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What is an Emergency Protection Order (EPO)?

As of July 1, 2006 the Family Violence Protection Act is law in Newfoundland and Labrador. This law provides for new justice system responses in the form of Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs) to help adult victims of family violence and their children in emergency situations.

This legislation fills a gap in the justice process for victims by providing for a broader range of more immediate responses than those available through the Criminal Code. All criminal justice responses to family violence will remain in place. The Family Violence Protection Act will provide additional responses.

What is an Emergency Protection Order (EPO)?

This is a Court Order that the Provincial Court can grant in urgent situations to provide immediate protection when family violence has occurred. In this EPO, the Judge may place various restrictions on the respondent. The EPO is temporary with a maximum duration of 90 days. Judges will consider each application individually, so the actual duration of the EPO will vary from case to case (within this 90 day maximum limit). The EPO is meant to offer an immediate response and to provide time to put longer term plans in place. Because it is a short-term emergency response, an Emergency Protection Order cannot be extended or renewed.

Conditions That May Be Included in an EPO:

  • Exclusive temporary occupancy of the home for applicant
  • Police removal of respondent
  • Police accompaniment to remove personal belongings
  • Temporary possession or control of personal property for applicant (i.e., vehicle, medical cards, I.D. documents)
  • Police seizure of firearms/weapons from respondent
  • Temporary care and custody of child
  • Restrain respondent from further acts of family violence
  • Payment of rent or mortgage by respondent
  • Restrain respondent from terminating utilities
  • Any other condition the Court considers necessary to protect the applicant or property