Lying to get an APVO now a crime
Making false allegations in order to obtain an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) against a neighbour, co-worker or stranger will become a criminal offence under changes to the law being brought in by the NSW government.
Anybody who lies and makes vexatious applications for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) will be liable to a fine of up to $1100 or up to 12 months in prison.
The move comes after a review of the growing number of applications thrown out of court because the allegations were frivolous or false.
The changes do not apply to domestic violence situations. The APVO can only be used when the victim is not in a domestic relationship with the alleged perpetrator.
NSW Attorney General Greg Smith said changes to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act brings APVO applications into line with similar processes which require applicants to declare the truth of the information they provide.
“It will only apply to people who knowingly make a false statement when applying for an APVO, which will provide some protection to vulnerable applicants such as people with mental health problems or cognitive impairments.”
Magistrates will have to refer APVO matters to mediation where possible and registrars will be encouraged to refuse applications for APVO where it is appropriate.
Applicants will also have to declare any commercial relationship, debt or previous history of litigation between the parties presumably so the Court can consider whether there is another motive for the application.
At the same time ADVOs for domestic violence will be quicker to get as senior police will have the power to issue on-the-spot provisional ADVOs.
Stacks lawyer Ruth Whisker says people should seek legal advice about APVOs before they go to court. If that’s not possible they should seek an adjournment and get legal advice before agreeing to any APVO.
An experienced lawyer will try and resolve the dispute for you, assist you in mediation if appropriate or provide you with a strong defence in court.
The consequences and stress of being hit by an APVO can be severe and long lasting. Breaching an APVO can give you a criminal conviction and a criminal record that can bar you from certain employment and have an impact on future job applications. It might also make it difficult to obtain visas for travel overseas.