2. Decide how you will get your restraining order

What is a restraining order?
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2. Decide how you will get your restraining order

You can ask for a restraining order in an application or in a motion. 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.

There are three ways to get a restraining order by motion:

  • regular motion
  • urgent motion with notice
  • ex parte or urgent motion without notice

The kind of motion you use does not affect the conditions your restraining order can have. And all restraining orders have criminal consequences if they are not followed. This means if a person does not follow the conditions in a restraining order, the police can arrest them, charge them with a crime, and hold them for a bail hearing.

But the process and time that it takes to get a restraining order depends on the kind of motion you use.

Regular motion

It can take several months to get a restraining order. This is because your court case has to follow certain steps before you can bring a regular motion. You usually must have a case conference before you can ask the court for a restraining order.

Urgent motion with notice

An urgent motion with notice allows you to skip some steps like the case conference, so that you can ask for a restraining order right away.  You must show the court that you or your children are in danger of being hurt in the time that it would take to bring a regular motion. But you must still serve the other person with your documents. And they will have a chance to respond.

At your hearing, if the court doesn't think your motion was urgent, you might have to pay the other person's court costs. This can include their court filing fees and lawyer's fees.

Urgent motion without notice

An ex parte or urgent motion without notice, sometimes called an emergency motion, also allows you to skip some steps like the case conference. And you don't have to serve the other person with your documents until the restraining order is in effect.

You must show the court that telling the other person about your request for a restraining order would cause immediate and serious risk to your safety or the safety of your children.

These orders usually last less than 14 days. At the next court date, the court will hear from both of you. If the court thinks you could have told the other person about your motion by giving them notice or that you did not provide all the relevant information, you might have to pay the other person's court costs. This can include their court filing fees and lawyer's fees.

You May Also Need

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)
Ontario Women's Justice Network
Reviewed: May 15, 2018

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