What is the difference between a restraining order and a peace bond?

3. Think about the kind of protection order you need

This chart explains some of the differences between a and a .

 

Restraining Order

Peace Bond

Where do you apply?

Family Court

Criminal Court

Do you have to pay filing fees?

Maybe

No

Who can you get it against?

Usually a spouse, ex-spouse, someone you have lived with, or someone you have a child with

Anyone, for example a neighbour or co-worker

Can you get it without letting the other person know?

Sometimes

No

What do you have to prove to get it?

That you have reasonable grounds to fear for your safety or for the safety of any child in your

That you have a reasonable fear that the other person will:   

  • hurt you, someone in your family, or your pets,
  • damage your property, or
  • share an or video of you without your permission

How long does it last?

  • Short-term (a few days) to long-term

  •  In some cases, it can be permanent

Up to one year, but you can apply again once it ends

Is it a crime not to follow it?

Yes

Yes

 

Most people prefer to get a restraining order instead of a peace bond. This is because a restraining order can offer protection for a longer period of time than a peace bond. Also, if you have already started a family law court case, you might get a restraining order faster than a peace bond.

Some people might apply for a peace bond because they don't qualify for a restraining order. Or they might prefer a peace bond because they find the process easier, especially if they aren't already involved in family court.

Other criminal court options

You can think about calling the police to see if they will bring criminal charges against the person you're afraid of. Once you call the police, the police decide what happens. You do not decide. And there is always a chance that you could be charged, even if you're the one experiencing abuse.

Other family court options

You can ask the family court for an order that limits contact with the person. For example, you might ask the court for an order that lets you live in your home and says the other person isn't allowed on the property. This is sometimes called an order for of the .

Or you might ask for an order that the person only use a written journal to communicate with you about the children.

These types of orders don't usually have criminal consequences. This means the police won't get involved if the person doesn't follow the order. Instead, you have to go back to family court to ask the judge what should happen.

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