imagebar2

PEACE ORDERS

A Peace Order is an Order issued by the Court which requires that an abuser stay away from his/her victim. Peace Orders are available to victims of abuse when the abuse is not domestic abuse.  

How do I know if I am eligible for a Peace Order?
What is "abuse" in terms of a Peace Order?
What is the process of obtaining a Peace Order?
What relief is available to me through a Peace Order?
How long does a Peace Order remain in effect?
Can a Peace Order be extended?


How do I know if I am eligible for a Peace Order?

Any victim of abuse who is not eligible for a Protective Order (because they are not a “PEFR”) is eligible for a Peace Order.


What is “abuse” in terms of a Peace Order?

The definition of abuse in terms of a Peace Order is similar to the definition of abuse in terms of a Protective Order. However, there are three additional acts that are considered abuse within a Peace Order. Abuse within a Peace Order is:

  • An act that causes serious bodily harm
  • An act that places person eligible for relief in fear of eminent serious bodily harm
  • assault in any degree
  • rape or sexual offense
  • false imprisonment or
  • stalking
  • trespass
  • malicious destruction of property

What is the process of obtaining a Peace Order?

If you feel you are the victim of abuse, you should immediately contact an attorney to help you get the relief you need. There will typically be two court appearances (usually a week apart).

  • First Court Appearance- Temporary Peace Order
    First, a Petitioner must go to the appropriate courthouse and file a Petition for Peace Order. There is a form for Petitions for Peace Orders available in the clerk’s office. On that same day, the Petitioner will appear before a Judge and present the reason(s) for filing the Petition for Peace Order. At this stage, the alleged abuser (or the Respondent) is typically not present in Court and there are usually not attorneys. It is an informal hearing in which a Judge will typically ask the Petitioner questions in order to ascertain what happened. If a Judge finds reason to believe that abuse occurred, the Judge will grant a Temporary Peace Order, which means the alleged abuser must stay away from the Petition on a temporary basis. Temporary Peace Orders remain in effect for seven (7) days.
  • Second Court Appearance- Final Peace Orders
    Upon the granting of the Temporary Peace Order, the Judge will also schedule the final hearing (at which a Final Peace Order can be granted). This hearing will be held seven (7) days after the Temporary Peace Order is granted. It is at this stage that both the Petitioner and the Respondent will be in Court and will present their respective cases. Due to the importance of Petitions for Peace Orders (whether you are a victim in need or protection or someone who has been falsely accused), it is recommended to have an attorney represent you at this final stage. It is at this final hearing the applicant must meet the statutory standard of proof.

What relief is available to me through a Peace Order?

Peace Orders offer a much more narrow form of relief than is typically available through protective orders. Essentially, the Court will do what is minimally necessary to address the problem that brought you the Court in the first place. 


How long does a Peace Order Remain in Effect:

A peace order can remain in effect up to six months.


Can a Peace Order be extended?

No. Unlike Protective Orders, Peace Orders cannot be extended.

Back to top