Queen’s Bench Protection Order (Protection Against Family Violence Act)
An order of the Court of Queen’s Bench is intended to protect a victim of family violence for up to one year.
A Queen’s Bench protection order may be issued during the review of an emergency protection order or may be ordered after an application before a Queen’s Bench Justice.
Available only to victims of family violence, as defined in the Protection Against Family Violence Act (please see Domestic Violence module).
A Queen’s Bench protection order could be helpful to a victim of domestic violence who would benefit from some of the other conditions available only through a Queen’s Bench protection order.
In addition to all the condition of an emergency protection order, a Queen’s Bench protection order can also include the following conditions:
- Require the abusive family member to reimburse the claimant for monetary losses suffered as a result of family violence (for example, legal expenses, loss of earnings or support, medical and dental expenses, moving and accommodation expenses, out-of-pocket expenses for injuries, legal expenses and costs of an application for the protection order)
- Allow either the claimant or respondent to temporarily possess specified personal property such as a vehicle, cheque book, bank cards, children’s clothing, medical insurance cards, identification documents, keys or other personal effects
- Instruct either the claimant or respondent not to deal with or harm property in which they both have an interest
- Require the respondent to post a bond to ensure compliance with the terms of the order
- Require the respondent to receive counseling
- Authorize counseling for a child in the care of the claimant, without consent of the respondent
- Any other provision that the Court considers appropriate
A Queen’s Bench protection order is not in effect until the respondent has been served notice of the order.
Application for a Queen’s Bench protection order
When a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench reviews an emergency protection order, the Justice may revoke, continue or change the order. If the Justice continues or changes the order, it then becomes a Queen’s Bench protection order.
No application process or fee is required of the claimant if a Queen’s Bench protection order is granted as part of an emergency protection order review.
Victim application for a Queen’s Bench protection order
A victim of family violence may apply directly to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a Queen’s Bench protection order.
The victim may appear before the court without legal representation; however, obtaining a lawyer would be helpful. The court may also give permission for the victim to be represented by someone other than a lawyer.
When a victim applies directly for a Queen’s Bench protection order, the victim can hire a lawyer privately, or obtain a lawyer through Legal Aid, or through Court-based victim assistance programs in Edmonton and Calgary.
Individuals who have applied for a Queen’s Bench protection order should consider requesting that that it includes a provision requiring the respondent to come back and satisfy the court that all conditions have been met.
A Queen’s Bench protection order can be ordered for up to one year and may be extended for further one year periods.
Changing a Queen’s Bench Protection Order
If the victim would like to change a Queen’s Bench protection order, she or he may complete an Application and Affidavit to explain the rationale for the changes. This is submitted to Court Services and a court date is scheduled and the victim is required to hire a process server to notify the respondent of the court date.
If only the respondent would like to change the Queen’s Bench protection order once it is in place, the respondent would have to file an appeal within the appropriate time.
If the claimant moves and wants the respondent to continue to be restrained from going to the victim’s new home, the claimant should seek a new provision for the Queen’s Bench protection order.
Conditions and limitations of a Queen’s Bench protection order
The Queen’s Bench protection order is not in effect until the process server or lawyer hired by the victim has served notice to the respondent.
Violation of a Queen’s Bench protection order may be a criminal offence or the basis for a citation for civil contempt.
The claimant is responsible for informing the police if an order has been breached.
If the claimant allows the abusive person back into the home, the respondent may technically be in violation of the order regardless of the claimant’s intention. However, the circumstances of the violation might make it difficult to enforce the protection order. As well, contact by the claimant may make it harder to obtain a protection order in the future, especially if no further acts of family violence occur during this contact.
The Protection Against Family Violence Act’s provisions prohibiting contact may apply on First Nation reserves. However, each Band Council must pass a resolution to amend its bylaws to adopt the provisions included in the Act, in order for the Act to be applicable.
Things to Remember
A copy of the Queen’s Bench protection order should be kept on the claimant’s person at all times, in case the victim needs to verify that a Queen’s Bench protection order is in effect.
If the respondent violates the Queen’s Bench protection order, it may be a criminal offence. The claimant should report the violation to police.
If the respondent is unlikely to comply with the Queen’s Bench protection order, the police may not be able to protect the claimant. The claimant should make additional plans to protect his or her safety in addition to the Queen’s Bench protection order.
Legal Remedies Regarding the Matrimonial Home
Protection order conditions regarding sole occupancy of one’s home
Under the Protection Against Family Violence Act, emergency protection orders and Queen’s Bench protection orders may grant exclusive rights to occupy the family home to certain family members for a specified time.
Emergency protection orders and Queen’s Bench protection orders may direct police to remove abusive family members from the home temporarily, or direct to police.