In Manitoba, a person, (“the applicant”), may apply for a protection order against someone, (“the respondent”), under The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act. If the Judicial Justice of the Peace (JJP) reviewing the application decides there is enough evidence to grant the order, the JJP will do so. Once that order is in effect it prohibits the respondent from contacting the applicant. It could, among other things, prohibit the respondent from going near the applicant’s home, school, work, and place of worship. The order is a legal document. As such, the respondent can get arrested for not following its conditions.
Theoretically, someone could lie to a JJP by providing false evidence and get a protection order against you. Although the order is in effect as soon as it gets granted, it will only be enforced once the police or sheriffs have given you a copy. An order can cause you all kinds of problems. For example, if you live or work near the applicant’s home, you could be forbidden from doing so; you might have to move or change jobs. Protection orders typically last 3 years and may get extended. Thus, it could potentially impact you for a long time.
Thankfully, you may apply to have the protection order set aside or varied under The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act. That, however, does not guarantee either of those things will occur once you apply. Rather it provides you with an opportunity to argue why it should be set aside or varied. Once you have been served the protection order, you have 20 days to apply to have the order cancelled unless a judge allows you a longer period.
The application process involves filing a Notice of Application and affidavit(s) with the Court. An affidavit contains facts that support you application. The process also involves filing a copy of the applicant’s application and a transcript of his or her hearing with the JJP whom granted the order. The applicant then gets notified and has the opportunity to explain why the order should not be cancelled.
Creating proper court forms, filing them, and ordering transcripts is time consuming and costs money. An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help you with the application process and argue on your behalf in court. If you would like to apply to have a protection order against you set aside or varied, call Jason Malloy for a free consultation to get more information and discuss your options.