There are 2 kinds of Apprehended Violence Orders or AVOs in New South Wales. Firstly, there are Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) which are usually applied for by NSW Police and are generally a mandatory requirement after a finding of guilt against an offender for a domestic violence offence.
Secondly, there are Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVOs) which are usually applied for personally by one person or people against another person.
Apprehended Violence Orders place certain restrictions on the respondent for the protection of the Person In Need Of Protection or “PINOP”. There are a range of factors the court can take into account when deciding what conditions are appropriate because every person’s situation is different.
Provisional AVO’s are made by the police after an ADVO application is lodged on behalf of the PINOP. This quickly places restrictions on the respondent as an initial safeguard until the Court can hear the initial application. Provisional AVO’s can also be granted in APVO matters where the Court is satisfied that it is appropriate to place temporary restrictions on a respondent.
Interim AVO’s are made where an AVO matter is initially heard in court and the respondent does not agree to a final AVO being made immediately. This will carry on an AVO for a period of time until the matter is finalised and a Final AVO is made by the court or the matter is withdrawn by the Applicant.
Defending an AVO
An AVO can be defended if you are respondent or even if you are considered the PINOP. In these circumstances the Court will order a ‘timetable’ which is a list of dates when things must be done by each party. Failure to comply with the timetable can severely impact the proceedings and the Court can even find in favour of the other person if they complied with the timetable and you did not.
The matter then goes for Hearing before the Court and arguments can be made for and against the application for an AVO.
Conditions restrict certain activities or conduct by the respondent in relation to the PINOP. These can be far reaching and can go from simply not breaking the law to do with the person to specific no-contact orders or place restrictions (where you cannot go to certain places). The Court can impose any of the conditions below if satisfied that these will protect the PINIOP.
A list of these conditions is listed below:
- The orders state that you must not:
- (a) assault or threaten the protected person or any other person having a domestic relationship with the protected person
- (b) stalk, harass or intimidate the protected person or any other person having a domestic relationship with the protected person intentionally
- (c) recklessly destroy or damage any property that belongs to or is in the possession of the protected person or any other person having a domestic relationship with the protected person
Orders about contact
- You must not approach the protected person or contact them in any way, unless the contact is through a lawyer.
- You must not approach:
- (a) the school or any other place the protected person might go to for study,
- (b) any place they might go to for childcare, or
- (c) any other place listed here___.
- You must not approach or be in the company of the protected person for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs.
- You must not try to find the protected person except as ordered by a court.
Orders About Family Law and Parenting
- You must not approach the protected person or contact them in any way, unless the contact is:
- (1) through a lawyer; or
- (2) to attend accredited or court-approved counselling, mediation and/or conciliation; or
- (3) as ordered by this or another court about contact with child/ren; or
- (4) as agreed in writing between you and the parent(s) about contact with child/ren; or
- (5) as agreed in writing between you and the parent(s) and the person with parental responsibility for the child/ren about contact with the child/ren.
Orders about where you cannot go
- You must not live at:
- (a) the same address as the protected person; or
- (b) any place listed here ___.
- You must not go into:
- (a) any place where the protected person lives; or
- (b) any place where they work; or
- (c) any place listed here___ .
- You must not go within ___ metres of:
- (a) any place where the protected person lives, or
- (b) any place where they work or
- (c) any place listed here___.
Orders about weapons
- You must not possess any firearms or prohibited weapons.