What is a Protection Order in Family Issues? Protection Orders Can Help You and Your Family Stay Safe

A protection order is a legal document that orders a person to stop harming or threatening another person or their family members.

It can also include other conditions, such as prohibiting contact, limiting access to shared property, or requiring counselling.

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What is a Protection Order in Family Issues? | PEOPLE

A protection order is meant to prevent or reduce the risk of family violence, which is any form of abuse or harm that occurs within a family or intimate relationship.

READ ALSO : How does a Restraining Order Work? A Complete Guide

Types of Protection Orders

There are different types of protection orders that can be issued by different courts, depending on the situation and the relationship between the parties.

Some of the common types are:

Family law protection orders

These are orders that can be applied for in family court (in either Provincial Court or Supreme Court) if the parties have a family or intimate relationship, such as current or former spouses, co-parents, relatives, or dating partners.

A family law protection order can protect the applicant or any other family member who is at risk of family violence.

Peace bonds

These are orders that can be applied for in criminal court if the parties do not have a family or intimate relationship, or if the applicant does not want to go to family court.

A peace bond is a type of recognizance that requires the defendant to keep the peace and follow certain conditions for a period of time, such as staying away from the applicant or not possessing weapons.

A peace bond can be issued by a judge or a justice of the peace.

Restraining orders

These are orders that can be applied for in civil court if the parties do not have a family or intimate relationship, or if the applicant wants to restrain the defendant from doing something that is not related to family violence, such as harassing, stalking, or suing them.

A restraining order can be issued by a judge or a master.

Emergency protection orders

These are orders that can be applied for in any court if the situation is urgent and there is an immediate risk of family violence.

An emergency protection order can be issued by a judge or a justice of the peace without notice to the other party, and can last up to 8 days, then be extended for another 7 days.

An emergency protection order can include various provisions, such as removing the respondent from the home, granting temporary custody of children, or allowing the applicant to access essential personal items.

How to Apply for a Protection Order

The process of applying for a protection order can vary depending on the type of order, the court, and the jurisdiction.

However, some general steps are:

Gather evidence

The applicant should collect any evidence that supports their claim of family violence or risk of harm, such as police reports, medical records, photographs, text messages, emails, or witness statements.

Fill out forms

The applicant should fill out the required forms for the type of order they are seeking, and provide details about the parties, the incidents of violence, the impact of the violence, and the conditions they are requesting.

The applicant can get help from a lawyer, a legal aid clinic, a family justice counsellor, or a victim services worker to fill out the forms.

File the forms

The applicant should file the forms with the court registry, and pay any fees if applicable.

The applicant should also make copies of the forms for themselves and the other party.

Serve the forms

The applicant should arrange for someone else, such as a process server, a friend, or a family member, to serve the forms on the other party, unless the order is made without notice.

The applicant should also file an affidavit of service with the court to prove that the other party was served.

Attend the hearing

The applicant should attend the hearing on the date and time set by the court, and bring any evidence and witnesses they have.

The applicant should be prepared to answer questions from the judge or the other party’s lawyer.

The other party can also attend the hearing and present their side of the story, unless the order is made without notice.

Get the order

If the judge grants the order, the applicant should get a copy of the order from the court, and keep it with them at all times.

The applicant should also give a copy of the order to the police, the school, the daycare, or anyone else who needs to know about it.

What Happens if a Protection Order is Violated

A protection order is a court order that must be obeyed by the person it is issued against.

If the person violates the order, they can face serious consequences, such as:

Criminal charges

The person can be arrested and charged with a criminal offence, such as breach of a peace bond, breach of a recognizance, or disobeying a court order.

The person can face penalties such as fines, probation, or jail time.

Civil contempt

The person can be brought back to court and found in contempt of court for disobeying the order.

The person can face penalties such as fines, community service, or jail time.

Family law consequences

The person can lose their rights or privileges in a family law matter, such as custody, access, or property division.

The court can also impose additional conditions or restrictions on the person.

If the person who has a protection order against them violates the order, the person who applied for the order should:

Call the police

The person should report the violation to the police as soon as possible, and provide them with a copy of the order and any evidence of the violation, such as phone records, screenshots, or witness statements.

Get help

The person should seek help from a lawyer, a legal aid clinic, a family justice counsellor, a victim services worker, or a domestic violence support agency.

The person should also consider applying for a new or extended protection order if needed.

Stay safe

The person should take steps to protect themselves and their family members from further harm, such as changing their locks, phone number, or email address, informing their employer, neighbours, or friends about the situation, or making a safety plan.

Conclusion

A protection order is a legal document that orders a person to stop harming or threatening another person or their family members.

It can also include other conditions, such as prohibiting contact, limiting access to shared property, or requiring counselling.

There are different types of protection orders that can be issued by different courts, depending on the situation and the relationship between the parties.

The process of applying for a protection order can vary depending on the type of order, the court, and the jurisdiction.

However, some general steps are gathering evidence, filling out forms, filing the forms, serving the forms, attending the hearing, and getting the order.

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