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Applying for a protection order in a civil matter

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To obtain emergency assistance following a crime

Call 911.

In a situation that is not an emergency, but where you want to report a crime to the police, contact the police department serving your municipality.

You can receive help from a crime victims assistance centre (CAVAC) This hyperlink will open in a new window., even if you decide not to report the crime to the police.

The Code of Civil Procedure allows the Superior Court to issue an order to protect a person whose life, health or safety is threatened, particularly in the context of violence.

You have the right to be protected from someone, even if they have not committed a criminal offence. Depending on your situation, you may be reluctant to file a complaint with the police, even if you believe that the person is a threat to your life or your physical or psychological health or safety. In that case, you can ask a Superior Court judge to issue a civil protection order.

An agency or other person can also request one on your behalf, if you consent or if the court allows it.

A protection order can be used to prevent someone from:

  • hurting you;
  • hurting your partner or child;
  • breaking your possessions;
  • damaging your property or home;
  • making private content public (e.g., videos, photos) against your wishes.

An order can also compel the person to:

  • stop behaviour that is deemed threatening, such as harassment, bullying or emotional abuse;
  • not to do certain things, such as ask you for money or force you to get married;
  • comply with a court-ordered obligation imposed for your protection, such as being chaperoned by a third party when visiting you.

The protection order may also include certain conditions. For example, the court may order the person threatening you to:

  • turn their weapons over to the police;
  • not to contact you;
  • not to share any information about you with anyone else;
  • stay away from your home and places you go, like your workplace.

The court may also order the person to return your possessions to you or allow you to retrieve your personal belongings.

If you are being housed by an organization (e.g., a seniors’ residence or a healthcare facility), the court can limit the person to visiting you only during the hours set by the organization and under the supervision of a case worker.


The process of applying for a protection order is somewhat formal, as it requires going before the court.

If you do not have a lawyer to represent you, you must file an application describing the facts of the case and what you are asking the court to do.

You have an obligation to prove the alleged situation and its negative impacts on your life, health or safety, so you must attach all relevant documents to your application (e.g., a sworn statement from a witness or a medical report).

Your application must be filed with the Superior Court clerk’s office in the courthouse of the judicial district This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only) of the defendant's domicile and sent by bailiff to the person who is threatening you.

Processing time

You can get a civil protection order quickly.

The court can also issue one on an emergency basis. It is up to you to show that the situation is urgent.

You can also ask the court for an interlocutory order to put a stop to the threatening situation until the court issues a final order.

Period of validity

A protection order is valid for the period of time set by the court or for a maximum of 3 years.

If you apply for an emergency order it will only be valid for 10 days.

Failure to comply with a civil protection order

If the person subject to the order does not comply with it, you must file a new application with the court to hold the person in contempt of court. It is up to you to prove that the person did not comply with the order.

They may be ordered to:

  • pay a fine;
  • do community service;
  • serve a jail sentence of one year or less.

For more information on applying for a protection order, please contact your local Community Justice Centre This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Support for victims

You can get assistance and support from various organizations at any time, even if you don’t want to file a complaint with the police.

For domestic violence, contact the toll-free SOS violence conjugale This hyperlink will open in a new window. helpline (1-800-363-9010), which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Shelters can provide you with emergency shelter if you are in danger. They may also offer individual or group counseling, guidance, help for children, and other services without lodging.

You can get guidance on developing protective measures This hyperlink will open in a new window. to plan what you would do in different situations to ensure your safety and that of your children. The measures help ensure you’re prepared to deal with a violent episode or possible separation.

Last update: December 14, 2023


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