The aim of this article is to answer the question of ‘how to take out an AVO.’ But before we proceed with that, let’s explore what an AVO is in brief.
AVO stands for Apprehended Violence Order. Internationally, this order is also commonly referred to as a restraining order. An AVO is made against a person (known as the defendant) when he/she poses a threat to the safety of another person, often called as the person in need of protection (PINOP). Statistically, it has been witnessed that the defendant is usually a current or former partner of the PINOP.
An AVO is made against the defendant to prevent further harassment, intimidation, stalking and any other behaviour which can make the PINOP fear for his/her safety.
Unfortunately, when the stress of a divorce or separation becomes too intense, many people exhibit irrational behaviour and make bad decisions. This stress-induced irrationality is often manifested in behaviours like stalking, intimidation and harassment.
Before we proceed with the topic of ‘how to take out an AVO’, let’s also discus the types of AVOs that can be issued against a defendant.
Types Of AVOs
In Australia, there are two types of AVOs that can be taken out. To determine which type of AVO applies to each case, the PINOP needs to determine the relationship between themselves and the defendant.
In cases where the PINOP and defendant shared an intimate domestic relationship with each other, the AVO which is applicable will be the Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO).
On the other hand, in cases where the PINOP and defendant did not share a domestic relationship, or are not related to each other (like co-workers, or neighbours), the AVO which is applicable will be the Apprehended Person Violence Order (APVO).
When asking the question ‘how to take out an AVO’ it is important to know that although there are two types of AVOs, the process of application remains more or less similar.
Who Can Take Out An AVO
If you are wondering ‘how to take out an AVO’ you also need to first know who can do so. You can apply for an AVO, if:
- you are 16 years, or over 16 years of age;
- you are the victim of some form of assault – physical or sexual assault; or if you have been threatened with physical harm, been stalked, harassed, or intimidated, and have strong reason to believe that this behaviour will continue and you fear for your safety
How To Take Out An AVO: #1 Contact The Police
In cases where you are in need of immediate protection, it is advisable for you to contact the police. They have the authority to apply for a provisional AVO in cases of domestic violence matters. There are Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLOs) who will assist people with all AVO-related processes.
When contacting the police, it is better to go to your local police station and speak with an officer. In order to search for your local police stations in NSW, click here.
At the police station you will be required to provide a statement. The statement should include proper details of the defendant including full name, date of birth of the defendant, his/her residential address, the kind of relationship you share with the defendant and any other information which may be relevant to your case.
Once the statement has been given and signed by the PINOP, he/she will receive a copy of the statement. Following this step, an application will later be served to the defendant by the police officer in charge. The application will include information about the court date on which the defendant will be required to make a court appearance.
The PINOP will also make a court appearance on the same day for the case to proceed. While doing so, legal representation will also be important as lawyers can help gather necessary evidence which can be presented in the court.
How To Take Out An AVO: #2 Make A Court Application
Apart from contacting your local police station, you can make a direct application by visiting your local court. Generally, courts will have a kit to apply for AVOs or application forms which need to be filled.
Filling the application form is similar to providing a statement at the police station wherein the PINOP will need to give out as much information as possible, including important details like full name and address of the defendant.
This application form will need to be signed by the PINOP in making sure that all the information provided there is accurate. Once the form is signed, the defendant will be served the application. This will be done either by a police officer, or a court-appointed personnel.
The application will contain information about the date and specific time at which the defendant needs to be present at court. The PINOP will also be required to attend court on the day and present the case.
Since this method of ‘how to take out an AVO’ includes court procedures, it is recommended that the PINOP seek legal guidance throughout the process, right from the time of making the application to the time of attending the court, where proper legal representation will strengthen your case.
Importance Of Seeking Legal Advice
This article has explained methods on the question ‘how to take out an AVO.’ When dealing with cases of personal or domestic violence, the stress that one feels cannot be compared to anything else. For these reasons, it is important to have legal support to finalise AVOs faster and without any hassles.
Our family law team at JB Solicitors are well-equipped in dealing with domestic violence related. They understand how delicate the situation is, and the importance of finalising court orders to ensure the protection of the person making an application. They have a wealth of experience in dealing with such urgent matters, and you can rest assured that your problems will be resolved.
If you have more enquiries on ‘how to take out an AVO’ and wish to have a confidential chat with our team of experts, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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