What is an Emergency Protection Order?
This is a court order that a judge of the Provincial Court can grant in urgent situations to provide immediate protection when family violence has occurred. In this EPO, the judge may place various restrictions on the respondent. The EPO is temporary with a maximum duration of 90 days. Judges will consider each application individually, so the actual duration of the EPO will vary from case to case (within this 90 day maximum limit). The EPO is meant to offer an immediate response and to provide time to put longer term plans in place. Because it is a short-term emergency response, an EPO cannot be extended or renewed.
Does an EPO Replace a Criminal Charge?
No. If the police have evidence that a criminal offence has taken place, they will still lay criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada . Therefore, a criminal investigation, criminal charges and an application for an EPO may occur at the same time. The Family Violence Protection Act is not intended to decriminalize family violence.
How Do I Find Out More?
Additional information is available on the Department of Justice website: