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If the police apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) on your behalf, they will also prepare the evidence for your case, including taking statements from you, your witnesses, and getting any photos or other evidence.
If you have any questions or concerns you can contact the police prosecutor or the Officer in Charge (OIC) of your case (the officer who took your statement and whose name is at the top of the application). If your application is about domestic violence, you can also contact the Domestic Violence Liaison Officer.
You should contact the police prosecutor or the OIC before the next mention and check if:
If the police have applied for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) on your behalf, the police may have recorded an interview with you when you made the complaint. This may be a video or audio recording and is called the Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief (DVEC) recording.
If the defendant is opposing the police’s application, the police may use your recorded interview as your evidence in chief at the hearing. From 25 November 2020, when the DVEC is played, the Court must be closed and everyone not involved in the case will have to leave the courtroom.
If the police are going to do this, they must give a copy to the defendant.
If the defendant is represented, the police will give a copy of the video recording to the defendant’s lawyer.
If the defendant is unrepresented, the police won’t give them a copy of the video recording, but they must serve the defendant with a copy of the audio extract of the recording.
Where it is reasonably practicable, the police must give an unrepresented defendant the opportunity to view the video recording at the police station before the hearing. If they can’t, the police prosecutor must give them the opportunity to view the video recording on the day of the hearing.
If you apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) yourself, you will need to prepare your case, including:
Usually, the Court will make directions (orders) for you to file and serve your statements first. You will usually be given no more than two weeks to do this.
The defendant will then have to file and serve their statements. They will be given a further two weeks to do this.
Your statement and your witnesses' statements are very important. In your statement you should include information about you and the defendant, the incident or incidents, why you need the AVO and how you feel about the defendant.
Your witness statement can be written by somebody who saw or heard something that supports your claim, for example, a person who:
It is an offence to make a false or misleading statement to the Court in an AVO case, or to a Magistrate or Registrar for the purposes of an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) application.
Instructions: Instructions for preparing a witness statement
Sample: Protected person witness statement
These statements must include all of the evidence you want to give to the magistrate. You and your witnesses will not be able to give any more evidence at the hearing, unless you are given permission by the Court. You will only be able to be cross examined at the hearing (asked questions by the defendant or their solicitor).
You should also gather other supporting evidence to attach to your witness statement.
Your supporting evidence could include:
To get a copy of this information you may need to issue a subpoena, a court order that makes someone give documents to the Court or come to court to give evidence, or apply to the police for a Police Incident Report.
In order to issue a subpoena you will need to file the subpoena with the court registry. Once the subpoena has been stamped (sealed) by the registry, you will be able to serve it on (give it to) the person or organisation that you want to subpoena.
There are three types of subpoenas:
You can get subpoena forms from:
If you want to use a subpoena in your case there are many rules about when you can serve a subpoena and how much time the person you serve must have before they need to respond to your subpoena.
When you serve the subpoena you must also give the person or organisation you are serving with the subpoena some money, called 'conduct money'. The amount to be given is not specified but must be reasonable. It must be enough to cover the cost of travelling to and from court or the cost of looking for, photocopying and sending the documents to the Court. Many organisations will have a set amount for conduct money. You should contact the organisation before serving the subpoena to make sure you provide enough conduct money.
If you want to issue a subpoena, you should get
Sample: Subpoena for production
Sample: Subpoena to give evidence
Sample: Subpoena for production and to give evidence
If you need to issue a subpoena to get someone to come to court, you may want to consider whether they will actually help your case.
If the police were called to an incident involving you and the defendant, you may be able to get a copy of the Police Incident Report or a summary of the incident from the NSW Police.
You will need to fill out an Informal Access Application form. There is no fee for this application. You can get a copy of the form from the
NSW Police Force website.
You should then complete the application and send it to:
NSW PoliceInformation Access and Subpoena UnitLocked Bag 5102Parramatta NSW 2124
Don't forget to keep copies of everything you file at court and serve on the defendant. You should also make a note of the date that you filed, posted or delivered any documents.
If you are unsure about what evidence you need, get legal advice.