Emergency Protection Order (EPO) (Protection Against Family Violence Act)
An order by a justice of the peace or a provincial court judge that can prohibit an abusive family member from being in the same location, or contacting or communicating with other family members. The emergency protection order may have other conditions.
An emergency protection order can be applied for 24 hours a day. If the judge or justice of the peace agrees that conditions of the Protection Against Family Violence Act are met, the EPO can be granted immediately.
An EPO is available only to victims of family violence as defined in the Protection Against Family Violence Act.
An emergency protection order can:
- Provide immediate protection for a victim of family violence
- Keep the accused away from the home, workplace, school or other places where family members might be present
- If granted, the emergency protection order takes effect immediately.
Conditions and limitations of emergency protection orders
- Violation of an emergency protection order may be a criminal offence or the basis for a citation for civil contempt.
If both the claimant and the respondent want to cease the EPO, they may be able to have the matter brought forward to Queen’s Bench Chambers to apply for a consent order vacating the EPO.
Things to remember
If the respondent breaches the emergency protection order the claimant should contact police immediately.
A copy of the emergency protection order should be kept on the victim at all times, in case the victim needs to verify that the EPO is in effect.
An EPO can be granted whether or not criminal charges have been laid.