Our client is a 51 year old man who owns a terrace style house in Surry Hills.
His neighbour (the ‘protected person’) is a 52 year female owner of a converted warehouse residence that has been under renovations for some years.
Police applied for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) on behalf of the ‘protected person’ after she made numerous complaints including that: our client was constantly harassing and staring at her, yelled abuse at her, damaged one of her walls, dumped asbestos in her rear lane, repeatedly parked in her lane just outside her window etc.
Our legal team made it clear to police early-on in the case that those complaints had no evidentiary basis and were clearly frivolous and vexatious.
Police nevertheless went-ahead with the case and it eventually reached a defended hearing in Downing Centre Local Court.
During the hearing, our lawyers severely discredited the ‘protected person’ on the witness stand and made it abundantly clear that the AVO should never have been applied for in the first place.
The Magistrate dismissed the AVO and handed down a judgement that was extremely critical of police.
We then made an application for the officer in charge to pay our client’s legal costs.
In NSW, section 99 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act severely restricts a defendant’s ability to win costs against police in AVO cases.
Despite this, Her Honour ordered that the officer must pay all of our client’s legal costs.
Our client is now considering pursuing additional avenues of complaint and compensation against both his neighbour and the police officer.