If someone you know, whether it be a family member, friend, neighbour or co-worker is harassing, threatening, intimidating or causing you fear in anyway, then you then you should consider applying for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).
An AVO is an Order made by the Court to protect a person. An AVO protects a person by ordering defendants (the person that is causing you fear) not to do specific things. The AVO will list a number of things that the defendant must not do, including but not limited to behaving in any way that causes you fear, directing third persons to harass and/or intimidate you or coming within a certain distance of where you live or work.
You can apply for an AVO by making an appointment to see the Chamber Magistrate at your closest Local Court, through the NSW Police or your lawyer. If the incident involves children, you should contact the NSW Police first.
You will be required to attend Court after the AVO Application is filed with the Local Court and served on the defendant. When you go to Court, the Magistrate will consider whether the AVO should be made. If the defendant disputes the AVO, the Court may make an Interim AVO and set the matter down for a hearing to determine whether an AVO should be made on a final basis. If a final Order is made for an AVO, the Magistrate will decide how long the AVO will remain in force, which can be months or years.
If you decide that you no longer require the AVO, you can apply to the Court to have it cancelled. In some cases, the police have the power to proceed with the AVO on your behalf even if you tell them that you do not want an AVO.
You can also apply to the Local Court have an AVO revoked or varied any time after the Court makes a final Order for an AVO.