Sydney AVO Lawyers

Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO) – Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW)

Although an AVO isn’t a criminal charge, AVO’s affect child custody disputes in Family Court parenting proceedings, working with children checks, Tenancy agreements, and firearms licences.

Where you have an AVO against you, or you’re named as a ‘protected person’ in an AVO, going through an AVO process is stressful, especially if you don’t understand the complex law on AVO’s in NSW.

Our experienced team of AVO lawyers are highly accomplished leaders in AVO cases. We hold a successful track record of exceptional results for over 20 years. This includes successfully getting the other side to pay for our clients legal costs on countless occasions.

Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 for a free 1st consult with a senior AVO lawyer.

Below are some of the most important things to know about AVO’s.

YOUR OPTIONS IN COURT

An AVO can be privately taken out by the ’protected person’, or it may be taken out by the police who become the ‘applicant’ acting on behalf of the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO.

Where police have made an AVO application against you, the AVO is usually (but not always) related to a criminal charge, often involving an assault, intimidation or damage property charge. As a result you will be required to appear in court in relation to the criminal charge(s) and the AVO.

Sometimes the AVO is listed on a different court date to the criminal charge.

If your AVO and criminal charge(s) are on separate court dates, you can always ask the court to combine both AVO and criminal charge(s) to the same court date for convenience.

Where an AVO is privately taken out by the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO not involving police, then it’s often referred to as a “private AVO”.

If police made the AVO application on behalf of the “protected person” then it’s considered a “police-initiated AVO”.

To be well prepared in an AVO case, you need to be aware of the below 3 options in court.

  • NEGOTIATE TO DROP THE AVO

    Where you are a defendant named in an AVO, you can negotiate with the other side to withdraw the AVO.

    It’s advisable and usually far more effective to get an experienced AVO lawyer to negotiate on your behalf with the other side.

    In some cases a defendant named in the AVO will be prohibited from contacting the ‘protected person’. Breaching an AVO can result in serious criminal charges.

    Negotiations can start in the lead up to your court date and/or on the morning of your court date for the AVO.

    To effectively and persuasively negotiate with the other side, it’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the other side’s case.

    This is where an experienced AVO lawyer can be critical. Having this kind of knowledge can significantly increase the chances of convincing the other side to drop and withdraw the AVO on the basis that the defendant provide a written ‘undertaking’ mirroring the orders in the AVO to protect the “protected person”.

    Giving an undertaking can’t be enforced by the other side. It isn’t a legally enforceable document. This means, by later breaching any of the restrictions or prohibitions listed in the undertaking will not result in a breach of an AVO (which can result in a criminal offence). This is a huge benefit.

    If the other party to the AVO withdraw their AVO against you on you providing an undertaking, the AVO will be dismissed in court- you will not then be effected in the way an AVO can effect child custody disputes in family court proceedings, firearms licences, or working with children checks. This is also a huge benefit.

    However, if you later breach any of the restrictions or prohibitions listed in the agreed undertaking, and if another AVO is applied against you. The previous undertaking can be used in the subsequent AVO proceedings against you. This (depending on the case) can strengthen the other side’s case against you.

    In other cases, you may be able to convince the other side to simply drop and withdraw the AVO against you on the basis of agreeing to not make a cost application against the other side.

  • CONSENT TO THE AVO

    AVO’s can have significant consequences in family court proceedings involving child custody or parenting disputes.

    It’s important to be aware of another kind of negotiating method- by consenting to an agreed set of AVO orders, for an agreed period of time, on the basis that you do not agree to the allegations in the AVO.

    This is commonly referred to as consenting to the AVO on a without admissions basis, for a certain period of time, as to certain agreed orders. This will result in the AVO becoming final on those terms.

    You and the other side can come to an agreement as to the length of the AVO, and the terms of the AVO conditions/orders.

    The benefit of this is, that if agreed upon by consent, the AVO becomes final and the matter finalises straight away in court (once the Magistrate makes the order according to the agreement). This can be very cost effective and time efficient, putting an end to the AVO case.

    A further benefit of this is that although the AVO becomes final, it’s made on your terms, without any admissions as to the allegation that were made in it.

    Because it is an AVO on a without admissions basis, it will generally have a less negative effect on any subsequent family court proceedings concerning child custody disputes- because there is no proven allegations of violence either towards or around children.

    However, because a final AVO will be made nonetheless (after consenting to it), it will still effect a working with children’s check, child custody disputes and firearms licences- although and perhaps to a lesser extent than if the Court makes an AVO after being satisfied as to the allegations made in the AVO against you.

    You can consent to the AVO at any stage of the case. You can also consent to an interim AVO and/or a final AVO.

  • OPPOSE THE AVO - HOW TO FIGHT AN AVO

    If the other side refuse to drop the AVO, you can oppose and contest an AVO either on the first court date, or on the final court date. Here’s how.

    The First Court Date – “Interim AVO” Hearing

    An AVO usually starts with an “application for an AVO” which then usually becomes a ‘provisional AVO’ if it’s approved by the time it reaches the first court date.

    The ‘provisional AVO’ paper will have the first court date noted on it.

    When an AVO reaches the first court date, the AVO is usually at the stage of a ‘provisional AVO’. This means that the conditions/restrictions on the defendant expressed in the AVO paper are in force up until at least the first court date in an attempt to protect the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO. A provisional AVO can be in force for up to 28 days from when made unless the court revokes it or turns it into an ‘interim AVO’ within that time frame. Breaching a provisional AVO is a criminal offence.

    Although rare, if an AVO is still at the stage of an “Application for an AVO” by the time it reaches the first court date, then the AVO conditions listed in it are not enforceable, and a defendant can’t face criminal charges if the conditions/restrictions expressed in it are not complied with.

    The provisional AVO cannot be legally enforceable against the defendant after the 28 days period expires, or if within the 28 day period, the court makes an “interim AVO” or a “final AVO” to have affect after the first court date.

    Breaching an interim or final AVO is a criminal offence and has the consequences outlined in our FAQ section.

    On the first court date, an AVO can turn into an interim or final AVO either by consent from you (as discussed earlier), or by a court order after contesting the interim order on the first court date.

    If you’re the defendant and you don’t want the AVO conditions/restrictions to continue past the first court date, then you can contest the AVO becoming an “interim AVO”.

    An “interim hearing” will then take place on the first (or subsequent) court date where the Magistrate will decide whether or not to continue the AVO on an interim basis at least until the AVO is finally decided on the final court hearing date.

    The court will refuse to grant an ‘interim AVO’ if:

    • The interim AVO isn’t necessary or appropriate in the circumstances; and
    • There are no reasonable grounds for the ‘protected person’ to fear that the defendant will commit a domestic violence offence, stalk or intimidate; and
    • The ‘protected person’ doesn’t actually hold any fears that the defendant will commit a domestic violence offence, stalk or intimidate; and
    • The orders expressed in the provisional or application for an AVO aren’t necessary for the safety and protection of the ‘protected person(s)’.

    When the court considers whether or not to grant an interim AVO against a defendant, the Magistrate will always also consider the safety and protection of the ‘protected person’ and any child named in the AVO paper.

    If, as a defendant in the AVO, you are also charged with a serious offence, the Magistrate must make an “interim AVO” unless satisfied that it’s not required. An example of a situation where it’s not required is where there is already an AVO made.

    A “serious offence” includes a domestic violence offence such as common assault, stalking or intimidation with the intention of causing fear of physical or mental harm.

    Final Court Date – Show Cause Hearing for “Final AVO”

    Whether or not an interim AVO is made on the first court date, you as a defendant can still oppose and contest the AVO from becoming a “final AVO”.

    Remember, although it’s not a criminal matter, having a “final AVO” against you has consequences that are far reaching. The consequences of having an AVO against you is explained in our FAQ section.

    By opposing and contesting a final AVO, you (as a defendant) are effectively requiring ‘the applicant’/‘protected person’ to ‘show cause’ why the AVO should become a ‘final AVO’ against you. This means that the onus of proof is on the other side, not you.

    First Court Date – setting a timetable

    Once you oppose the making of a “final AVO” on the first court date, the Magistrate will adjourn the AVO case to a second court date referred to as a “mention date”.

    On the first court date, the Magistrate will also make orders referred to as a “timetable” of dates for dates as to when the defendant and ‘protected person’/‘applicant’ are to serve each other with written statements that each intend to rely on as evidence for the final AVO hearing.

    Second Court Date – checking compliance with orders

    After setting a timetable, the Magistrate will then adjourn the case to a second court date referred to as a “mention” or “compliance date”.

    The second court date is when the Magistrate is updated as to whether each party have complied with the timetable orders to serve each other with their written statements.

    Drafting a written statement that you intend to rely on as evidence is a critical stage of the preparation for an AVO hearing. You will generally be limited to what you have said in your statement for the hearing.

    Your written statement(s) can also be used by the other side in child custody and parenting disputes in any Family Court proceedings. It’s highly recommended to get proper guidance from an experienced AVO lawyer when doing this.

    Failure to comply with the court orders, can have significant consequences- explained in our FAQ section.

    Final AVO Hearing Date

    Assuming each party have served their written statements to one another, the Magistrate will then adjourn the case to a third court date called a “show cause” hearing. If there is an interim AVO, this will usually continue to the show cause hearing date on an interim basis.

    The show cause hearing date is usually the final court date where the Magistrate will hear all the evidence before deciding on whether or not to make a final AVO against the defendant.

    How to Fight an AVO in Court?

    The court will refuse to grant a “final AVO” against a defendant if:

    • There are no reasonable grounds for the “protected person” to fear that the defendant will commit a domestic violence offence, or engage in behaviour amounting to stalking or intimidation; and
    • The “protected person” doesn’t actually hold those fears; and
    • The conditions/restrictions on the defendant expressed in the AVO aren’t necessary for the safety and protection of the “protected person” and any child.

    Ultimately, when considering to make a final AVO against the defendant, the Magistrate is required to consider the safety and protection of the “protected person” or child named in the AVO paper.

    As a defendant in an AVO, the Magistrate must make a “final AVO” against you if you plead guilty or where the court finds you guilty after a hearing for a “serious offence” if it’s related to the AVO.

    The Magistrate will not make a final AVO in those circumstances if satisfied that a final AVO isn’t required. An example of when an AVO may not be required, is where there is already an AVO against the defendant protecting the “protected person”.

    A serious offence includes a domestic violence offence, such as common assault, attempted murder, intimidate or stalk with the intention of causing fear of physical or mental harm.

FAQ

  • What is an AVO?

    An apprehended violence order is often referred to as an ‘AVO’.

    An AVO can be a private AVO or police-initiated AVO.

    The relevant legislation on AVO in NSW is the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW).

    AVO applications can be made to protect a person from another person. It can also protect multiple people from a person.

    An AVO basically imposes orders restricting or prohibiting a person (defendant) from doing certain things to the other person (it can include more than one person and extend to children as ‘protected persons’).

    For example, a defendant named in an AVO can be restricted from contacting or approaching a ‘protected person’ named in the AVO. The restriction can also cover the protection for any children of the ‘protected person’.

    Often, a police-initiated AVO involves a related criminal charge such as assault or damage property.

    An AVO can be either a:

    • Apprehended domestic violence order (ADVO); or
    • Apprehended personal violence order (APVO)

    What’s the difference between an ADVO from a APVO?

    An ADVO is where there is or was a “domestic relationship” between the defendant and ‘protected person’ named in the AVO. A “domestic relationship” includes:

    • Marriage;
    • Intimate relationship (sexual or not);
    • Living or were living in the same home;
    • Relative i.e. any blood relation, including half brother or sister

    An apprehended personal violence order is very similar to an ADVO. However, an APVO only applies in circumstances where the defendant and ‘protected person’ named in the AVO don’t have (and never had) a domestic relationship.

    What is the significance of an ADVO from an APVO?

    An apprehended domestic violence order automatically includes any children of the ‘protected person’ as ‘protected persons’ named in the AVO. A child named in the AVO can have far reaching consequences on a defendant in any family court proceedings involving child custody or parenting orders later on. An apprehended personal violence order does not automatically include any children of the ‘protected person’. For that reasons its often better to have an APVO than an ADVO against you.

    Another significant feature of an APVO that an ADVO doesn’t have- is that in respect to an APVO application, a Magistrate is required to refer both parties (defendant and ‘protected person’ named in the APVO) to mediation in an attempt to resolve the AVO before making any orders.

    Mediation is then conducted by the community justice centre who then produce a report to the court on the outcome. The Magistrate in court can then consider that report in deciding on what to do with the APVO application. This can result in the APVO being dismissed before it even goes to hearing.

    A police officer must make an application for an AVO in certain situations

    Under s49, Police have to apply for an AVO in an attempt to protect the ‘protected person’ from a defendant in the following circumstances:

    • Where the police officer suspects that a domestic violence offence or intimidatory conduct by the defendant has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur; or
    • The defendant has already been charged and facing court for a domestic violence or intimidation/stalking offence.

    However, the police do not need to make an application for an AVO if:

    • The ‘protected person’ is 16 years or older at the time; and
    • The police officer investigating the case believes that the ‘protected person’ intends to make an AVO application or where the police officer believes there’s ‘good reasons’ to not make an AVO application against a defendant.

    If the police officer decides not to make an AVO application for ‘good reasons’, the police officer will have to provide written reasons on file. Generally, ‘good reason’ wouldn’t include a situation where the alleged victim is reluctant to apply for an AVO.

  • What is an Interim AVO?

    An “interim AVO” is a temporary AVO order imposing certain restrictions and prohibitions on a defendant named in the AVO. Those restrictions/prohibitions then become legally enforceable against the defendant to protect the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO paper.

    Not complying with the restrictions/prohibitions expressed in the interim AVO will result in a criminal charge of contravening apprehended domestic violence order, and possible further criminal charges.

    An interim AVO isn’t a criminal charge, and is not considered a criminal proceeding in court. This means, an interim AVO doesn’t give you a criminal record or conviction.

    The interim AVO remains in force during the AVO proceedings at least until the Magistrate decides to make a final AVO on the last court date known as a show cause hearing, or if the defendant consents to it before that occurs.

    If the defendant consents to a final AVO on certain conditions and period of time, then the AVO ceases to become an interim AVO, and becomes a final AVO. If the court makes a final AVO against you after a contested show cause hearing, then the interim AVO becomes a final AVO.

  • What Restrictions and Conditions Can an AVO Impose to Protect Someone?

    The court will only impose those restrictions and prohibitions on a defendant that the Magistrate believes are ‘necessary or desirable’ to ensure the safety and protection of the ‘protected person’ and any child. This is reflected in section 35 and 17 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW).

    Mandatory Orders

    Every AVO will expressly state the ‘mandatory orders’ prohibiting the defendant from doing the following 3 things:

    • Threaten or assault the ‘protected person’ or someone with whom the ‘protected person’ has a ‘domestic relationship’;
    • Intimidate, harass or stalk the ‘protected person’ or someone with whom the ‘protected person’ has a domestic relationship;
    • Recklessly or intentionally damage or destroy any of the ‘protected person’s’ property, or any property that’s in the ‘protected persons’ possession. This includes the property of anyone with whom the ‘protected person’ has a domestic relationship with.

    The above 3 mandatory AVO orders are things you must not do anyway, however by breaching any of them you can expect to face a further charge of a breach of AVO which attracts heavy penalties.

    Additional Orders

    The Court can also impose additional AVO orders if it’s ‘necessary or desirable’ to ensure the safety and protection of the ‘protected person’ and any child. The additional AVO orders can prohibit or restrict the defendant from doing any of the following:

    • Restrict or prohibit the defendant from approaching the ‘protected person’
    • Restrict or prohibit the defendant access to:
      • Any premises that the ‘protected person’ lives in;
      • Any place that the ‘protected person’ works;
      • Any place or premises the ‘protected person’ frequents
    • Restrict or prohibit the defendant from approaching the ‘protected person’ or any place/premises within twelve hours of drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs;
    • Restrict or prohibit the defendant from finding or trying to find the ‘protected person’;
    • Restrict or prohibit the defendant from having a firearms or prohibited weapons;
    • Prohibit the defendant from interfering, deliberately damaging or destroying the ‘protect person’s’ property;
    • Restrict or prohibit the defendant’s certain behaviour that may affect the ‘protected person’.
  • A Guide on How to Get an AVO

    To get an AVO, an AVO application needs to first be made.

    That application can be made at the local court registry or at the police station.

    If the AVO application is approved, it becomes a provisional AVO which lasts for 28 days- the defendant can be arrested and charged if the defendant breaches the orders/restrictions in the provisional AVO.

    A court date will usually be set within the 28 days.

    The Magistrate can then turn the provisional AVO into an interim AVO which effectively continues the AVO to the next court date if the matter isn’t finalised on the first date. The AVO will usually continue on an interim basis until the Magistrate either turns it into a final AVO or dismisses the AVO.

    How to get a private AVO

    A provisional AVO can be made by drafting and filing an application notice with the local Court- this can be done by sending a fax, email or filing it by attending the local court registry. A Registrar or Magistrate of the local court can then make the provisional AVO if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so.

    How to get a police-initiated AVO

    A senior police officer can make a provisional AVO at the request of a police officer via telephone, fax or email. The senior police officer can only make a provisional AVO if he/she believes there are reasonable grounds for it. A Registrar or Magistrate of the Local Court can also make a provisional AVO at the request of a police officer on the same basis.

    Importantly, if a provisional AVO is made by a senior police officer or a Registrar or Magistrate, the provisional AVO must also be personally served to the defendant named in the AVO.

    For APVO

    Where the AVO application is not from a police officer, a Registrar or Magistrate may refuse to accept the application (resulting in no provisional AVO) if:

    • The APVO is “vexatious, frivolous, lacking substance or has no reasonable prospects of success; or
    • The APVO could be more appropriately dealt with via mediation

    However, the Registrar or Magistrate are generally required to accept an application for an APVO if there are allegations of a personal violence offence, conduct amounting to intimidation or stalking with the intention to cause fear or harassment concerning race, religion, homosexuality, HIV, disability etc. Only in ‘compelling reasons’ will an application for an APVO be refused in those circumstances.

    In deciding whether or not to accept the application for a provisional APVO, the Registrar or Magistrate of the local court will consider the following factors:

    • Nature of the allegations
    • Whether it can be resolved through mediation
    • Whether both parties have tried to resolve it through mediation on a pervious time
    • Whether there is availabilities of mediation or ADR options
    • Whether each party are willing to try to resolve it through mediation
    • Bargaining powers of the parties
    • Whether the APVO is a cross application against each other party
    • Other ‘relevant’ matters can also be considered

    Before applying for an AVO, it’s a good idea to contact the Court on 1300 679 272 to find out what your local court’s preference is in making an AVO application. Some may prefer that you come in and speak to a Registrar, others will be happy for you to complete and file an application form.

    For application forms and more details on how to get an AVO, call and speak to one of our specialist AVO lawyers in Sydney, Parramatta or Liverpool, or visit more information on how to get an AVO.

  • Who Can Apply for an AVO?

    Reflected in s48, An AVO application can be made by any of the following people:

    • The person needing protection referred to as the ‘protected person’
    • A guardian of the person needing protection
    • A police officer

    Where each person who is needing protection is a child, only a police officer can make an application for an AVO.

    If a police officer makes an AVO application on your behalf, the application can cover to protect more than one person as the ‘protected person’.

    If the person needing protection makes the AVO application, then that person can also ask for the AVO to cover anyone else whom he/she has a domestic relationship with. This includes children, partner, or other family member.

    A person who is between 16-18 years of age can make an AVO application on their own.

    A police officer must make an AVO application in certain circumstances which are explained under the FAQ of “What is an AVO”.

    As to who can apply to vary or revoke an AVO, see our FAQ section under headings, “Can You Get an AVO Changed or Varied”, and “Can You Get an AVO Removed or Revoked?”

    Applications for AVO’s can now be made by either attending a local court registry, or your local police station. A senior police officer can make a provisional AVO these days on the spot which lasts for 28 days. The AVO will normally be listed in court during that 28 day period when the court can dismiss, extend or finalise the AVO.

  • What Happens if You Break an AVO?

    The Courts in NSW take the breach or contravention of an AVO extremely serious.

    Where it is a breach of an AVO involving violence towards a ‘protected person’ named in the AVO, the Magistrate sentencing you will normally start with considering some kind of imprisonment sentence as a penalty.

    As there are different forms of imprisonment other than full time jail, the courts are required to impose a sentence of full time jail only as a sentence of last resort and after considering all other options first. This means that you will not necessarily get full time prison as a sentence.

    Breaching an AVO carries a maximum fine of up to $5,500 and/or imprisonment of up to two years under section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW).

    You can only be guilty of breaking an AVO condition if the police prove two things:

    • One or more conditions of the AVO have been broken; and
    • At the time of breaking the AVO condition, you knew that you were breaking it.

    Defences for the Charge of Contravening an AVO include:

    • You didn’t realise that you were breaking the AVO at the time. i.e. you weren’t in court when the AVO was made and therefore not aware of the AVO conditions, or you didn’t know a person you are prohibited from being near was standing near you.
    • You were complying with a property recovery order to attend the premises of where the ‘protected person’ lives to retrieve your belongings.
    • You attended a mediation referred by the court to resolve the AVO although the AVO conditions prohibit you from approaching or contacting the ‘protected person’.
    • You were not served with a copy of the AVO, or you weren’t in court when the AVO was made.
    • Self defence.

    For more details about the offence of breaching an AVO, visit this page.

  • Can I appeal an AVO?

    If your not happy with the Local Court’s decision on the AVO, you should speak to an experienced senior lawyer on your options of appealing. Below are the main different types of appeals you can pursue.

    Appealing to the District Court

    You can appeal to the District Court under section 84 Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 to have the District Court decide the AVO in any of the following situations:

    • To appeal to have the AVO dismissed by the District Court
    • To appeal a Local Court’s Decision to vary or revoke an AVO
    • To appeal the Local Court’s decision on the awarding of costs
  • How Long Does an AVO Last?

    Final AVO’s

    Section 79 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) says that a final AVO lasts for as long as it says in the AVO. The period imposed by the court can be for “as long as is necessary, in the opinion of the Court to ensure the safety & protection of the ‘protected person’.”

    If the Court doesn’t specify how long it will last for, then the final AVO will remain in force for 1 year from the day it was made in court. If a final AVO gets made, it’s usually made for between 6 months and 2 years.

    Provisional AVO

    Once an application for an AVO is made, it isn’t enforceable until it becomes a ‘provisional AVO’ first. This is what the AVO starts off as on the first court date for an AVO case. It can then be extended past the first court date by the Magistrate who can then turn it into an ‘interim AVO’ or ‘final AVO’. A provisional AVO can only last for the first 28 days from when it gets made. A provisional AVO can be made before the first court date or on the first court date.

    Interim AVO

    An ‘interim AVO’ is often made on the first court date by the Magistrate to extend the period of the AVO until at least the matter is finalised in court. The interim AVO can last for the entire AVO court case until it gets either dropped, dismissed, or becomes a ‘final AVO’ in court.

  • Property Recovery Orders in AVO’s

    Some AVO’s have restrictions preventing the defendant from contacting the ‘protected person’, or attending or entering a house where the ‘protected person’ lives in (even though the house may be owned by the defendant).

    This will mean that the defendant will not be allowed to attend the property to retrieve his/her essential items left in the house unless the Magistrate orders a ‘property recovery order’.

    Alternatively, the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO may want to retrieve belongings still located in the defendant’s home. This will cause major problems if the AVO condition prevents the defendant from approaching or contacting the ‘protected person’, or where the ‘protected person’ doesn’t want to be around the defendant due to fear. A ‘property recovery order’ can allow the ‘protected person’ to attend the defendant’s home with the company of police to retrieve certain items belonging to the ‘protected person’.

    How to get a property recovery order in an AVO case?

    Under section 37 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW), you can request a Registrar or Magistrate of the Local Court to can make a ‘property recovery order’ allowing you to attend and retrieve certain belongs left at the other person’s home where:

    • Your personal belongings are left at the other person’s home; and

    After disclosing any family law property orders (or pending orders) from the Family Court;

    What does a ‘property recovery order’ allow you to do?

    A ‘property recovery order’ if made, can allow you to do any one or more of the following:

    • It will specify the actual items you seek to retrieve back;
    • It can allow a nominated person to accompany you to retrieve the items from the house;
    • It can require you to be accompanied by a police officer when attending to retrieve your belongings from the house;
    • It can specify that the time to attend and retrieve your belonging be pre-arranged by agreement between the person who occupies the house and police officer beforehand;
    • The person’s home where your belongings are left in can be directed to allow you access to the house to retrieve those belongings. This includes access to a police officer that accompanies you.

    A ‘property recovery order’ doesn’t allow anyone to use force to gain entry to the house. If the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO is granted a ‘property recovery order’ to retrieve some belongings from the home the defendant lives in- ‘the protected person’ is not allowed to use force to gain entry even if the defendant refuses entry.

    Only the items listed in the ‘property recovery order’ are allowed to be retrieved, nothing else.

    What happens if the other person doesn’t comply with the ‘property recovery order’?

    Non-compliance with a ‘property recovery order’ can include circumstances where the other party to the AVO refuse or obstruct your access to the premises, or prevents you from retrieving your belongings.

    A fine of up to $5,500 applies for contravening or obstructing a person from trying to comply with a ‘property recovery order’ unless there is a ‘reasonable excuse’ for the contravention or obstruction.

  • Can a False AVO Claim Result in a Criminal Offence?

    Making a false AVO claim can have serious criminal consequences.

    Under section 49A Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW), you can face a criminal conviction and a penalty of up to 12 months imprisonment and/or $1,100 fine if:

    • You make a verbal or written statement to the Magistrate or Registrar of a Court in order to make an application for an apprehended personal violence order against someone; and
    • You made that statement knowing is was false or misleading in a “material particular”.

    Making a false or fake AVO claim takes up unnecessary court resources, and a waste on tax payers money. False AVO claims are taken very seriously by the Courts in NSW.

  • What Happens if the ‘Protected Person’ Named in the AVO Doesn’t Attend Court?

    If No Appearance on AVO Hearing Date

    If the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO fails to attend court on the AVO hearing date, the Magistrate may dismiss the AVO after proceeding to hearing on the day if:

    • The ‘protected person’ named in the AVO had reasonable notice of the hearing date, time and place; and
    • It would be in the interest of justice to continue the hearing in the absence of the ‘protected person’; and
    • After considering the grounds set in the AVO application and any statements provided to the Magistrate by a police officer (if there is any).

    If No Appearance on Second or Subsequent ‘Mention’ Date

    The Magistrate can ‘strike out’ the AVO on a second or subsequent ‘mention’ court date if:

    • The ‘applicant’/’protected person’ named in the AVO has failed to serve his/her statement to the defendant on time, and if that person has failed to attend court.

    This means, that the AVO can be dismissed by the court- if the other side have failed to appear in court and have failed to comply with the court orders that were made on the first court date.

    If No Appearance on first AVO Court Date

    If the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO fails to attend court on the first court date, the Court cannot make an ‘interim AVO’ unless:

    • The ‘protected person’ was unable to attend for a ‘good reason’; and
    • The interim AVO requires the Court’s urgent attention to consider.

    In those circumstances, the Magistrate will be allowed to look at any affidavit or statement given by a police officer on behalf of a ‘protected person’.

  • What Happens if the Defendant Doesn’t Attend Court?

    Final AVO Hearing Date

    Where the defendant fails to attend, but the ‘applicant’ or ‘protected person’ named in the AVO attends court for the AVO hearing, the court may make a final AVO against the defendant. The Court can do this after it proceeds to hear the AVO on the hearing date if each of the following is satisfied:

    • the defendant had reasonable notice of the hearing date, place and time; and
    • It’s in the interest of justice to proceed with the AVO hearing in the absence of the defendant; and
    • After the court has considered the grounds set in the AVO application, and any statements provided from a police officer.

    Subsequent ‘mention’ Court Date

    The Magistrate may make an AVO against a defendant on a second or subsequent ‘mention’ court date if:

    • The defendant has failed to comply with the orders made by the court from the first court date; and
    • The defendant has failed to attend court on the subsequent ‘mention’ court date to determine compliance with court orders.
  • What Happens if I Fail to Comply with Court Orders?

    Final AVO Hearing Date

    Where you appear on the final AVO hearing date in Court, and if you have failed to serve your statement in accordance with the Court’s orders that were earlier set, then you will normally not be allowed to rely on any evidence you wish to use in your AVO hearing unless the Magistrate grants leave for you to give oral evidence in the witness box.

    The Court will usually then allow you to give oral evidence in the witness box if it considers it to be in the interest of justice to allow it.

    If the court refuses to allow you to give oral evidence in the absence of having served a written statement, the court can decide the AVO in favour of the other side.

  • Can you Get an AVO Dropped?

    Other than successfully contesting or fighting an AVO where the Court dismisses it following a show cause hearing, the AVO can be dropped before it reaches a hearing in court in the following ways.

    If the Other Side Fail to Comply with Court Orders

    If the “applicant” or “protected person” named in the AVO fails to comply with the court orders to serve written statements, the Magistrate may order for the AVO to be dismissed or adjourned the case for a further mention to allow further time for the written statement to be served.

    If the Defendant named in the AVO fails to comply with the court orders to serve written statements, the Magistrate may proceed with the AVO without the defendant’s evidence. In that case the Magistrate will be able to rely only on the “protected person’s” evidence (written statement(s)).

    If neither party, defendant and “protected person”/“applicant” named in the AVO fail to comply with the court orders to serve their written statements, then the Magistrate may dismiss the AVO application.

    The Magistrate can decide to not require the parties to comply with those orders to serve written statements only if convinced it would be “in the interest of justice”. Possible examples where the Magistrate may dispense with the requirement for either or both parties to serve written statements is if either are illiterate, don’t comprehend English, or suffer from a mental health illness.

    If Both Parties Agree to an Undertaking

    As discussed earlier, the “protected person” / ”applicant” named in the AVO may agree to withdraw the AVO if the defendant agrees to provide a signed and dated written “undertaking” to comply with the same orders asked for in the AVO.

    The undertaking is not a legally enforceable document, and breach of it by the defendant will not necessarily constitute a criminal offence. However, the undertaking could be later relied upon by the “protected person” to take out another AVO if the defendant breaches it.

  • Can You Get an AVO Removed or Revoked?

    An interim or final AVO that has been applied for by the police who acted on behalf of the “protected person” named in the AVO is referred to as a “police-initiated AVO order”.

    An interim or final AVO not taken out by police is usually taken out by the “protected person” named in it. This kind of AVO is often referred to as a “private AVO”.

    You can remove a private or police-initiated interim or final AVO by asking the court to revoke it under Division 5 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW).

    This can be done by making an application in the Local Court to revoke an AVO. The application must express the grounds you want it revoked on.

    How to Revoke a Private AVO or Police-Initiated AVO

    A defendant, “protected person” or police who act for the “protected person” (referred to as an “applicant”) can make an application to revoke a private or police-initiated interim or final AVO.

    The Court can revoke this type of AVO if the Court is satisfied as to each of the following:

    • It’s considered proper to revoke the private AVO in all the circumstances; and
    • The circumstances on which the AVO was originally based on has since changed, and the application to now revoke it isn’t in the nature of an appeal against the order; and
    • A notice of the application to revoke the AVO was first served to the “protected person” named in the AVO (if the “protected person” makes the application to revoke, he/she must first serve a copy of the notice of the application to the defendant); and
    • For police-initiated AVO’s only, a notice of the application to revoke it must first have been served to the Commissioner of Police; and
    • If a child is named as a “protected person” in the private AVO, the Court may notify the Commissioner of Police about the application to revoke it if it believes it would be in the best interest of the child. This is to allow the police the opportunity to appear in the application.
    • Notice of an application to revoke the AVO was served by either personally serving it to the other parties, or in a manner directed by the Court.

    How to Revoke a Police-Initiated AVO Where “Protected Person” Includes a Child

    It’s generally easier to revoke a private or police-initiated AVO, not involving a child, than it is to revoke one where a child is named as a “protected person” in a police-initiated AVO.

    For this reason, a defendant will normally want to avoid a child being named in the AVO from the start.

    A defendant, police officer (“applicant”) or “protected person” named in this kind of AVO can make an application to revoke this kind of AVO involving a child.

    A police-initiated interim or final AVO with a child named in it can be revoked if the following hurdles are satisfied by the Court:

    1. The Court must first grant leave for you to make this application- leave can only be granted if:
      1. There has been a significant change in circumstances since the AVO was first made or varied; or
      2. It’s otherwise in the interest of justice to grant leave; or
      3. The application to revoke is made by Department of Family and Community Services on the grounds that a care plan for the child is inconsistent with the police-initiated AVO; and
    2. There will not be a significant increase in the risk of harm to the child if the AVO ends up getting revoked; and
    3. The criteria explained above under “How to Revoke a Private AVO or Police-Initiated AVO” are satisfied.

    Who Can Apply to Revoke an AVO?

    Any “interested party” can make an application to the court to revoke/remove a private or police-initiated interim or final AVO.

    An “interested party” includes people named in the AVO, including the defendant, “protected person”, police officer who is known as the “applicant” acting on behalf of the “protected person”.

    For police-initiated AVO’s, only the police officer can make an application to revoke the AVO unless the defendant has served notice of the application to revoke the AVO to the Commissioner of Police. This is because the police has standing to appear in the proceedings in court for any police-initiated AVO’s.

  • Can You Get an AVO Changed or Varied?

    Where the interim or final AVO was made by the police on behalf of the “protected person”, the AVO is referred to as a “police-initiated AVO order”.

    An interim or final AVO that isn’t police-initiated is also referred to as a “private AVO”.

    A police-initiated or private AVO can be varied by adding, deleting or otherwise changing the prohibitions and restrictions expressed in the original interim or final AVO. It can also be varied to extend or decrease the period the order is in force.

    When making an application to vary an interim or final AVO, the grounds and nature of the change(s) you’re asking for need to be expressed in the application.

    How to Vary a Private AVO or Police-Initiated AVO

    A police officer (“applicant”), “protected person” or defendant named in a police-initiated or private interim or final AVO can make an application to vary it.

    Normally, a Court can vary this type of AVO only if the following hurdles are passed:

    • The circumstances on which the original AVO order was based has changed; and
    • The application to vary the AVO is not in the nature of an appeal; and
    • The court believes that varying the AVO is proper in the circumstances; and
    • Notice of the application to vary the AVO has been served to the “protected person(s)” named in the AVO; and
    • If the variation application is made by a police officer (“applicant”) or the “protected person” named in the AVO, then the notice of the application to vary it must first be served on the defendant; and
    • For police-initiated AVO’s only, a notice of the application to vary it must first have been given to the Commissioner of Police; and
    • where a child is named in the AVO, the court may notify the Commissioner of Police as to the application to vary the AVO for an opportunity for police to appear if the court considers it to be in the best interests of the child.
    • The notice of the application to vary the AVO has been served personally to the parties or as directed by the court.

    How to Vary a Police-Initiated AVO Where “Protected Person” Includes a Child?

    Varying a police-initiated interim or final AVO where a child is named in it as a “protected person” is much harder to do. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to avoid (where possible) a child ever being named in an AVO.

    A police-initiated interim or final AVO, where a child is named in the AVO, can only be varied by the defendant, “applicant” or “protected person” named in the AVO if each of the following 4 hurdles are satisfied:

    1. Leave of the court must first be granted to make an application to vary the AVO- the Court can only grant leave the hear the application if:
      • There’s been a significant change in circumstances from when the interim or final AVO was made or varied last; and/or
      • It’s in the interest of justice; and/or
      • The application to vary is made by the Department of Family & Community Services on the grounds that a care plan for the child isn’t consistent with the police-initiated AVO; and
    2. Varying the AVO will not significantly increase the child’s risk of harm; and
    3. The hurdles mentioned above, under “How to Vary a Private AVO or Police-Initiated AVO” must all be satisfied.

    Who Can Apply to Vary an AVO?

    A police officer, or “protected person” named in the AVO or the defendant named in the AVO can make an application to the Local Court to vary an interim or final AVO. This applies for both police-initiated and private AVO’s.

    Unless the Commissioner of Police has been served with a notice to vary a police-initiated interim or final AVO, only a police officer can make an application to vary a police-initiated AVO. Otherwise, if that notice is given, then a defendant or “protected person” can make the application to vary it.

    Can an AVO be Varied After the Court Finds you Guilty?

    The court can vary an interim or final AVO after you either plead guilty or are found guilty to a “serious offence” if the court believes by varying it will provide greater protection for the victim. The court can do this even if an application to vary the AVO wasn’t made by the police or “protected person”.

  • How to Remove a Child’s Name From an AVO

    A child being named in an AVO as a “protected person” has significant consequences on a defendant named in an AVO for three main reasons:

    • If you‘re the defendant and the AVO includes your child name, the AVO orders can restrict or prohibit you from contacting or seeing your child, or it may allow you to see your child only with supervision- restricting your access significantly for the duration of the AVO.
    • In the same scenario, the AVO with your child named in it, can be used against you in any child custody or parenting disputes in the Family Court proceedings later on. This can influence a more unfavourable outcome to you, further restricting your access to your child by the Family Court.
    • In the same scenario, the AVO with your child named in it, makes it more difficult for you to later revoke or vary the AVO orders. For AVO’s where the police act on behalf of the “protected person”, you cannot revoke or change the AVO orders unless the Court grants leave for you to do this. This imposes an extra hurdle to pass which you would otherwise not need to as a defendant in an AVO.

    If you are a defendant in an AVO, where the “protected person” named in it is someone you have or had a domestic relationship with (i.e. your partner), the AVO orders will extend to include  and protect anyone else that “protected person” has a domestic relationship with, including a child, partner, family member.

    This means, that any AVO orders restricting or prohibiting you will also apply to protect any child of the “protected person” named in the AVO, even if that child is also your child.

    However, where the court is about to make an interim or final AVO order against you as a defendant, in those circumstances involving a child, you can ask the court to NOT include the child in the AVO if there are good reasons for not including the child as a “protected person” as part of the AVO order.

    The Magistrate may be convinced that there are good reasons for not including the child in the AVO as a “protected person” in the following circumstances:

    • There is no direct physical violence or threats of violence towards the child.
    • There was no physical violence in the presence of the child.
    • The basis of the other side trying to get an AVO against you only involves the use of words, not conduct.
    • There’s no allegation of the child ever being present when the conduct complained of occurred.
  • Does an AVO Show on a Police Check?

    An AVO is a civil proceeding in court. An AVO is not a criminal charge, nor is it a criminal proceeding.

    While AVO’s can have many other unforeseen consequences, an AVO will not show up on a police background check.

    An AVO will, however, show up on a working with children check. This is because, an AVO is considered in a working with children clearance check- which is one of the far reaching consequences of having either an interim or final AVO against you as a defendant named in it.

    If you were to breach an AVO by failing to comply with the AVO orders prohibiting or restricting you as a defendant, then the AVO becomes a criminal offence. If you’re found guilty for breaching an AVO, then it becomes a criminal proceeding, which will show up on a police check.

  • Can you Travel Overseas with an AVO?

    An interim or final AVO made against you as a defendant in it generally doesn’t stop you from travelling overseas or interstate.

    AVO’s, whether it is an interim of final AVO, are not criminal in nature. AVO’s are civil cases usually dealt with by a Magistrate in the Local Courts.

  • Example of a Court Ordered Timetable

    Where the defendant opposes and contests the AVO becoming a “final AVO”, the Magistrate will make the following orders:

    • The “applicant” or “protected person” named in the AVO paper is to serve written statement(s) intended to be used as evidence in 2 weeks from the first court date.
    • The defendant named in the AVO is to serve written statement(s) in reply (intended to be used as evidence) in 4 weeks from the first court date.
    • The case will then be adjourned to a second court date in 5 weeks from the first court date for “mention” for the court to be updated if written statements have been served.

    Where the defendant and “protected person” named in the AVO are not legally represented, each party are to serve their written statements to the court registry where the other party can collect it.

    The defendant in the AVO won’t be able to serve a statement in reply if he/she doesn’t first get the protected person’s written statements.

  • How to Win Costs in AVO Cases - Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO)

    You can get your legal costs in AVO cases where the court grants an order that the other side pay your legal fees for all (or parts) of the AVO case.

    As experienced AVO lawyers, our team of experts have successfully won legal costs in AVO cases for our clients on countless occasions for over 20 years.

    Getting costs in AVO cases requires an experienced lawyer to carefully look into the case & find key issues. Those issues can then be used to strengthen your chances at getting the other side to pay for your legal costs.

    Below are some important points to know to maximise your chances on winning costs in AVO cases.

    Types of Cost Orders in AVO Cases

    You can ask the Court to make an order that the other side pay your legal costs in AVO proceedings under section 99 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW).

    There are 3 types of cost orders that you can make:

    1. Costs as a result of an adjournment: The court can order that the alleged victim/protected person or the police officer in the AVO pay your legal costs for the adjournment where you end up incurring additional legal cost for the day as a result of the other side’s ‘unreasonable conduct or delay’. An example of circumstances a court may order costs here is where your case ends up getting adjourned to another court date due to the other sides fault(s)- the other side continue to fail to comply with court orders.
    2. Costs against the alleged victim (‘protected person’) at the end of the AVO Case: The court can order that the alleged victim (who made the AVO complaint) pay your legal costs in the AVO proceedings where:
      1. The alleged victim who made the AVO application didn’t have sufficient grounds to make the AVO; or
      2. Where the AVO served only to cause annoyance; or
      3. Where the AVO application lacked seriousness.
    3. Costs against the police officer (‘applicant’) at the end of the AVO case: The court can order that the police officer (who made the AVO application on behalf of the alleged victim (protected person)) pay your legal cost in the AVO proceedings if the court is satisfied that either one or more of the following occurred:
      1. The police officer made the AVO application knowing it contained false or misleading information; or
      2. The police officer has ‘deviated from the reasonable case management of the proceedings so significantly as to be inexcusable’. i.e. Where the police continuously fail to serve important parts of the brief of evidence in breach of court orders.

    Can I Get Costs if the ‘Protected Person’ Named in the AVO Fails to Attend Court or Doesn’t Want the AVO?

    Generally, the police officer (who made the AVO application on behalf of the ‘protected person’) cannot be ordered to pay the defendant’s legal costs in the apprehended domestic violence order proceedings if the police officer made the AVO application in good faith, and where the alleged victim in the AVO (‘protected person’) does any one or more of the following:

    • He/she indicates to police that he/she will be giving unfavourable evidence in the police case.
    • He/she indicates to police that he/she doesn’t want the AVO.
    • He/she indicates to police that he/she holds no fears from the defendant in the AVO.
    • He/she attends court and gives unfavourable evidence in court.
    • He/she doesn’t end up attending court to give evidence for police.

    Generally, the ‘protected person’ named in the AVO cannot be ordered to pay the defendant’s legal costs in the apprehended domestic violence order or apprehended personal violence order proceedings if the ‘protected person’ simply fails to appear in court.

  • Consequences of Having an AVO Against You

    Having an interim AVO or a final AVO made against you as a defendant named in an AVO can have significant unfavourable consequences in the following 4 ways:

    1. Child Custody and Parenting Disputes in Family Court Proceedings

    If the “protected person” named in the AVO is your partner or ex-partner, that person can use the existence of an AVO against you in the Family Court to suggest that you’re a violent person, and unsuitable parent.

    An interim or final AVO can affect you in family court proceedings involving parental or child custody disputes in the following ways:

    • Where findings of facts are made after an AVO hearing: If a final AVO is made against you after you contested/opposed it, the Local Court Magistrate who presided over the AVO hearing would have made adverse findings of fact against you on the balance of probabilities.

    Those findings of fact (from the Local Court AVO hearing) will be either entirely or partially consistent with what the “protected person” was alleging you did as a grounds for getting the AVO.

    If the Family Court were to see this, it would likely paint a bad picture of you in the Family Court proceedings.

    In those circumstances, where a finding as to the facts as a basis for the AVO is made by a Local Court in an AVO hearing, the Family Court can take into account those findings of fact, being the circumstances or reasons why the AVO was made.

    This can allow the family court to then make relevant and unfavourable inferences against you when it considers the safety and protection of the children in child custody disputes.

    The more unfavourable those inferences are, the more likely the Family Court will want to impose greater restrictions and conditions on you in parenting order/child custody disputes- this will affect your access to the children.

    The more unfavourable the local court Magistrate’s findings of fact are against you, the more likely that the Family Court will want to impose greater protection to the children- by imposing greater restrictions on you having access to the children.

    For example, a Family Court will likely have less concern for the safety and protection of the children, and grant you more favourable child custody orders if the findings of fact by the Local Court Magistrate in the AVO hearing reveal that the children were not present during the alleged incidents.

    However, a Family Court will likely have greater child safety and protection concerns, and then impose more unfavourable child custody orders against you, if those findings of fact in the AVO hearing reveal that the child was present during the incident. The Family Court will likely have an even greater concern if the AVO hearing reveals that the child was subjected to any kind of violence from you.

    • Where there was no AVO hearing, and no findings of fact made:

    A final AVO can be made without an AVO hearing taking place where you as the defendant consent to the final AVO on a ‘without admissions’ basis, on certain agreed AVO orders, for an agreed period of time.

    Consenting to an AVO on a ‘without admissions’ basis means that although you agree for the AVO becoming final, you don’t agree to the allegations of fact made in it as a basis for the AVO.

    This means, that the Family Court won’t be able to take into account any adverse findings of fact against you from the AVO in child custody and parenting disputes. This will generally mean less protective parenting orders concerning your access to children. However, the Family Court can still consider the fact that there is an AVO, and the orders that were consented to.

    If the orders that were consented to in the AVO include a child as a “protected person”, then the Family Court may take this into consideration in child custody disputes when considering any need for the safety and protection of the child.

    Any parenting orders made by the Family Court will then likely reflect the extent of any concerns the Family Court has for the safety and protection of the children. This can effect the extent of your access to the children with more protective parenting orders.

    If the AVO doesn’t include a child as a “protected person”, the Family Court may have no concerns for the safety and protection for the child. Any parenting orders made by the Family Court will likely reflect that, giving you a more favourable outcome in a child custody dispute, and more access to the children.

    Consenting to an AVO on a without admissions basis is likely to have a far less adverse impact in family court proceedings concerning child custody disputes and parenting orders, than a situation where adverse findings of fact are made against you after a contesting AVO hearing.

    2. Employment Requiring a Working with Children Check Clearance

    An AVO is considered in a working with children check clearance. An AVO can affect your employment where your job involves working with children.

    The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW) requires you to pass a working with children check clearance as a pre-requisite to be allowed to engage in any child-related work. The Children’s Guardian may refuse or cancel your working with children check clearance if it thinks you pose a risk to the safety of children.

    Having an interim AVO or final AVO against you can have the following consequences:

    • Where you currently hold a working with children check clearance, the Children’s Guardian can issue you with an “interim bar”.

      This temporarily stops you from continuing your job where it involves working with children. An interim-bar expires after 1 year. An interim-bar can also be issued to you after you apply for a working with children check clearance.

    • If you currently work in child-related work, the Children’s Guardian will cancel your working with children check clearance if satisfied that you pose a risk to the safety of children.

      An employer must cease your employment in child-related work if you no longer hold a working with children check clearance.

    • An employer may decide not to give you a job, especially involving child-related work knowing the hurdles in getting a working with children check clearance.

    Generally, the Children’s Guardian can conduct a risk assessment to determine if you’re considered a risk to the safety of children. The clearance will not be cancelled if a determination is made, after assessment, that you don’t pose a risk to the safety of children.

    An AVO can have far reaching consequences on being able to get or maintain a job that involves working with children i.e. as a teacher, children’s couch in athletics or sports, or a bus driver.

    Can I appeal the Children’s Guardian Decision to cancel my working with children check clearance?

    You can appeal the cancellation of your working with children’s check clearance. You can appeal directly to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an administrative review under the Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997. You can make this appeal within 28 days after receiving the cancellation notice.

    Where you receive an interim-bar stopping you from working with children temporarily, you can also appeal this decision only after the interim-bar has been in place for at least 6 months.

    Section 26 of the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW) lists the circumstances you are not allowed to appeal the cancellation of the working with children check clearance.

    3. Firearms Licence/Weapons Permit

    If you have a firearms licence or weapons permit, that licence/permit will be automatically suspended upon an interim AVO order being made.

    That licence/permit will then be automatically revoked if an interim AVO becomes a final AVO (determined on the AVO hearing date).

    If your licence/permit is suspended or revoked, you will be required to surrender your firearms or weapons to the police who will then seize it.

    This is reflected in section 23 and 24 of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW), and section 17 and 19 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW).

    4. Termination of Tenancy Agreement

    If you’re a tenant or co-tenant under a residential tenancy agreement, that tenancy will be terminated if a final AVO is made against you as a defendant in certain circumstances. For example, it will be terminated if the final AVO order stops you (as a tenant) from accessing the residential premises. This is expressed under section 79 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW).

  • How Much Does an AVO Lawyer Cost?

    Fixed fees for an entire AVO case can be provided by an experienced AVO lawyer to cover all the preparation, consultations and court attendances required for a case.

    Some AVO cases are less complex than others, and may require less preparation work than others. It’s very important to get the ground work done properly in the preparation phase of an avo case without taking any shortcuts.

    Based on the extent of work needed for your case, an experienced AVO lawyer should be able to give you a fixed fee quote for your AVO case during the first consultation. During that consultation, the lawyer should also look through your AVO paperwork and discuss your case with you in detail.

    Our senior AVO lawyers provide fixed fees for all AVO cases- which ends up being much cheaper than charging per hour to clients. This is because we regularly appear in court for AVO cases, and with our experience we’re able to get on top of AVO cases very quickly with no margin for error in the preparation and court appearances.

    Our senior lawyers can provide you with a fixed fee over the free first consultation we provide either in our office or over the phone. During that consultation our AVO lawyers will find out more about your case and discover the key issues in it. This will allow us to then guide you with exactly what needs to be done next and how to do it.

    AVO Lawyers can cost anywhere between $200 to $500 an hour. The difference in that price is generally the level of experience and expertise of the lawyer.

    That price per hour usually doesn’t include GST. GST is usually added on top of that price.

  • Why Choose Our AVO Lawyers?

    Our highly respected team of accomplished senior lawyers are leading specialists in AVO cases. We regularly appear in all NSW courts with a proven track record of exceptional results for over 20 years.

    Preparation in an AVO case is key. It’s extremely important and critical in ensuring that the foundation work in your case is done properly without any shortcuts or laziness to maximise your chances at getting the best possible outcome in court.

    During the preparation phase, an experienced AVO lawyer should sit down with you to draft statements for you and any other witnesses that you intend to rely on in court as evidence for the hearing. This statement is required to be served to the other side and filed with the court as constituting the evidence in your case.

    Your case can be damaged if you don’t include enough information in the statement(s), or if you include more information than required. The statement that gets drafted and served should be reviewed and perfected by ensuring that it covers the key issues in the case. Otherwise, you may not be able to rely on anything new or different you want to say to the Magistrate in court.

    It’s well worth investing the time into ensure that your AVO case has a solid foundation by preparing it well- especially where an AVO outcome can have far reaching consequences in other aspects such as family court proceedings in child custody or parenting orders, getting or maintaining a job, and firearms licenses.

    Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation with an experienced AVO lawyer.

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