The Emergency Protection Order
An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is a particular form of restraint designed to deal with family violence incidents. Family violence may include one or more of the following:An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is a particular form of restraint designed to deal with family violence incidents. Family violence may include one or more of the following:
- Any intention or reckless act or omission that causes injury or property damage and that intimidates or harms a family member;
- Any act or threatened act that intimidates a family member by creating a reasonable fear of property damage or injury to a family member;
- Forced confinement;
- Sexual abuse
Perhaps the most important feature of an EPO application is that it can be brought forward without notice to the other party. In assessing an application, the Judge will decide if the following conditions have been met:
- That family violence has occurred;
- That the person applying for an EPO has reason to believe that family violence may continue;
- That the matter is serious or urgent and the person applying for the EPO requires immediate protection.
In most cases the terms of the EPO will stipulate that the person causing family violence cannot directly or indirectly contact the EPO applicant, nor attend their residence or place of work.
As EPOs are granted without notice, the matter is then forwarded on to the Court of Queen’s Bench for review – a process that usually occurs within two weeks of the EPO being granted. When an EPO is reviewed at the Court of Queen’s Bench, the Court will determine if the EPO should remain in place, if it should be dismissed, or if the matter should proceed to a hearing with oral evidence informing a decision. At this point in many cases, the parties will agree to Mutual No Contact Order, which stipulates non-contact or, in some situations, non-attendance at locations where the other party may be present. Often if the parties do not agree to set aside the EPO or to a Mutual No Contact Order, the matter will be set to a hearing.
The team at Coach My Case has considerable experience with both obtaining EPOs and having them dismissed. To better understand the ramifications of EPOs, particularly if children are involved, start with the safe and sure guidance of the Legal Navigator at Coach My Case who will help you determine the best next steps in your family law case.