Home//Blog//Disputing Calgary Restraining Orders: What To Do If You Are Served One

Restraining orders are intended to protect people, businesses—or even the general public—in a broad range of cases, such as alleged harassment, domestic violence threats, child abuse, assault, stalking, or sexual assault. Restraining orders can be imposed by a court with or without notice of hearing. Once a restraining order is issued, there are consequences that can impact your life, career, and family. Do not contact the complaining witness, and do not try to visit the house, business, gym, or favourite places of the complaining witness. It’s time to find a lawyer.

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What Is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is intended to offer protection and safety and can limit what you do, where you go, and with whom you have contact. A restraining order can be issued by a court and enforced by the police in numerous situations. If in violation of a restraining order, you can be arrested and jailed, with a consequential criminal record.

Emergency protection order (EPO): When there is violence or a threat of violence between family members, the victim may seek an EPO. To obtain an EPO, there must be a need for immediate protection. Even the police can obtain an EPO when they are investigating a domestic violence call. In these circumstances, you can be removed from your household by the police and restrained from returning or having any contact with your spouse or children. The alleged victim of a domestic violence charge can obtain an EPO without notifying you of a pending hearing. The first you might know about an EPO is when it is served on you as a done deal.

King’s Bench Restraining Order: These orders are most commonly used in disputes between coworkers, neighbours, persons in dating relationships, and businesses. Unlike an EPO, there is less urgency in the surrounding circumstances. A notice of hearing will be served on you before the restraining order is issued. This gives you time to hire a lawyer and be represented in court. If expenses are incurred due to the violence, the court can issue an order requiring payment to the victims.

Restraining Orders in Family Violence Situations: These are issued without filing fees to protect members of a family from actual or threatened violence from another member of the household. There is no notice of hearing prior to the court imposing the restraining order. These orders can last for three months or without an end date. Restraining orders do not settle custody disputes or property division. You can be arrested for disobeying a restraining order.

Exclusive Home Possession Order: A court can issue an exclusive home possession order as a temporary solution to resolve disagreements about who can remain in the home and who has to move out. The standard for issuing this type of order is who will be most inconvenienced or what is in the best interests of the children, if any. Violence need not be an issue. This type of order is available to any separated couple, whether married or not. It cannot resolve the division of property issues and can apply to other assets, such as a car or boat. There is a $200 filing fee if an action for division of property has not yet been filed.

How are Restraining Orders Issued?

A restraining order can be requested by a person or business who feels threatened by another person or by the police during a domestic violence investigation. The restraining order itself is issued by the court and enforced by the police. If a restraining order is issued against you, it is not considered a criminal record. However, failure to obey a restraining order can result in arrest and a criminal record.

Restraining orders can be issued without notice to the alleged offending person when there is a threat of violence or issued after a full hearing. Whether with or without notice, a restraining order can be challenged in court.

How to Fight Against Restraining Orders

If you are served with notice to appear at a hearing to determine whether a restraining order is appropriate or served with a restraining order, you should immediately consult with a lawyer. A restraining order will clearly state what prohibitions have been placed on your movements or contacts, your court date, and the deadlines for filing any court forms and serving any people.

You should abide by the limitations in the restraining order. You have nothing to gain by confronting your ex and demanding an explanation. If you do violate the terms of the restraining order, you may be arrested, you might be jailed, and you will have a criminal record.

Instead of acting out your anger, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your options.

You can fight a restraining order by filing an Affidavit in Response Form pro se, meaning on your own, but you might definitely benefit from the experience and expertise of a lawyer. Before you take any steps, learn what your options are.

What to Do When You Are Served a Restraining Order

Stay calm! Read through the order and obey its terms. Call a lawyer and interview that lawyer to determine their experience with fighting restraining orders. Help your lawyer by gathering and preserving evidence. Never destroy documents or threaten witnesses.

You can help your lawyer by :

  • Order a copy of the transcript of the hearing if the restraining order was issued without notice to you.
  • Gathering any physical evidence relating to the incident or events upon which the restraining order was based, such as clothing, photos, videos, and objects.
  • Assembling any documents or records that relate to the case, such as letters, emails, text messages, phone and GPS records, receipts, and computer data.
  • Make a list of potential witnesses, including the name of every person you believe has information about the incident and provide contact information.

When Facing a Restraining Order, Have Yoav Niv By Your Side

If a restraining order has been filed against you, read through the order, obey its provisions, and consult with a lawyer immediately. Do not contact the complaining witness! You do not want to risk arrest and a criminal record. When considering which lawyer to hire, consider Yoav Niv. He is a skilled and effective criminal defence lawyer with years of experience fighting restraining orders and their consequences. You want a lawyer with skills, savvy, and experience. Yoav Niv has all of these, plus a reputation for effective representation of clients.

Contact Yoav Niv today to schedule your consultation and get your needed help.

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