A section 810 peace bond is a promise not to disturb public order. It is done in writing and signed before a judge. It gets its name from section 810 of the Criminal Code.
Protection for a person who has reasonable fears
A judge can order a section 810 peace bond if a person is afraid of someone else, even if no crime has been committed. The person asking for the peace bond must show they’re afraid the other person will
- harm them or their family,
- damage their property, or
- publish or share an intimate image of them.
A section 810 peace bond can be ordered for a maximum of 12 months. However, a person who still has reason to be afraid can apply for a new one.
Important! A judge who orders a section 810 peace bond recognizes that the person making the complaint has reason to be afraid. However, the person who signs the peace bond is not being found guilty of a crime and won’t have a criminal record.
Conditions to follow
A person who signs a section 810 peace bond promises not to disturb public order and promises to be on good behaviour. A judge can set additional conditions depending on the specific situation. For example, the person might not be allowed to
- communicate with certain people,
- go to specific places, or
- drink alcohol.
The police can become involved if the person breaks the conditions, because violating the conditions of a section 810 peace bond is a crime.
How to ask for a section 810 peace bond
To request this protection, a person must go to the courthouse in their region. They must complete certain documents and explain the situation in writing. Then they will then be called to a hearing before a judge. They must usually testify about the situation and show they’re genuinely afraid of the other person.
Instead of criminal charges
Sometimes, a person facing criminal charges reaches an agreement with the prosecutor, who then replaces the criminal charges with a section 810 peace bond. In this situation, the accused is acquitted of the charges (found not guilty). But the accused must still admit before a judge that the person who filed the police report had good reason to be afraid.