Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) are orders which prohibit one person from being violent or intimidating to a former partner. A Court Order is obtained from the Local Court pursuant to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act. They could provide a person protection and privacy by stopping the accused person from contacting them or their children or sometimes from entering their home.
Such Orders and Applications usually arise by a person making a complaint to the police or the police attending at a domestic violence incident. The police can make an application for an AVO, including arranging for the issue of a Provisional AVO on the spot. The accused person is served with the Application to appear before the Court. At the Court they are asked to either agree that the Order be made, if without admission. If not, the matter is set down for hearing in some months’ time. AVO orders are generally made for a year or two. If a Magistrate does not consider them justified, the AVO Application can be dismissed.
In respect of AVO’s it is important to keep the following in mind:
Violence is never acceptable or excusable and if someone is in fear of violence – themselves or their children – they should seek assistance, including from the police to obtain an AVO. However, in respect of Family Law proceedings, the Family Court will generally make up their own mind as to violence issues. Getting AVO proceedings can come at a great personal cost and increase the likelihood of tension and proceedings and reduce prospects of resolution. AVOs should never be contemplated or used as a tactic in respect of Family Law proceedings.
If facing a situation of violence or an AVO, it is important to obtain legal advice and consider a plan of action carefully. Generally if faced with having an AVO served upon you, it is better to deal with the matter yourself if with the advice and assistance from an experienced Family Lawyer, although it is possible to arrange representation at Court by a lawyer.
See our Articles about Apprehended Violence Orders here.