If you are living in a situation in which you feel your safety is at stake because of an abusive person, you can take legal action to protect yourself. In Alberta, there are many different types of orders that can be enforced to keep someone from being able to approach or contact you. There are options that are commonly referred to as restraining orders.
When are Restraining Orders Appropriate?
The Alberta Courts suggest that retraining orders and emergency protection orders only be requested in serious instances when you are afraid for your safety or you have been the victim of violence. If someone is simply being a nuisance to you, you should first take smaller steps, such as blocking their telephone number or trying your best to avoid contact, when possible.
When you are concerned about the safety of yourself, or your family, it is important to take the appropriate legal actions immediately. If you are in immediate danger, call the police. If you are not sure how to best proceed, or if you are not sure what your next steps should be after contacting the police, consult with an Alberta attorney. There are many different orders that can be put into place for protection, and a lawyer can help you understand your options.
Different Types of Protection Orders in Alberta
Emergency Protection Order
An emergency protection order, often called a restraining order, can be granted when violent and/or threatening behavior occurs between family members, including couples in adult interdependent relationships. For this type of order to be granted, there must be evidence that immediate protection is necessary.
The person who is the victim of violence or who feels threatened can apply for the order from the Provincial Court. In many cases, however, these orders are granted when police officers are asked to respond to cases of violence in a home. At any time, day or night, the police officer can request that an emergency protection order be granted and enforced immediately.
An emergency protection order can result in having the offender removed from the home and prohibited from returning, and can be prohibited from making any contact whatsoever with the applicant. A Queen’s Bench justice will investigate the order within 9 working days, giving the applicant and the respondent an opportunity to submit evidence and/or an affidavit.
Queen’s Bench Protection Order
This protection order is very similar to an emergency protection order, but can be used in situations that are less urgent, as well as in emergency circumstances. These are also sometimes referred to as restraining orders. The person being accused of violent behavior is notified of the application. The offending party may also be ordered to provide compensation to cover any costs that were accrued because of the violence.
What if a Protection Order Is Breached?
If the respondent of an emergency protection order or Queen’s Bench Protection Order breaches the order, they can be arrested. They will be summoned to appear before the Provincial Court. If the Courts find that the terms of the order were breached, the respondent can be fined or jailed, depending upon their offense.
How Long Will an Emergency Protection Order Last?
These restraining orders do not last forever. As mentioned, the order will be reviewed within 9 days of being granted. A hearing will be held, and each party is expected to appear and to state their case. If the applicant, or an Alberta lawyer representing the applicant, does not appear at this hearing, the Emergency Protection Order will likely be cancelled.
If you would like to have an emergency protection order extended, it is wise to enlist the services of an Alberta attorney to ensure that you provide the evidence necessary. Similarly, if you feel that a protective order should be lifted, an attorney can help you defend your rights in this matter. Also remember that a restraining order is a legal order. Breaching it can have serious consequences, but it does not mean you should allow yourself to be in a dangerous situation.
Finding Restraining Order Lawyers in Calgary
To schedule an appointment with our restraining order / protection order team, please contact our experienced family law team at Kahane Law Office. You can reach us locally in Calgary at 403-225-8810 (toll-free at 1-877-225-8817), or email us directly here.