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Serving an AVO

An AVO application contains a notice to the defendant to appear at court with the date and time they must come to the court.

Once the application for an AVO is made, it must be delivered to the defendant personally by a police officer. This is known as ‘service’. Once a police officer has served the application, they fill out a statement of service and send it to the Local Court so that the court knows the defendant is aware of the application.

Sometimes it is difficult to serve an application on a defendant and police may have attempted to serve the defendant on numerous occasions without success. In these cases, the court can order that the application be served in some other way, for example, by registered mail to their address or on the defendant’s solicitor or a specified relative. This is called ‘substituted service’. The magistrate will only make an order for substituted service if satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable to serve the defendant personally.