Collins & Ricardo and Anor 2014 FamCA 786

The mother applied for an AVO against the father, stating that she was afraid of the father and this was the reason for her to contravene an order.  The father objected to the AVO saying that the mother had a pattern of applying unsuccessfully for AVOs.  The father applied for a subpoena to obtain police records to support his allegation about the mother’s unsuccessful applications for subpoenas on four previous occasions.  The Police objected saying that the subpoena was too broad.

The judge noted that the burden of proof to establish a reasonable excuse for contravening an order falls on the mother, and it is not the father’s job to disprove it.  The judge issued a limited subpoena.

Expert Evidence

The judge noted that the normal course for a party to call expert evidence is by way of a written report verified by an affidavit in which the expert sets out his qualifications, identifies the examinations and records on which the opinion is based and affirms that he has read and complied with the provisions of the Family Law Rules that set out the obligations of an expert witness.