What is a Mutual No Contact Order in Alberta?
At review hearings, a court may decide that a protection order is unnecessary but still advise both parties to avoid contact. Mutual no-contact orders serve this purpose by legally prohibiting both individuals from contacting each other. Typically, these orders specify that neither party should text, email, or call the other. Additional stipulations might limit how close each person can come to the other's home or workplace.
If an EPO is vacated on review, the presiding justice may replace it with a mutual no-contact order. This action often indicates that, although the criteria for an EPO haven't been met, there's still reason for caution. The court may therefore issue a mutual no-contact order as a safeguard. Like other court-issued orders, mutual no-contact orders can carry enforcement clauses, empowering police to intervene if the order is violated.
How Can I Enforce a Protection Order
In both Alberta and British Columbia, you must serve the other party with a copy of the protection order for it be enforceable. You should not attempt to serve the order on the other party yourself. In Alberta, you can request assistance from a peace officer to serve the protection order. In BC, the court registry will typically arrange for a sheriff to serve the protection order, unless the other party is out of the country or cannot be served. In such instances, you can ask the court to allow service by email.
It's important to keep a physical copy of any granted protection orders on you. Providing a copy to the police is also advisable. In BC, an additional layer of protection is provided through the Protection Order Registry, a confidential database that allows police to access up-to-date information about your order 24/7.
If the respondent violates the terms of the protection order, enforcement mechanisms are in place, and you should call the police immediately. There can be serious consequences for violating a protection order.