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How do I ask for a restraining order in a motion?

How do I ask for a restraining order in a motion?
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Reviewed: 
May 15, 2018
Answer

How you get your restraining order depends on your situation. You can ask for a restraining order by:

  • bringing a court application, where you ask the court for other family law orders at the same time, or
  • bringing a court motion, where you ask the court to make a decision about a specific issue before a full trial takes place.

Most people bring both an application and a motion at the same time. You might need to bring a motion because it takes a long time for an application to reach a trial.

Who can apply

You go to family court to get a restraining order. In most cases, you can apply for a restraining order against someone if at least one of these is true:

  • you were married to the person
  • you lived together with the person for any period of time
  • you have a child with the person

If none of these situations apply to you, you can think about going to criminal court to ask for a peace bond. You can ask for a peace bond against anyone. It doesn't have to be someone you were in a relationship with.

The process

To get a restraining order, you must prove that you have reasonable grounds to fear for your safety or the safety of any child in your custody. You must show why you are afraid for yourself or any child.

You will need to go to court and give evidence. In most cases, the other person will also give evidence. You usually give evidence in sworn written statements called affidavits. But sometimes you might have to give oral evidence where you answer questions in court.

The judge will look at all the evidence and then decide whether to give you a restraining order and for how long.

A lawyer can help you decide the type of restraining order you need, the conditions to ask for, and how to apply.  If you can't afford a lawyer, there are resources to help you. 

Safety plan

It can take a long time to get any type of court order, especially if the other person asks the court for more time to get ready.

The person you're asking for an order against doesn't have to keep away from you or your children while you're waiting for the court to make a decision. Think about making a safety plan for you and your children.

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