Should I sign a peace bond?

1. Understand how a peace bond is obtained

Anyone can apply for a if they feel threatened that someone may:

  • hurt them, their spouse, their common-law partner, or their child
  • damage their property
  • distribute or share an or video of them without their permission

An intimate image or video is one that was taken in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy, and shows the person:

  • naked,
  • exposing their genital region, buttocks, or breasts, or
  • engaged in explicit sexual activity.

The people involved do not have to be family or have an intimate relationship.

For example, you could have been arguing with your neighbour about the noise your barking dog makes. You haven’t done anything criminal, but your neighbour is afraid of you because your arguments have been very intense. Your neighbour can ask the court for a peace bond.

Or, you could have taken intimate images or video with an ex-partner. If you had a bad break up, your ex could be worried you might post the pictures or video on the Internet, or share them with other people. Your ex can ask the court for a peace bond.

Application process

The person applying for a peace bond is known as the . They can ask the police or Crown to prepare a peace bond application for them, or apply for one on their own.

The applicant must go to criminal court. Usually the applicant meets with a justice of the peace and presents . An information is a sworn statement that tells the court why the applicant is afraid you will harm them, someone in their family, or their property. The harm must be serious enough to be considered a legal .

If the justice of the peace thinks there is enough , a may be for you. A is a document that tells you when you have to go to court.

Or, if the justice of the peace thinks that you are a danger to yourself or others, or that you won’t show up for your court date, they can issue a warrant for your arrest.

You do not have to agree to sign the peace bond. If you don’t agree to sign it, you will likely have to go to court a few times before you get a date. 

At court, you may be asked to think about . Or, if the Crown decides there is not enough evidence to have to a hearing, they can withdraw the complaint against you.

If you can’t come to an agreement and the Crown thinks there is enough evidence against you, you will get a hearing date. At the peace bond hearing, the applicant has to show the court that they have a reasonable fear of you. The applicant can have a lawyer represent them. You can also have a lawyer. 

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