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How to Apply for a Property Recovery Order in NSW?

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If you’re facing the challenge of recovering property after a relationship breakdown involving domestic violence, securing a Property Recovery Order in New South Wales (NSW) is a critical step. 

This blog post will guide you through the process of applying for a PRO in NSW, ensuring you understand your rights and can safely reclaim your possessions.

What is a Property Recovery Order?

A Property Recovery Order (PRO) is a court order that allows you to retrieve your belongings from a premises where you lived with the perpetrator of domestic violence, or where the perpetrator currently resides. It’s a legal tool designed to help you safely reclaim your possessions, reducing the risk of further conflict or harm.

Who is eligible to apply for a Property Recovery Order in NSW?

In NSW, you are eligible to apply for a Property Recovery Order if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have experienced domestic violence: This is the primary requirement. You must be able to demonstrate that you’ve been a victim of domestic violence perpetrated by the person you’re seeking the order against.
  • You have essential belongings at a shared residence: The items you want to retrieve must be located at a place where you and the perpetrator of the violence lived together, or where the perpetrator currently resides.
  • You have an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO): Generally, a PRO is issued in conjunction with an ADVO. The ADVO serves to protect you from further harm while the PRO facilitates the safe retrieval of your belongings.

Also read: How to Get an AVO in NSW: A Comprehensive Guide

What types of items can I include in my Property Recovery Order application?

When applying for a Property Recovery Order (PRO) in NSW, you can generally include items that are essential for your well-being and daily living. This could include:

  1. Personal belongings: Clothing, toiletries, medication, eyeglasses, and other items you need for daily personal care.
  2. Important documents: Identification documents (e.g., driver’s licence, passport), financial records, medical records, and any other important paperwork.
  3. Work-related items: Tools, uniforms, laptops, work-related documents, or anything else you need for your employment.
  4. Children’s belongings: Clothing, toys, school supplies, and other items essential for your children’s well-being.
  5. Household items: Basic furniture, kitchenware, bedding, and other items necessary for establishing a new residence.
  6. Pets: If you have pets, you may be able to include them in your PRO application, especially if they are considered companion animals or crucial for your emotional support.

Remember, the items you list should be those that are reasonably necessary for you and your dependents. It’s helpful to provide a detailed list with descriptions of each item, including their estimated value and why they are essential for you.

It’s important to note that items considered jointly owned or of high value may be subject to dispute and might not be included in the PRO

How do I apply for a Property Recovery Order?

Applying for a Property Recovery Order (PRO) in NSW involves several steps:

  1. Seek legal advice: Consult with a lawyer who specialises in domestic violence law. They can assess your situation, explain your rights, and guide you through the entire process.
  2. Gather evidence: Collect any evidence that supports your claim of domestic violence. This could include medical reports, police reports, photos of injuries, text messages, or emails.
  3. Prepare a detailed list of belongings: Create a comprehensive list of the items you want to retrieve. Be as specific as possible, including descriptions, estimated values, and why each item is essential.
  4. Complete the application form: Complete the necessary court forms. These forms will typically require details about the domestic violence incident, the items you wish to recover, and your current living arrangements.
  5. File the application: File the application with the local court that issued the Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO). If you don’t have an ADVO, your lawyer can help you apply for one simultaneously.
  6. Attend the court hearing: In most cases, a court hearing will be scheduled to consider your application. You’ll need to attend the hearing with your lawyer and present your case to the magistrate.
  7. Receive the order: If the magistrate grants your PRO, it will specify the items you’re allowed to retrieve, the date and time of collection, and any other relevant conditions.
  8. Execute the order: The police will usually accompany you to the designated location to ensure your safety while you collect your belongings.

What happens after I lodge my Property Recovery Order application?

After lodging your Property Recovery Order (PRO) application, the court will review it and schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the magistrate will consider your application, any response from the other party, and the evidence presented.

If satisfied, the court will grant the PRO detailing the items, collection time, location, and any conditions that must be met. In most cases, the police will accompany you to the designated location to ensure your safety while you retrieve your belongings.

What if the other party refuses to comply with the Property Recovery Order?

If the other party refuses to comply, do not take matters into your own hands. Contact the police immediately and provide them with a copy of the PRO.

The police have the authority to enforce the order and can accompany you to the premises to ensure compliance. If the situation remains unresolved, your next step is to return to court with your lawyer.

The court has various options, such as issuing a warrant for the non-compliant party’s arrest or imposing other penalties. It’s important to remember that defying a court order is considered contempt of court, a serious offence with potential legal consequences.

Throughout this process, maintain open communication with your lawyer, who can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

Can I still get a Property Recovery Order if I don’t have an ADVO?

Yes, you can still apply for a Property Recovery Order (PRO) even if you don’t currently have an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO). While a PRO is typically issued in conjunction with an ADVO, it is possible to apply for both simultaneously.

In fact, if you’re experiencing domestic violence and need to retrieve essential belongings, it’s strongly recommended to seek both orders to ensure your safety and well-being.

Applying for a Property Recovery Order (PRO) soon? We’re here for you.

If you find yourself in the difficult position of needing to retrieve your belongings after experiencing domestic violence, know that you don’t have to face this challenge alone.

At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand the complex emotions and pressing concerns that come with this situation. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team is dedicated to providing the support and legal guidance you need during this time.

We’ll work closely with you to navigate the Property Recovery Order process, ensuring that your safety remains the top priority while assertively advocating for your rights. Take the first step towards a brighter future by contacting Justice Family Lawyers today for a confidential consultation. Together, we’ll help you protect what matters most and move forward with confidence.

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