Apprehended violence orders (domestic and personal)
Our team has specialised experience and can help you navigate apprehended personal violence matters, commonly known as AVOs.
AVOs can be made:
- Where a formal application is made by police or the person in need of protection personally; or
- As a consequence of a person being charged with a criminal offence.
What needs to be proven?
A court can make an AVO if it is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that a person fears:
- An act of violence; or
- Conduct that involves:
- intimidation, or
- stalking; and that conduct, in the opinion of the court, is sufficient to make an order.
Who can make an application for an AVO
An application can only be made by a person for whose protection an order is sought, the legally appointed guardian of that person or a police officer. Police officers may apply for an order if the defendant is a child at the time of the application.
What are the types of orders that can be made?
Two types of orders can be made:
- Apprehended domestic violence orders (ADVO) if the person in need of protection has or had a domestic relationship with the Defendant; or
- Apprehended personal violence orders (APVO).
When can a provisional order or an interim order be made?
A Police officer can apply for a provisional order which is generally made without the defendant having an opportunity to be heard. It remains in force until either revoked, or an interim or final order is made, or the application is withdrawn and dismissed.
Whether or not the defendant is present or has been given notice of the proceedings, a court may make an interim ADVO or interim APVO if it appears it is “necessary or appropriate” to do so.
A court has an obligation to make an interim order when a person has been charged with a serious offence.
What is the procedure at the first Court date?
When both parties appear in an AVO application on the first occasion and there are no related charges the following approach is taken.
- The Court will enquire if the order is still sought (if not the matter may be dismissed) if the application is pressed;
- The defendant may then:
- Seek an adjournment for legal advice, if required; or
- Consent to an order, without admitting any conduct in the application (consent without admissions); or
- Dispute the order.
Where the application is opposed the court will make orders for the service of written statements of witnesses by both parties.
What is the procedure at the second Court date?
When both parties appear at the second court date the Court confirm the witness statements have been filed. The court will also enquire if the order is still sought (if not the matter may be dismissed). If the application is pressed a hearing date will be set.
What is the procedure at the hearing?
An application for a final AVO is to be heard and determined based on evidence given by way of written statements. Any cross-examination evidence or re-examination evidence is given orally by a witness at the final hearing. Submissions are made by the parties or their legal representatives and the Court will make a decision.
If you need assistance with an AVO matter, call us for a consultation.