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How can I obtain an Emergency Protection Order in Calgary?

As a Family Lawyer in Calgary, one of the questions I am frequently asked is: How can I obtain an Emergency Protection Order in Calgary?

Unfortunately, the main reason why people contact lawyers to ask such a question is because they have experienced domestic violence. Fortunately, if police are called to deal with such a situation, they will usually recommend to the victim that they obtain an Emergency Protection Order ("EPO") and will assist the victim with obtaining an EPO. However, this is not always the case and frequently victims do not contact the police.

An EPO is similar to a Restraining Order. However, while a Restraining Order can not be used to evict the person restrained from a residence that they have an entitlement to attend, an EPO can. An EPO can be made even if the other party has nowhere else to go.

In Calgary, Applications for an EPO are made in the Provincial Court of Alberta and, if granted, will last for a short period of time (usually 3 weeks). The review hearing is always heard in the Court of Queen's Bench, and the EPO will provide a date by which the Respondent will have to file and serve any materials they wish to provide to the Court so that, at the review hearing, the Court can make a decision based upon both parties' version of events.

Unfortunately, EPOs are sometimes used as a quick way of obtaining exclusive possession of the matrimonial home. The EPO process should never be used for such a situation and, instead, the party that wants exclusive possession of the matrimonial home should simply make such an Application. If the Court believes that the EPO process has been used in such a situation, the Applicant will incur the wrath of the Court at the review hearing.

If you would like to contact me to discuss EPOs, separation, divorce, division of matrimonial property, spousal support, child support, custody and access to children, or guardianship and parenting of children, please email using this link, or contact me on 403-538-2105.

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