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The commitment of a Section 810 Peace Bond in context of domestic violence

Warning notice

If you don’t feel safe, please call 911. For help and advice, you can call SOS violence conjugale This hyperlink will open in a new window. (1 800 3639010, services always available in english) or a Crime Victims Assistance Center This hyperlink will open in a new window. (CAVAC, 1 866 5322822).

What Is a “810’’ (Peace Bond)?

Do you have legitimate reasons to fear for your safety, the safety of your child, or the safety of your current intimate partner from your partner or ex-partner?

Are you scared that someone break your goods or publish online an intimate image without your consent?

You, or someone acting on your behalf, can apply for a Section 810 Peace Bond (also called a Recognizance Order), which is a written commitment to keep the peace signed before a judge.

We call this promise in writing “810’’ because of the section of the Criminal Code under which it is applied.

The “810’’ (Peace Bond) is a preventive justice tool. It can be ordered by a judge even if no crime has been committed.

How to ask for a “810’’?

You must go to the nearest police station and explain your situation.

Police officers will investigate to determine if you have been the victim of a crime, or if your situation meets the conditions of the Section 810 of the Criminal Code.

Police officers may need your statement or the statements of other witnesses to gather evidence and then ask for a Peace Bond.

There are 2 situations that can occur at the of the investigation.

If the facts reveal an offence or allow to ask for a Peace Bond, police officers submit the case to the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP).

A criminal and penal prosecutor (also called a Crown prosecutor or a prosecuting attorney) will then analyze the case. 

A prosecutor is an attorney who prosecutes the accused on behalf of the State. He acts in the general interest of society. He is not your lawyer, but he takes into account your interests, your rights and your safety.

After assessing the evidence presented by the police officers in your case, the prosecutor may press charges.

He will rather ask for a “810” if these 2 conditions are met:

  • It is impossible to press criminal charges against the suspect.
  • The Criminal Code allows to ask for a “810” depending on the context.

The prosecutor, a professional from the Crime Assistance Centres (CAVAC), will inform you if charges have been pressed or if a “810” has been requested.

If the facts reveals that no crime have been committed or cannot allow to ask for a “810”, the police officers or the prosecutor will inform you.

If the prosecutor asks for a “810”, the person you fear may agree to sign.

If the person refuses, he or she will appear before a judge during court appearance.

Before the court Appearance

Before the day of the appearance, the prosecutor will meet with you. He or she will explain how the appearance will work.

The prosecutor may ask you to testify during this hearing, especially if your testimony is the only evidence he or she has to ask for a “810”.

You can ask any questions or share your concerns during the judicial process. The prosecutor will give you information on Testimonial aids to make testify in court easier and about your rights as a victim.

The hearing is usually held shortly after this meeting.

During the court hearing

During the hearing, the prosecuting attorney presents the evidence that support reasonable grounds to fear injuries, damage to your property, publishing intimate image of you.  

These reasonable grounds need to be in effect at the hearing.

The evidence consists of:

  • Your testimony, if you give it;
  • The testimony of other witnesses, if any;
  • Documents such as emails or texts, if applicable.

After the prosecuting attorney has presented the evidence, 2 events may occur:

  • Your partner or ex-intimate partner agrees to sign the order and abide by its terms. He or she must then admit before a judge that you have reasons to fear him or her.
  • He or she doesn’t recognize the existence of your fears and refuses to sign the order.

If the last situation occurs, the judge must determine whether there are reasonable grounds to fear your current or former partner.

Different rules of a criminal trial

During the hearing before the judge, the rules of evidence are not the same as a criminal trial.

The burden of proof has a lower standard than a criminal trial: the evidence must show it is more likely than not to fear your aggressor. In a criminal trial, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

During your testimony for a Recognizance order, you can report an event, words or actions that you did not witness, but that you heard someone telling. This evidence is usually not accepted by a court in a criminal trial.

Decision of the judge

The judge is not required to make a decision on the same day as the hearing. He or she may postpone the decision.

The decision is postponed? Generally, the judge will make a decision in the days or weeks following the hearing.

We will inform you of the judge's decision.

Consequences of a “810” Peace Bond

Your current or former partner signs a "810" or the judge orders it?  He or she must keep peace and behave well toward you.

The judge may impose further conditions to ensure your good behavior and your safety.

It can be a prohibition of direct or indirect communication with you or members of your family (new partner, children, brother or sister, etc.).

Among other conditions, we could also find these prohibitions:

  • refer to you, directly or indirectly, in any media, including social media;
  • be in a specified area, or within a certain distance from this area, that you or your family attend on a regular basis: home, place of study, workplace;
  • Possess any firearms;
  • Use drugs or alcohol.

A "810" has a maximum length of 12 months.

You can make another request after this period of time if you still have fears. You’ll have to follow the same steps as your first request.

Amendments to Conditions of a “810”

If your current or former partner wants to modify the conditions, he or she must make a formal request to the judge. Your mere consent to modify the conditions is not sufficient. 

The conditions of a “810” remains unchanged until modified by a judge.

You want to make a formal request to modify these conditions? Communicate with the prosecuting attorney dealing with your case. He or she will assist you throughout the process.

Contacting the prosecuting attorney dealing with your case

You can ask for changes without the prosecutor by:

  • going to the police station where you asked for a “810”;
  • going to the office of the court where the hearing for a “810” was held before the judge. 

Find a courthouse This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only)

Either way, you must affirm:

  • that you genuinely want to change the “810” Peace Bond;
  • that your safety is not jeopardized.

At the office of the court, we will tell you the date of the hearing that will be held before a judge that will agree, or not, to modify the conditions.

I you are pressured to amend the conditions, inform your prosecutor.

This pressure can take several forms:

  • harassment;
  • intimidation;
  • threats;
  • physic or sexual abuse;
  • emotional blackmailing, etc.

The prosecuting attorney will guide you to appropriate resources and the steps to be taken.

Non-compliance of a “810” Peace Bond

If your intimate partner or ex-partner fails to comply with one or many conditions of his or her order, he or she may be criminally charged with violating the terms of the order. (breach of conditions).

If found guilty, the person could be sentenced to 2 years less a day to 4 years in prison, or a fine of up to $5,000.

Are you aware that a person under a Peace Bond is not complying with the conditions of the Bond? 

Inform the police immediately so that they can investigate and ensure your safety.

Substituting Criminal Charge by a “810”

If the evidence gathered by the police concludes that a criminal offence has been committed, he or she may be charged with that offence.

This charge cannot be substituted by a Peace Bond, except if these 4 conditions are satisfied:

  1. The Criminal code allows a “810” in connection with your case.
  2. The evidence in the prosecuting attorney’s possession is not sufficient to support the criminal charge against him or her, or it is no longer appropriate to press charge because of changed circumstances (e.g., some evidence not available, new evidence available, new facts given to the defense).
  3. You had all the necessary information about the judicial process, your participation to the process, help resources and assistance available, etc., and you decided to not go further within the judicial process.
  4. Substitution by a “810” complies with public interest and proper administration of the justice.

In all other situations, the prosecuting attorney will not consider the substitution.

The Limits of a “810”

To benefit from a Peace Bond, you must have ongoing fears based on facts. The judge will be able to impose conditions described as reasonable and essentials to ensure your safety

A “810” is not a conviction to a criminal offence. The person who signs the agreement has no criminal record.

Knowing if someone is protected by a Peace Bond

Any request for a “810” means that a case has been opened in the office of a court in the province of Quebec.

When a judge issues a "810" with an order, the court files a copy of that order in the case.

This case is public and you can consult it in the Plumitif (access to criminal files):

  • online (paid service) by subscription to Les Plumitifs This hyperlink will open in a new window. of the Société québécoise d’information juridique (SOQUIJ);
  • free of charge in the consultation rooms of the courthouses.

The Plumitif is a public registry that contains civil, criminal and penal court records from the Quebec courts.

You asked for a Peace Bond and you are in one of the following situations:

  • There is no record of your request for a Peace Bond in the Plumitif.
  • You had no follow from the Police service nor the DPCP.

You can communicate with the police service for a follow-up of your request.

You can also ask a police service for a copy of your case.

Assistance and support resources

Need help determining if the Peace Bond is the best protection for your situation? Want to learn about other available protective measures?

Last update: May 9, 2024


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