How do I apply for a restraining order: peace bonds and family protection orders?
Last revised March 25, 2024

In BC there are two types of orders that might be referred to as a restraining order, though they are properly called protection orders. 

1. A family protection order is used to protect family members from “family violence” and can only be obtained against a person you share a family relation with, which can include partners and guardians. 

2. A peace bond is meant to protect you, your family or your property from someone who you fear means to do you harm.  Peace bonds can be obtained against anyone.

NOTE: These orders are used in circumstances in which you feel unsafe but are not in immediate danger.  If you are in immediate danger you should contact the police at 911.

Peace Bonds

A peace bond is issued by a judge in criminal court. You can apply for a peace bond by contacting the police. The officer you speak to will take a report which will be forwarded to Crown counsel and a hearing will be set if Crown counsel agrees that the matter should proceed.  If Crown counsel does not agree, or the police will not forward the matter, you can apply for a peace bond yourself by laying an Information with a Justice of the Peace in Criminal Court.   Peace bonds expire after one year

Family Protection Orders

A person who fears violence from a family member can apply to the court for a protection order. Family protection orders are made under the Family Law Act to protect family members from family violence.

“Family violence” is more than physical abuse and includes sexual, psychological, emotional, financial, and verbal abuse as well as stalking, threats and harassment.

A protection order is made under civil family law which means that the criminal justice system does not have to be involved.

Most protection orders are in the BC Provincial Court (Family Court), but occasionally are in BC Supreme Court usually when property is involved, or a divorce is also being requested. Provincial Court is the simplest court to apply in and it is free.

Provincial Court

  •  Application About a Protection Order (Form 12).

Supreme Court

  • Affidavit (Form F30)
  • Notice of Application (Form F31)
  • Notice of Family Claim (Form F3) unless you’ve already filed one
  • Protection Order (Form F54)
  • Requisition (Form F17) to ask for an “order without notice” and/or an urgent application

Protection Order Registry

All family protection orders and criminal peace bonds are entered into the Protection Order Registry. Police have access to the orders filed there and any violation of a protection order is a criminal offence.

Protection orders expire after one year and can be renewed by judge if circumstances require.