What Is An Emergency Protection Order (EPO)?

by Sadaf Raja on Jun. 05, 2020

Divorce & Family Law Divorce & Family Law  Divorce Divorce & Family Law  Child Custody 

Summary: How can I get an emergency/restraining protection order in Alberta?

The Protection Against Family Violence Act is the legislation under which Emergence Protection Orders are granted in Alberta. Section 2(1) of the Act defines EPO as:

2(1) An order under this section may be granted by a judge of the Provincial Court or a justice of the peace, on application without notice to the respondent, if the judge or justice of the peace determines

(a) that family violence has occurred,

(a.1) that the claimant has reason to believe that the respondent will continue or resume carrying out family violence, and

(b) that, by reason of seriousness or urgency, the order should be granted to provide for the immediate protection of the claimant and other family members who reside with the claimant

In determining whether an order should be granted, the judge of the Provincial Court or justice of the peace must consider, but is not limited to considering, the following:

(a) repealed 2006 c8 s5;

(b) the history of family violence by the respondent toward the claimant and other family members;

(b.1) whether there is or has been controlling behaviour by the respondent towards the claimant or other family members;

(b.2) whether the family violence is repetitive or escalating;

(c) the existence of any immediate danger to persons or property;

(c.1) the vulnerability of elderly claimants;

(c.2) the effect of exposure to family violence on any child of the claimant or on any child who is in the care and custody of the claimant;

(d) the best interests of the claimant and any child of the claimant or any child who is in the care and custody of the claimant;

(e) the claimant’s need for a safe environment to arrange for longer-term protection from family violence.


Once the Emergency Protection Order is granted by either a Provincial Court Judge or a Justice of the Peace, the order is then reviewable before a Justice of Court of Queen’s Bench. At this hearing, the Justice will decide to: either revoke the order, direct that there may be an oral hearing held, confirm the order.


If you are the respondent and your family has sought an Emergency Protection Order. It is imperative that you appear at all these court dates, especially the review date sometimes called a review hearing.If you are claimant and wants to apply for an Emergency Protection Order. The police can apply for an Emergency Protection Order to provide you with immediate protection.


Do you need legal assistance to apply for an EPO?

You can call me and I will be glad to assist you. I have acted in the past for claimants and respondents and can explain each step of the process.

If you have been assaulted or you are in a family violence situation, contact your local police or RCMP detachment.

An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is granted when:

  • violent or threatening behaviour occurs between family members
  • there is evidence that immediate protection is necessary
  • family violence will resume or continue


The police can apply for an Emergency Protection Order to provide you with immediate protection.

An Emergency Protection Order:

  • is granted by the court and enforced by the police
  • can prevent a family member from contacting you and other family members
  • can stop a family member from coming to your home, school, work or other places
  • is only granted in situations of family violence; all other situations require a restraining order.


Starting April 27, 2020, as a result of collaboration between Legal Aid Alberta and Alberta Courts, all Queen’s Bench EPO Review hearings will take place remotely across the province of Alberta. Call us today to get more information on how to start at 403-262-7722. 

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