Ross Lutz Barristers | Criminal Defence Lawyers

Ross Lutz Barristers |
Criminal Defence Lawyers

Call Us Icon Criminal Lawyers Phone Number Email Us Icon Criminal Lawyers Email

Email: info@albertalegal.ca

Experienced Criminal Lawyers

News & Articles

Emergency Protection Orders

Posted on April 8, 2021

Ross Lutz Calgary Emergency Protection Orders

An Emergency Protection Order (“EPO”) is a court order, an application for which can be made by a victim of family violence or by a police officer on behalf of the victim. An EPO is used to restrain the alleged abuser from being near the victim, contacting them and even attending places where the victim often goes, like their place of work and so on. An EPO relates specifically to family violence which is defined in the Protection Against Family Violence Act, and includes:

  • Sexual Abuse
  • Forced Confinement
  • Stalking
  • An Act Or Threat Of An Act Which Intimidates A Family Member & Creates A Reasonable Fear Of Injury Or Property Damage
  • An Intentional Or Reckless Act Or Omission That May Cause Injury Or Property Damage Or That Harms A Family Member

Protecting Vulnerable People In Domestic Abuse Situations

Emergency Protection Orders were created to protect vulnerable persons experiencing family violence. Similar to a restraining order, an EPO is designed to protect victims of domestic violence who may not be able to retain lawyers. Another variation is the mutual no-contact order where a court orders that neither party can come in contact with one another, with some exceptions like, contact via text for the purposes of co-parenting.

It is important to note that there is a difference between an Emergency Protection Order and a Restraining Order, in that, an EPO can be sought in cases where there is violence, property damage or threats of the same by a family member. A Restraining Order on the other hand is a remedy used to protect people who are being harmed or receiving threats of harm from a person who is not a member of their family. A Restraining Order can be sough against anyone who is causing or threatening to cause harm.

Who Grants an EPO?

An EPO is usually granted at the discretion of a Judge in the Provincial Court of Alberta. This is followed by a review by a Justice at the Queen’s Bench of Alberta which takes places after the alleged abuser has been given formal notice of the EPO and the evidence therein. This gives the Justice the opportunity to hear both sides of the argument and then make a determination whether the EPO will be confirmed, if so, how long will that EPO remain in place, or whether it should be varied and replaced with a court order or terminated altogether.

Unfortunately, incidents of domestic violence are increasing in Alberta during the COVID-19 pandemic and urgent matters are being heard by the courts on a daily basis. According to Alberta Courts, an emergency or urgent family law hearing includes the following:

  • Orders where there is a risk of family violence or immediate harm to a party of a child
  • Orders where there is risk of a child being removed from the jurisdiction; and
  • Emergency Protection Orders

A request for an urgent matter can be made here.

Emergency Protection Orders were created to protect vulnerable persons experiencing family violence. Similar to a restraining order, an EPO is designed to protect victims of domestic violence who may not be able to retain lawyers. Another variation is the mutual no-contact order where a court orders that neither party can come in contact with one another, with some exceptions like, contact via text for the purposes of co-parenting.