2. Learn about peace bonds
Question & AnswerWhat is the difference between a restraining order and a peace bond?
A is a criminal court order made by a justice of the peace or judge. It is a signed promise to keep the peace and have good behaviour. If someone signs a peace bond, it means they promise to follow the conditions in it and not to break the law.
Not following the conditions in a peace bond is a crime.
Who can apply
You go to criminal court to get a peace bond.
Anyone can apply for a peace bond under section 810 of the Criminal Code. These peace bonds are sometimes called “section 810 peace bonds” or “810 recognizances”.
You can apply for a peace bond against anyone. It doesn’t have to be someone you were in a relationship with. For example, you could apply for a peace bond against a neighbour or co-worker.
Prove why you need the order
To get a peace bond, you must prove that you have a reasonable fear that the other person will:
- hurt you, someone in your family, or your pets,
- damage your property, or
- share an or video of you without your permission.
Section 810 peace bonds can last for up to one year. If you still feel you’re in danger after one year, you can apply again for another peace bond. You do not need to wait for it to end before applying again.
Mutual peace bonds
Sometimes a justice of the peace or judge will suggest a mutual peace bond. Or the person you’re requesting an order against might ask you to agree to sign one too.
A mutual peace bond places conditions on both you and the person you requested an order against. For example, a mutual peace bond might say that neither of you can contact the other person.
If you’re asked to sign a mutual peace bond, get legal help before you sign. If there is a mutual peace bond and you break it by contacting the other person, they can press criminal charges against you. Sometimes the person might do things to get you to break the peace bond so they can call the police on you.