Restraining Order 101: When And Why To File It

Though the crime rates in Canada have been steadily declining for the past two decades, harassment, assault and stalking still remain the most frequently committed offenses in the country. Multiple studies have also reflected that women are 3 times as likely to be the victims of these crimes as males. Filing a restraining order against these charges can be an effective way to deal with violent abusers and stalkers.

A restraining order or an order of protection is a civil mandate issued by the provincial court of your region that enforces the offender to maintain a secure distance from the person who has applied for the edict. The order can be filed by anyone who has qualms about their safety and can be issued ex-parte (without a formal notice to the charge).

Here’s a closer look at the reasons to file a restraining order:

When is a Restraining Order Appropriate?

Although this order can be filed by anyone under threat, the most common offences in which a restraining order is appropriate are:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Psychological Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Depletion of Assets
  • Violation of Intellectual Property

Your lawyer can help you understand these offences better and draft a suitable restraining order for you and your family.

Verifications Required for an Order

To obtain a restraining order promptly, it is crucial for the applicant to be clear about the reasons for which they are filing the order. Most courts do not issue a mandate restricting the behaviour of the offender if there is a lack of a clear proof of danger. The threat needs to be described distinctly and the claim needs to be supported by the statements of witnesses or another piece of tangible evidence.

It is crucial to be specific about the incidents, the frequency of the threats, their forms and the previous behaviour of the abuser. A skilled lawyer can help you substantiate your claim and find reasonable evidence to obtain the order promptly.

Conditions in a Restraining Order

A restraining order is usually filed to impose a specific amount of distance between the abuser and the victim. However, it can be enlisted to restrict certain actions of the abuser which adversely affect your safety and the safety of your friends and family.

A restraining order may limit actions like:

  • Prevent the abuser from coming closer than a distance of 500 metres or a measure specified in the order.
  • Prevent communication with you and the people enlisted in the order by any forms or means.
  • Prevent the abuser to visit the area of your work or residence.

The conditions mentioned in the restraining order need to be drafted very carefully as it determines the security of your family and the nature of its violation. The violations of a restraining order may be classified as civil misconduct or may result in the assignment of criminal charges to the abuser. It is highly recommended to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to make sure the application is filed accurately.