Restraining and protection orders

Eligibility and applying for restraining and protecting orders for victims of violence and those afraid of their personal safety.

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