Emergency protection orders
Sponsored Links
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
1 / 29


  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Protection Against Family Violence Act R.S.A. 2000 c. P-27 (as amended) Protection Against Family Violence Regulation Alta Reg. 80/99 (as amended). EMERGENCY PROTECTION ORDERS. EPOP Background.

Download Presentation


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Protection Against Family Violence Act

R.S.A. 2000 c. P-27 (as amended)

Protection Against Family Violence Regulation

Alta Reg. 80/99 (as amended)


EPOP Background

  • In 2002, the Family Law Office (FLO) in Edmonton began providing legal representation for Emergency Protection Order review hearings in Edmonton.

  • In 2011, the Family Law Office (FLO) in Calgary began providing legal representation for Emergency Protection Order review hearings in Calgary (CPOP).

What is EPOP?

  • A free (without financial cost to the client) legal service to victims of family violence.

  • Funded by FLO, Legal Aid Alberta and the Solicitor General and Public Security Division through the Victims of Crime Fund.

What is EPOP?(Cont’d)

  • Duty Counsel lawyer located at the Law Courts in Edmonton

  • Duty Counsel lawyers to appear in Queen’s Bench for EPO review

  • Information and referrals about other types of protection orders where an EPO is not appropriate

What is an Emergency Protection Order (EPO)?

  • An EPO is a civil order granted under the Protection Against Family Violence Act (PAFVA).

  • This court order is granted to a Claimant without notice to the Respondent. It must be reviewed by the higher court within nine* working days.

  • People who apply for or are granted EPOs are called Claimants.

  • People who have EPOs granted against them are called Respondents.

When may an EPO be granted?

  • In determining whether an order should be granted, the Provincial Court Judge or Justice of the Peace must consider:

    • History of family violence

    • Controlling behaviour

    • Repetitive or escalating behaviour

    • Immediate danger

    • Vulnerability of the elderly

    • Effect of exposure on children

    • Need for a safe environment to

      arrange for longer term protection

What can an EPO do?

  • Prevent a Respondent from going near or entering a specified place;

  • Prevent a Respondent from communicating with or contacting the Claimant and other persons named in the order;

  • Give the Claimant exclusive occupation of a residence;

  • Direct a peace officer to remove the Respondent from a residence;

What can a EPO do?(Cont’d)

  • Direct a peace officer to accompany a specified person to a residence to remove personal belongings;

  • Direct seizure and storage of weapons; AND

  • Any other terms that the Judge or JP find appropriate in the circumstances.

EPO Prerequisites

A Provincial Court Judge or Justice of the Peace can only grant an EPO if they find ALL of the following:

  • The Claimant and Respondent are family members as defined by PAFVA;

  • Family violence as defined by PAFVA has occurred;

  • There is reason to believe that the family violence will resume or continue; AND

    4) The situation is so serious or urgent that an EPO is required for the immediate protection of the Claimant and other family members.

Define: Family

  • s.1 (d) Persons who:

    • Are or have been married to one another

    • Are or have been adult interdependent partners of one another

    • Are residing or resided together in an intimate relationship

    • Are the parents of one or more children together

    • Are related by blood, marriage or adoption

    • Any children in the care of any of the above

    • Persons who reside together and one has the care and control over the other pursuant to a court order

Define: Violence

  • It’s not just about the black eyes.

  • It is any intentional or reckless act or omission that causes injury;

  • It is any intentional or reckless act that damages property;

  • It is any act or threat to act that intimidates by creating fear of injury or property damage;

  • It is forced confinement;

  • It is sexual abuse; and

It is stalking

Define: emergency

  • Actually, it is a misconception to think that getting this type of order hinges on finding that there is “an emergency”!

  • The Judge or JP must find that the situation is serious or urgent and that the order is necessary for the immediate protection of the Claimant and other family members.

Define: serious or urgent

How Do I Get an EPO?

A Claimant can apply for an EPO by:

  • Making an application to a Provincial Court Judge at the Provincial Court of Alberta, Family and Youth Division located at 1A Sir Winston Churchill Square;


  • Making an application to a Justice of the Peace (JP) at the Hearing Office located in the Brownlee Building at 10365 – 97 Street, Edmonton before or after the Court’s regular business hours.

    *Police & Children’s Services can assist Claimants with applying for EPOs by telephone in emergencies.

If you believe someone is in need of an EPO, you can:

  • Call the EPOP Intake Line at (780) 422-9222 for information about EPOs and other types of protection orders; or

    • Send the Claimant directly to the Edmonton Law Courts Building to speak with the EPOP Provincial Court duty counsel lawyer. Our office is currently located outside of court room #448.

What Happens when someone meets with the EPOP Provincial Court Duty Counsel?

Provincial Court duty counsel will:

  • Assess the situation and provide a legal opinion as to whether the Claimant meets the requirements of PAFVA to apply for an EPO or requires a different type of protection order.

  • If it sounds like the Claimant meets the criteria of the Act, then they will fill out and file the required Court documents and run the EPO application in front of a Provincial Court Judge at 1:30 p.m.

If an EPO is granted:

Provincial Court Duty Counsel will:

  • Inform the Claimant of the next steps they are required to take in the EPO process.

  • Provide referrals to other resources if the Claimant requires additional legal services.

If an EPO is not recommended or not granted:

  • Provincial Court Duty Counsel will provide application packages for other types of protection orders and refer the person to LINC for assistance in filling them out.

  • Will provide referrals to other resources for other legal services or non-legal alternatives.

What Happens After an EPO is Granted?

  • The Claimant is required to take copies of the EPO to the Downtown Police station or to their local RCMP detachment.

  • The Police/RCMP are required to serve the Respondent with a copy of the EPO.

  • A transcript of the oral evidence that the Claimant gave when applying for the EPO will be generated. A copy will be provided to the Claimant, the Respondent and to the Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench who will consider it at the review hearing. This is provided at no cost to the parties.

What is the Review Hearing?

  • The review hearing is set in the Court of Queen’s bench within 9* working days of the EPO being granted.

  • Parties can attend the Queen’s Bench review hearing on their own or they can have counsel represent them at the review hearing.

  • The Claimant may request an EPOP team lawyer and the Respondent may contact Legal Aid Alberta to have a duty counsel lawyer appointed. Both parties receive this assistance free of charge regardless of their income.

  • Both the Claimant and the Respondent must attend unless their lawyer tells them their attendance is not required.

What is the Review Hearing? (Cont’d)

  • At the review hearing, a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench will determine whether the EPO will continue and how long it will continue.

  • If the EPO continues, the parties will receive a Confirming Order stating that the EPO isconfirmed and how long it will remain in place.

  • Under PAFVA, the maximum amount of time an EPO can remain in place is 1 year.

  • If either the Claimant or Respondent does not attend at the Court of Queen’s Bench for the review date, the Justice may make an order anyway.

How Can EPOP Help with the Review Hearing?

  • Claimants seeking the assistance of an EPOP team lawyer for their review hearing must contact the EPOP Intake Line (780) 422-9222 as soon as possible after their EPO has been granted.

  • The EPOP intake coordinator will complete an intake interview, compile the documents required for the review hearing, and assign the file to an EPOP team lawyer.

How Can EPOP Help with the Review Hearing? (Cont’d)

  • The EPOP lawyer assigned to the file will work with the Claimant to take the appropriate legal steps to complete the review process as quickly as possible.

  • If the Respondent files an Affidavit denying the allegations, then the reviewing Justice will order the matter be set for an oral hearing.

  • EPOP duty counsel steps out at that point, and the Claimant will have to arrange for a lawyer to conduct the hearing.

    • The Claimant must apply for and qualify for Legal Aid, or

    • The Claimant may choose to retain a lawyer privately.

What Happens if the RespondentBreaches the EPO?

  • If the Respondent does not obey the conditions of EPO, the Claimant should call the police/RCMP.

  • The police will determine whether a breach has occurred. If there has been a breach, the police may lay a criminal charge against the Respondent.

  • The Claimant may also make a Court application to bring the Respondent before a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench to explain why

    there should not be a finding of civil

    contempt for breach of a Court Order.

What EPOP does not do:

  • EPOP does not provide free legal services to Claimants if they want to change their EPO after the EPO has been confirmed in the Court of Queen’s Bench.

  • For any changes to a confirmed EPO, Claimants must either make the application on their own behalf, retain a lawyer privately, or apply for Legal Aid.

  • If the Respondent is charged criminally with a breach of an EPO then a Crown Prosecutor will handle the case. EPOP lawyers do not make applications in criminal court.

Things To Keep In Mind

  • EPOs are for emergency situations.

  • EPOs may be revoked at the review hearing, so it is important to have a “Plan B” (practical and legal remedies).

  • EPOs cannot address property, custody, access, parenting or other family issues on a long term basis.

How Can Service Providers Help?

  • Never tell someone to “go get an EPO” – all they can do is apply;

  • Never tell someone that they will get an EPO - it is up to the Judge or JP to decide whether the order will be granted.

  • If a Claimant requires assistance to obtain an EPO in Provincial Court or assistance with a QB review hearing, that person must contact EPOP directly.

  • Our lawyers can only take instructions directly from the Claimant, unless the Claimant tells us otherwise.


If you have any questions, please contact EPOP at

(780) 422-9222!

  • Login