Saturday, July 01, 2006

~ What is Criminal Harassment ~ Post 3 Legal Option

Post 3
~ Criminal Harassment ~
Other Legal Option
Peace bond
~ This is a court order under the Criminal Code made by a provincial court judge, or an agreement the person makes with the court, for a period up to 12 months.

~ It can include reasonable conditions such as not to visit you, not to contact you, your children or family, not to have guns, and so on.

~ You may wish to consider a peace bond if you have good reason to feel that someone like an ex-partner will harm you, your children or property.

~ To request a peace bond, go to the nearest police station. You may need a lawyer. In some provinces a Crown prosecutor or victim services will make the application for you. A peace bond may take several weeks to get, and it applies only in the province that issued it.
~ If the person breaks any conditions, call the police immediately. This person may be charged for breaking conditions, and if convicted, he or she could be sent to jail or fined, or both, and would also get a criminal record.
What You Should Know About Court Orders
Court orders do not guarantee your safety. Some people ignore court orders!

~ Ask the court for a copy of any order it makes.
~ Give copies to your local police, your children's day care or school, your workplace and so on.
~ Never contact the person or break the conditions yourself. Continue to take care.
Restraining order
~ A restraining order is not a criminal order. It is a family court order made under provincial civil law. It forbids a spouse or partner from molesting, annoying, harassing you or communicating with you and the children, except as set out in the order.

~ It serves basically the same function as a peace bond but does not necessarily carry the same penalties if the person disobeys it. To get a restraining order, you may need a lawyer to make an application to the court.

~ A judge can give a restraining order even if you are not afraid for your personal safety. If the person ignores the order, your lawyer has to start a civil contempt proceeding in court. The police do not enforce civil orders. The person would have to explain to the court why he or she broke the conditions of the order. The judge could order that the person be fined or go to jail until he or she obeys the court order.

Protection order
This is a civil court order issued under provincial family violence legislation. Not all provinces have such legislation. Where it exists, it provides various emergency and long-term orders to protect victims of family violence. A protection order may give temporary custody of children and the home to the victim, while ordering the abusive person out of the home. It can include conditions such as not allowing any contact.