What is an Emergency Protection Order?
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.
- If a Respondent breaches any of the terms 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.
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 more information on EPOs or how to apply, contact the Emergency Protection Order Program (Edmonton): 780-422-9222
What should the Respondent do?
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 help with the Review Hearing: 1-866-845-3425.
The Respondent should 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.
Given the power associated with an EPO: Emergency Protection Orders are vulnerable to abuse in high-conflict family law situations. A vindictive person might use an EPO to change a parenting schedule or to change a living situation. The consequences to the Respondent can be devastating.