Emergency Protection Orders

If you, or a loved one, are in danger or have been the victim of a crime, the first step should always be to contact your local police.

The laws of Alberta have set up two processes for dealing with issues through the family courts where an individual has fears for their safety from other individuals – Emergency Protection Orders and Restraining Orders.  Both of these Orders have wide-ranging powers to prohibit certain contact or behaviour between parties and are enforceable by the police.  Both Orders allow the claimant to appear at the first instance without the other party present if the matter is urgent.

An Emergency Protection Order, or EPO, is an Order granted by the Provincial Court.  It is temporary and generally granted with only one party (the “claimant”) attending the initial application.  As per the Protection Against Family Violence Act, an EPO may be granted in the first instance by a Judge or a Justice of the Peace where it can be established that family violence has occurred, the claimant has reason to believe that the family violence will continue and, by reason of seriousness or urgency, an order should be granted for the immediate protection of the claimant or for other family members who reside with the claimant.  An EPO can prevent an individual from having contact with the claimant or other family members, from attending at certain places, and can also grant the claimant exclusive possession of a residence.  An EPO is not meant to deal with issues of custody or parenting.

If granted, the EPO is then set for review in the Court of Queen’s Bench, where the other side (the “respondent”) will have the opportunity to provide their side of the story.  At the review, the Court of Queen’s Bench judge (called a “Justice”) can confirm the Order for a period of up to one year, can vacate (cancel) the Order, or can direct the matter for trial.

A Restraining Order is very similar to an EPO, in that it can prevent people from having contact or attending at specified places.  However, it is not a requirement that the parties be family members, and violence does not need to be established if it can be shown that there is some other good reason for the order to be granted.  A Restraining Order is granted in the first instance by a Court of Queen’s Bench Justice but can be granted initially without notice to the respondent.  As with an EPO, the Restraining Order would then return to court on a later date to allow for a response, at which time the Justice could confirm the Order, vacate the Order, or direct the matter for trial.

We at Capital City Law can guide you through every step of the process, whether you are applying for an Order, or responding to one.  Please call us today so that we can begin assisting you.

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Contact Edmonton Family Lawyer Jordan Bienert

To apply for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO), please contact Jordan Bienert today at (780) 462-4321 or contact us online.

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