The aim of this article is to provide an overview on how to get AVO. However, before we address the question of how to get AVO in Australia, let us first consider what an AVO is.
AVOs come up in cases of domestic or family violence. The full form of AVO is Apprehended Violence Order.
An Apprehended Violence Order is a type of Court order made against a person, most commonly an existing partner or a former partner, who poses a threat to the safety of the person applying for an AVO.
The purpose of an AVO is to protect the person from further harassment, violence, or intimidation. The person who the AVO is made against is called the defendant.
Once the Court makes an order against the defendant, the defendant is banned from assaulting, threatening, stalking, harassing or intimidating the applicant, who is the Person In Need Of Protection (PINOP).
Although an AVO by itself is not a criminal charge against the defendant, if the defendant breaches the Court order, then they may be charged with a criminal offence.
To know how to get AVO, it is also essential to understand which AVO applies to your particular case. Broadly, there are two types of AVOs. These are: –
- Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO): An APVO is made in cases where the defendant is not related to the applicant, and where they do not share a domestic relationship. For instance, neighbours and co-workers can fall under this category.
- Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO): An ADVO is made in cases where the defendant and applicant share a domestic relationship.
Who Can Apply For An AVO?
You can apply for an AVO, in case:-
- You are 16 years and older.
- You have been the victim of sexual assault, physical assault, threatened with physical harm, been stalked, harassed, and intimidated and have strong reasons to believe that this behaviour will continue.
How To Get AVO?
It is of utmost importance to get AVO in cases where: –
- Someone has hurt you or your child.
- You fear for your own safety, and the safety of your child, and are scared that someone might hurt you or your child.
- Someone is harassing, stalking, intimidating or threatening you or your child.
To get an AVO in Australia you need to show that you fear the defendant, and that there are reasonable grounds to fear the defendant in question.
Steps To Get AVO
If you are wondering how to get AVO, and what the first step is, it is important for you to understand that there are two avenues through which you can get AVO. These include: –
- Involving the Police
- Private Application through Local Court
How To Get AVO: 1. Police Method
The Person In Need Of Protection (PINOP) has to speak to the police immediately, and report all incidents to the police. In case the PINOP is scared, they must talk to the police. The police will then apply for AVO on your behalf.
In cases of domestic violence, the police can apply for Provisional AVO, which is an urgent order. A police application can be made in cases where: –
- The PINOP has attended the police station and filed a report, or
- After the police have taken report of an incident by attending an incident
Step 1: Provide Statement
You need to provide the police officer who is responsible for your case with as much information as possible. This can include: –
- Full name of the defendant, and address of the defendant.
- Approximate age of the defendant
- The relationship between the PINOP and defendant
- Details of any other family members who are in need of protection
- Evidence of any property damage caused by defendant
- Any past AVOs made by PINOP against the defendant
Step 2: Sign Statement
Once the police take a statement from the PINOP, the PINOP is required to sign the statement. It is important to know that statement has to be true. In case the PINOP needs to change the statement they’ve made, they will need legal assistance.
Step 3: Police Serve The Application
The police will then give the defendant the application. The police officer responsible for serving the defendant must also fill out a statement of service.
Step 4: Go To Court
The application specifies a time and a date on which both the PINOP and defendant are required to attend the Court. At the Court, the parties need to attend the Court for the mention, showing evidence, hearing and the decision.
In these instances, both the PINOP and defendant need legal representation which will help the parties navigate the court procedures.
How To Get AVO: 2. Private Application To Local Court
Step 1: Contact The Court
Depending on the way the processes work at different Local Court, the PINOP may either need to make an appointment with the registrar, or fill out forms available at the Court to get an AVO.
Ideally, the PINOP should call the Local Court and make an inquiry to check how to get AVO.
Step 2: Fill Out Forms/ Meet With Registry Staff
At the Local Court, the PINOP needs to provide full information about the case and the defendant, similar to giving a statement to the police.
The PINOP must not make a false statement to the magistrate or registrar, and in case they do so, it is considered a legal offence
It is essential to gain legal advice if the PINOP feels they have unintentionally given out false information.
Step 3: Sign The Application
By signing the application, the PINOP indicates that all the information provided is true and accurate.
In cases where the PINOP needs the application immediately, the magistrate can deal with an Interim AVO application on the same day.
Step 4: Serve The Application
Once the AVO application has been signed, it must be given to the defendant. The application can be served either by:
- The police
- Someone nominated by the court or a registrar
Step 5: Go To Court
Similar to the final step in getting an AVO through the police, the PINOP and defendant need to attend the Court. In this case, you need to get a lawyer to represent you and your case.
Why Seek Legal Advice
After having an idea on how to get AVO, you must have realised that legal advice on such matters is essential. Regardless of whether you seek legal advice, or legal representation in court, you need efficient family lawyers to help you during such a stressful period of time.
At JB Solicitors, our lawyers have the expertise required to deal with each case differently, by taking into consideration the unique circumstances of each client.
Contact JB Solicitors and seek high-quality legal advice to help you with AVOs, ADVOs and APVOs.