There are many different types of restraining and protection orders which a court can make that orders one person to have no contact with another person. These are called 'non-contact orders.' If the other person disobeys these orders, there may be civil or criminal penalties.

If you’re unsure of what type of order is best for you, talk to a lawyer.

Types of restraining orders

Emergency protection order (EPO)

  • when violence or threatening behaviour occurs between family members
  • must be a need for immediate protection
  • the police can obtain an EPO if they're investigating a domestic disturbance
  • can be used to remove an offender from their home and prevent their return
  • you can apply for an EPO from the Provincial Court without notice to the other party
  • an EPO must be reviewed by a judge within 9 working days
  • a judge can replace an EPO with a Queen’s Bench protection order

Queen’s Bench protection order

  • the need may not be as urgent as the need for an EPO
  • application is done with notice to the other party
  • you can apply directly in the Court of Queen’s Bench for the order
  • the judge can also order that money be repaid if there were expenses because of the violence

Restraining order in family violence situations

  • applies to people who’ve lived together in a relationship
  • obtained in the Court of Queen’s Bench
  • the other party doesn’t need to be notified
  • a review date is set
  • you must be afraid for your physical safety
  • you must file a Restraining Order Application form
  • isn’t used to settle property disputes
  • isn’t to be used to settle parenting or custody disputes
  • there are no filing fees for a restraining order
  • you can often get the order within the same day
  • the restraining order is usually in place for 3 months or permanently, if necessary
  • if you disobey this order, you can be arrested

Restraining orders in other cases

  • apply to cases between neighbours, coworkers, those in dating relationships, parents and adult children
  • you’ve been threatened with violence or assaulted
  • file a Statement of Claim with the Court of Queen’s Bench
  • there are no filing fees
  • you must make a court application for the restraining order
  • you notify the other party
  • the restraining order is usually in place for 3 months or permanently, if necessary
  • if you disobey this order, you can be arrested

Exclusive home possession order

  • a temporary solution to help resolve disagreements about who’ll stay in the home and who’ll move out
  • the decision is based on who’ll be most inconvenienced or what’s in the best interests of the children
  • violence doesn’t need to be a factor
  • available to any separating couple (married or not married)
  • not to be used to divide up possessions
  • can be done on an ex-parte basis or on notice
  • can apply for exclusive possession of other assets (eg, a vehicle)
  • $200 filing fee applies if an action for division of property hasn’t yet been started

Peace bond

  • a complaint is made to the police
  • requires an individual to have no contact with persons named in the order
  • requires an individual to stay away from specific locations
  • non-emergency situations
  • if you fear for your safety, then a peace bond can be ordered
  • the same procedure for both family and non-family individuals
  • accused is arrested and given a notice to appear in court
  • the peace bond doesn’t create a criminal record
  • if ignored, the person is charged with a criminal offence
  • a bond can be in place for up to a year
  • at court, the accused is asked if they’ll agree to a peace bond:
    • if they agree, the bond is prepared for them to sign, and the matter is ended
    • if they won’t sign, the matter is set for trial (several weeks or months later)

Bail conditions or criminal orders

  • when a person is arrested for violent or threatening crimes, their bail conditions usually state ‘no contact with the complainant’
  • if the person ignores the conditions, they could have their bail cancelled and spend the rest of their time awaiting trial in jail
  • when a person is convicted of a violent offence, the sentence often includes a term of probation
  • the probation order often includes a number of conditions

Cancelling a restraining or protection order

If you have a review date coming up for an existing order:

  • go to court on the court date
  • explain to the judge that you want to cancel it and why
  • you may have to file an affidavit

If there’s no court date coming up:

  • you’ll have to apply to the court to cancel it
  • you must arrange for the other party to be served
  • use the General Application package  (0.1 MB) to make the application