There are many different types of orders that a court can make that tell one person to have no contact with another person. The orders have different names and different processes, but they have the same result –the protection of a person who has been the victim of violence or is afraid for their personal safety.
Restraining and Protection Orders are serious court remedies and should not be applied for in cases where you are simply being bothered by the other person. In those cases, you should think about practical remedies, such as changing your locks, blocking their phone number or e mail address, or changing your phone number or e mail address.The types of orders are described below.
Emergency Protection Order (EPO)
Queen’s Bench Protection Order
Restraining Order in Family Violence situations (between spouses or those who have lived together in an interdependent relationship)
Restraining Orders in other cases (e.g. between neighbours, coworkers, those in dating relationships, parent and adult child, etc)
Exclusive Home Possession Order
Bail conditions / Criminal Orders
Non- contact orders
A Note about Criminal and Civil cases:
When you go to court on a criminal matter, the Crown must prove its case “beyond a reasonable doubt”. That is often described as the judge being 99.99% sure that the accused person is guilty.
When you go to court on a civil matter (Restraining Orders, Protection Orders and Exclusive Home Possession Orders are all civil matters), then you must prove your case “on a balance of probabilities” – often described as the judge being 51% sure – or more sure than not.
If the other party breaches the Order by contacting you, and if the breach will result in a criminal charge, the police have to be sure they can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt before they will arrest. But if the breach will only result in civil sanctions, the police will arrest if they are sure they can prove their case on a balance of probabilities.
Also, in criminal cases, decisions about the case are made by the Crown counsel, not by the victim. Often, the Crown counsel will make an effort to discuss the matter with the victim before making a decision – but they are not required to do so, and in some cases, may not be able to. Because of this, release conditions may be changed without your knowledge.
For these reasons, it is often recommended that you apply for a civil Restraining Order or Protection Order, even if criminal charges have been laid.
If you are unsure of what type of order is best for you, talk to a lawyer or family violence professional. (link to Links)