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 an “810” 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.
An “810” can be ordered for a maximum of 12 months. However, a person who still has reason to be afraid can reapply for a new one.
Important! A judge who orders an “810” recognizes that the person making the complaint has reason to be afraid. However, the person who signs the “810” is not being found guilty of a crime and won’t have a criminal record.
Conditions to follow
A person who signs an “810” promises not to disturb the peace and promises to be on good behaviour. A judge can set additional conditions depending on the specific situation. For example, the person might be forbidden 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 an “810” is a crime.
An “810” can replace a trial
After a criminal complaint to the police, the accused can be offered an “810”. If the accused agrees with the prosecutor, the prosecutor will replace the criminal charges with an “810”. The accused will be acquitted of the charges (found not guilty). However, the accused must still admit before a judge that the person who filed the police report had good reason to be afraid.
How to ask for an “810”
It’s possible to ask for an “810” without making a criminal complaint to the police or if the police have not accepted the complaint.
To request an “810”, a person must go to the courthouse in their region. They must complete certain documents and explain the situation in writing. Sometimes, they will be asked to make a sworn statement to the police first.
Next, a court date in front of a judge will be chosen. The person asking for the “810” will then be asked to explain the situation to the judge. They must show that they are genuinely afraid of the other person before the judge will order an “810”.