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Appealing Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO)

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In certain circumstances, individuals may seek to appeal Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO) that have been issued against them. An AVO is a legal order aimed at preventing threats, violence, or intimidation between parties.

Grounds for Appeal

An appeal against an AVO can be pursued if the individual believes that the order was wrongly issued or if there are valid reasons to challenge its terms. Grounds for appeal might include:
  1. Procedural Errors:
If mistakes or errors occurred during the application or hearing process, such as inadequate notice to the respondent or failure to provide an opportunity to present a defence.
  1. Lack of Evidence:
If the evidence presented during the initial AVO hearing was insufficient to justify the order, the individual may seek to challenge its issuance.
  1. Inappropriate Terms: 
If the terms or conditions of the AVO are overly restrictive or unjustified based on the circumstances, an appeal can be pursued.

Initiating the Appeal Process

The process of appealing an AVO typically involves the following steps:
  1. Notice of Intention to Appeal:
The individual expresses their intention to appeal the AVO within a specified timeframe, usually within 28 days of the order's issuance.

  1. Notice of Appeal: 
A formal Notice of Appeal is submitted within a designated period, often within 3 months of the order being made.
  1. Court Hearing:
The matter proceeds to a court hearing, where the appellant (individual appealing the order) presents their case, highlighting the grounds for appeal.

Court Consideration and Decision

During the court hearing, the judge will carefully review the evidence presented by both parties. This may include examining witness testimonies, documents, and any relevant information related to the issuance of the AVO. The judge will assess whether the grounds for appeal are substantiated and whether the original order should be upheld, varied, or revoked.

Possible Outcomes

Following the appeal hearing, the judge may reach one of several outcomes:
  1. Upholding the Order:
If the judge determines that the grounds for appeal are not valid, the AVO remains in place with its original terms.
  1. Varied Order:
The judge may decide to modify the terms of the AVO, adjusting its conditions based on the circumstances presented.
  1. Revocation:
If the grounds for appeal are compelling and supported by evidence, the judge may revoke the AVO.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the options below to learn the answers to frequently asked questions about Appealing Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO).

Once you have lodged an appeal and it is heard in the District Court, the presiding judge will make a determination regarding the Apprehended Violence Order (AVO). The judge’s decision will involve either maintaining the AVO as originally issued or modifying its terms. It’s important to understand the implications of the judge’s decision and the actions you should take afterward.

1. If the judge decides to maintain the AVO without any changes, you are legally bound to adhere to all the restrictions and conditions outlined in the AVO for the specified duration. Failure to comply with these restrictions could have serious consequences.

2. If the judge determines that the AVO should be modified, the terms and conditions of the AVO may be adjusted. It’s essential to fully understand and adhere to the new terms set forth by the judge.

Failing to comply with the restrictions specified in the AVO can lead to significant legal consequences, including:

  • Arrest: If you breach any of the AVO’s restrictions, law enforcement may arrest you based on the breach. This could result in immediate detention and legal proceedings.
  • Criminal Charges: Breaching an AVO is a criminal offence under Section 14(1) of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. This may lead to formal criminal charges and a subsequent legal process.


For further details regarding Apprehended Violence Orders or to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer, reach out to KPT Defence Lawyers at (02) 9267 5555.

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