Emergency Protection Orders

Emergency Protection Orders – The Basics

 

An Emergency Protection Order (“EPO”) is a tool designed to help victims of family violence. By obtaining an EPO, the alleged abuser (the “Respondent”) is legally prevented from contacting the victim (the “Claimant”) and from being anywhere near the Claimant for a set period of time. An EPO can also include the Claimant’s children or other family members and locations that the Claimant, the Children or other protected family members visit regularly such as their home, work, school, daycare or any other location.

Individuals that are fearful for their safety due to the actions or their partner or family member should apply for an EPO as soon as possible. For information on Emergency Protection Orders and how to apply, contact the Emergency Protection Order Program for assistance (Edmonton): 780-422-9222

If a Respondent breaches any of the terms set out in the EPO; the police can intervene and apprehend the Respondent. The benefit of the EPO is that the Claimant does not need to be harmed first.

The EPO also provides the Claimant with the ability to apply for a Safer Spaces certificate to break a shared rental agreement without financial consequences.

Given the power associated with an EPO; these protection orders are vulnerable to abuse in family law situations. A person may misuse the process and apply for an EPO to force a primary parenting arrangement or to change a living situation. The consequences to the Respondent can be devastating. 

After being served with an EPO, the Respondent should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Legal Aid Alberta can appoint a free lawyer to assist with the Review Hearing process: 1-866-845-3425. 

To avoid any delay, the Respondent should also request a copy of the Emergency Protection Order transcript as soon as possible. This can be done by sending an email with the Respondent’s identification to: [email protected], with the subject line: PARTIES NAMES (ie, Bob Smith v. Jo Smooth) – REQUEST FOR COPY OF EPO TRANSCRIPT.

The Edmonton Family Network provides referrals to legal service providers and community support resources for those experiencing difficult family situations. We welcome anyone to reach out to our team for a referral, to share comments or information regarding Emergency Protection Orders and the options available in Edmonton and the surrounding areas.