Apprehended Violence Orders in Sydney

Apprehended violence orders in Sydney and the rest of New South Wales are court orders that are made when a person fears domestic or personal violence from another person and requires a protective order to address the situation. AVOs are generally made by magistrates in the Local Court or Children’s Court. They are governed by the Crimes (Domestic and Person Violence) Act 2007.

Two types of apprehended violence order in Sydney

There are two types of apprehended violence orders in Sydney and the rest of NSW. These are apprehended personal violence orders and apprehended domestic violence orders.

Apprehended domestic violence orders are governed by Part 4 of the Act. They are made when a person fears violence, harassment or threats form a person they share a domestic relationship with. ‘Domestic relationship’ is defined at section 5 of the Act and includes a spouse, partner, family member, carer or person living in the same household.

Apprehended personal violence orders are governed by Part 5 of the Act. They are made when a person fears violence, harassment or threat from a person who they are not in a domestic relationship with.

What conditions attach to an apprehended violence order in Sydney?

All apprehended violence orders in Sydney and NSW carry a number of mandatory conditions. These include:

  • Not to assault, molest, harass or interfere with the protected person or a person they have a domestic relationship with
  • Not to otherwise intimidate the protected person or a person they have a domestic relationship with;
  • Not to stalk the protected person or a person they have a domestic relationship with;
  • Not to detroy or damage property belonging to the protected person or a person they have a domestic relationship with;

An AVO can also have additional conditions attached to it where it is necessary or appropriate in the circumstances. These may include:

  • Not to approach or contacy the protected person;
  • Not to address or remain at particular premises – for example the protected person’s workplace;
  • Not to approach or contact the protected person after consuming alcohol or other intoxicating drugs.

Provisional orders

If the NSW police become aware of a domestic or personal violence situation where there is a need for an order to be put in place immediately, they may make a provisional order for a set period or until a court order is made.

Interim orders

An interim AVO is a temporary court order that remains in place until the matter has been finalised This may occur by the defendant consenting to the making of a final order or by the matter proceeding to a contested hearing, where the court hears evidence and submissions from both sides.

An interim order becomes effective immediately if the defendant is in court when it is made. If an interim order is made in the defendant’s absence it becomes effective only when he or she is served with a copy.

Final orders

A final AVO can be made for as long a period as the court considers necessary for the protection of the protected person. A final order can be made with the consent of the defendant or when the defendant has been effectively served and has failed to attend court. It can also be made after a contested hearing if the court considers that a person has reasonable grounds to fear the commission of violence, intimidation or stalking by the defendant sufficient to warrant the making of the order.

If the person for whose protection the order is sought is a child or a person with a significant intellectual disability, the court may make the order even if the above conditions are not fulfilled.

Property recovery orders

Courts can also make orders allowing one party to an AVO to collect their property from the other party.

If you require legal advice or representation in relation to apprehended violence orders in Sydney or in any other legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.

Author

Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.
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