application for an AVO, you can re-apply for another AVO at any time.