4. Go to your peace bond hearing

You usually have to go to court a few times before you have a . It can take many months before you have the hearing. This can be because the person asks the court for more time to get ready.

You can have a lawyer represent you at the hearing. Sometimes, the can help you at your peace bond hearing. The other person may also have a lawyer.

At the hearing, you must show 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 consent.

Reasonable means that someone listening to you believes that your fear of one of those things happening is real based on your

You must give evidence that shows why you are afraid. You must show there is a current risk of harm. It can’t be something in the past that is now over.

Your evidence can include:

  • threats made against you, your family, or property
  • violence against you or your family
  • unwanted or harassing communication

It is important to keep proof that these things happened to you. For example, you can:

  • keep a journal of any threats or violence against you or your family
  • save hospital records or photographs of abuse
  • take pictures and write details of damage
  • keep a list of witnesses who have seen the behaviour
  • save pictures, emails, and messages that help show what happened to you

It is a good idea to put everything in writing. Sometimes the court might ask that you give the other person in writing so that they know what you’re saying about them.

You can also ask other people to come to court to give evidence as witnesses. For example, a neighbour can tell the court if they have heard the person yell at you.

The other person can give evidence to show that your fear is not reasonable. This can include evidence from other witnesses.

The court will decide if your fear is reasonable and if there is enough evidence to order a peace bond.

The court’s decision

A peace bond hearing usually takes a couple of hours. More complicated hearings can last a few days.

At the end of the hearing, the court will:

  • dismiss the application if they think your fear is unreasonable, or
  • order the person to sign a peace bond.

If the court orders the person to sign a peace bond and they refuse, they can be sent to jail for up to one year.

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