In BC there are two types of orders that might be referred to as a Restraining Order, though they are properly called Protection Orders. 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. 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.
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.
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 Family Protection Order is applied for to protect you or your family from a family member or relation.
Family Protection Orders are usually applied for through the BC Provincial Court, though they can be applied for through the BC Supreme Court as well. They are free through provincial court and cost either $80 or $200 dollars through the Supreme Court depending on whether you already have a case before the court or not. You can apply to waive these fees if you meet certain financial criteria.
Note that if the person against whom the order is made is not present for the court proceedings then the Ministry of Justice will assume responsibility for serving the order on them.
To apply for either you will need to file the following forms with the appropriate registry:
For Supreme Court
- Affidavit (Form 30)
- Notice of Application (Form 31)
- Notice of Family Claim (Form F3) unless you’ve already filed one
- Protection Order (Form F54)
- Requisition (Form 17) to ask for an “order without notice” and/or an urgent application
For Provincial Court
- What Are Peace Bonds and Protection Orders? – Courthouse Libraries BC
- Information on Protection Orders – Government of BC
- Privacy Prosecution - Laying and Information in BC – Courthouse Libraries BC
- Apply for a Family Law Protection Order – Legal Aid BC
- Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders – Legal Aid BC
- Protection Order Registry – Government of BC
- Protection Orders – VictimsInfo
- Keeping Your Family Safe – Government of BC