What is a peace bond?
A peace bond is a protection order made by a court under Sec. 810 of the Criminal Code. It is used where an individual appears likely to commit a criminal offence, but there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has actually been committed.
When would I use a peace bond?
An individual, or someone on their behalf, can apply for a peace bond if they have reasonable grounds to believe that someone will cause personal injury to them, their children, or their intimate partner (current or former spouse, common-law partner, or dating partner); that someone will damage their property; or that someone will commit an offence under Sec. 162.1 of the Criminal Code (i.e. if you reasonably fear that someone will publish, distribute, or sell an intimate image of you without your consent).
Assistance with Peace Bonds
Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission – Where Nova Scotia Legal Aid (NSLA) offices have capacity, staff can assist people applying for peace bond orders. This assistance will be summary advice, such as explaining the steps required to bring an application and providing information about the court process. Applicants seeking summary advice can apply to Legal Aid for this service. The office will advise if it has capacity to help you.
Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia – Those seeking advice on peace bonds can reach out to the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) online at www.legalinfo.org, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 902-455-3135 or toll-free at l-800-665-9779.
Halifax Regional Police – The Victim Services division of Halifax Regional Police offers a Peace Bond Navigator Program involving trained volunteers who can also attend court with applicants. For more information, call 902-490-5300.
Courts of Nova Scotia Website – If you do not have a lawyer and expect to represent yourself during the peace bond application process, the Courts offer helpful resources to explain the law and court procedures in a general way. Visit www.courts.ns.ca for more information.
PLEASE NOTE: Court staff can give general information about how the court works and about court rules and procedures. Court staff cannot give legal advice. For legal advice contact a lawyer.
The following are some common terms used in the peace bond application process:
Applicant – This is the individual applying for the peace bond. The applicant may also be referred to as the informant.
Complainant – If someone else is applying for a peace bond on your behalf, they are the applicant and you are referred to as the complainant, or the person making the complaint, in the Information before the court.
Defendant – This is the individual you are applying for a peace bond against.
Information – An Information is a sworn or affirmed statement made by the applicant. The application form to apply for a peace bond is also referred to as the Information.
Statement of Complaint – This document outlines the basis of your complaint against the defendant. It does not go before the Judge; however, a copy will be given, if requested, to the defendant or their lawyer for disclosure purposes. The Statement of Complaint is filed with the Information.
Disclosure – The process where each party is required to disclose (share) any documents that may be considered relevant to the case going to court.
Summons – A legal document that requires a person to attend court on a specified date and time to answer or respond to a complaint filed with the court.
Affidavit of Service – This document sets out the manner, time and place that the Summons was successfully delivered to a person. It is usually filed with the court as proof that a person was served with a particular document(s) in accordance with an order or rules of the court.
Hearing – This is the court proceeding before a Presiding Justice of the Peace (PJP) or a Judge to hear the merits of your peace bond application. Your matter will require at least one telephone court appearance before you get to the hearing stage.
Recognizance – This is another word for peace bond. A recognizance is an obligation entered into before the court that is meant to prevent serious harm by imposing conditions upon a person. Those conditions may restrict an individual’s movement or behaviour to reduce the risk of them committing a future offence.
Court – Court can include traditional in-person appearances in a courtroom, as well as telephone and videoconferencing appearances.