Manitoba's Domestic Violence and Stalking Act and the Domestic Violence and Stalking Regulation (211Kb PDF) came into force on September 30, 1999. The Act was originally called The Domestic Violence and Stalking Prevention, Protection and Compensation Act. The name was shortened in 2005. It provides persons subjected to stalking and domestic violence with the ability to seek a wide range of civil remedies to address their individual needs. The Act creates two different types of orders: Protection Orders, obtained from a designated Justice of the Peace of the Provincial Court of Manitoba, and Prevention Orders, obtained from the Court of Queen's Bench.
A person who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom they have a relationship can apply for a protective order under the Act. Subsection 2(1) of the Act describes these relationships as:
In addition, a person who has been subjected to stalking can apply for relief, regardless of the nature of his or her relationship to or with the stalker (if any).
Certain persons are also able to apply for orders of protection on behalf a minor or mentally incompetent individual who is being stalked or subjected to domestic violence.
Persons subjected to domestic violence or stalking can seek Protection Orders from designated Justices of the Peace quickly, simply and inexpensively, without notice to the respondent. Applicants have to provide evidence under oath about the stalking or domestic violence.
A Justice of the Peace who finds that stalking or domestic violence has occurred, that the person seeking relief reasonably believes it will continue or resume, and that the person requires protection because there is a reasonable likelihood that the domestic violence or stalking will continue or resume, may grant a Protection Order. These orders may contain as many of the following provisions as are necessary for the immediate or imminent protection of an applicant:
While applications for Protection Orders may be made in person, procedures are also in place to enable applications by telephone with the assistance of a peace officer, a lawyer or a Protection Order Designate (POD). PODs are people who work in shelters and other community organizations, who have received special training and have been designated by the Minister of Justice to assist applicants for Protection Orders. In this way, persons needing immediate relief are able to request an order 24 hours a day.
Although Protection Orders will be made without notice, respondents can apply within 20 days of service of the order to have the order set aside by the Court of Queen's Bench and will be given the opportunity to present evidence.
The second type of order created under the Act is a Court of Queen's Bench Prevention Order. When making Prevention Orders, Judges are able to grant any of the types of protective relief available from designated Justices of the Peace. In addition, the court may order other relief necessary to protect the applicant or remedy the domestic violence or stalking. These additional remedies include:
to name only a few.
As well, Judges of the Court of Queen's Bench may order the respondent to pay compensation for any monetary losses incurred by the applicant or any child of the applicant, due to the domestic violence or stalking (such as expenses for counselling, security measures or moving, or lost income).
Where the court is satisfied that a respondent has operated a motor vehicle to further the stalking or domestic violence, the court can order the respondent's driver's licence be suspended and prohibit the respondent from operating a motor vehicle.
The Act allows applications to be made for interim or temporary Prevention Orders, including interim Prevention Orders without notice to the respondent if the court feels an order is required on that basis to ensure the applicant's safety.
The legislation also creates a tort of stalking, enabling persons subjected to stalking who wish to do so to sue stalkers for damages they suffer. Prior to September 30, 1999, this could be done only if the stalking behaviour fit within an existing tort, such as assault or battery.
As indicated earlier, all applications for Protection Orders are made to designated Justices of the Peace and heard in the Provincial Court. All judicial Justices of the Peace are designated to hear Protection Order applications.
Court of Queen's Bench proceedings (e.g. applications to set aside or vary a Protection Order, applications for a Prevention Order or to vary a Prevention Order) involving persons in the relationships outlined in subsection 2(1) of the Act (described above), are heard in the Family Division of the Court of Queen's Bench. This is the case whether the allegations involve domestic violence or stalking.
The General Division of the Court of Queen's Bench hears proceedings involving people who do not have one of the listed relationships, as well as all actions under section 26 of the Act (tort of stalking).
As indicated earlier, the Domestic Violence and Stalking Act came into force on Thursday September 30, 1999.
As of September 30, 1999, persons can no longer file applications for Family Maintenance Act non-molestation orders and prohibition orders, including ex parte (without notice) non-molestation orders from Provincial Court Magistrates.
Existing non-molestation orders and prohibition orders under The Family Maintenance Act are not affected by the coming into force of the Act; they continue in force and effect. The Act does provide, however, that when an order is made under its provisions, any prior non-molestation order made by a Magistrate or a Provincial Court Judge (not a Queen's Bench Judge) involving the same parties is revoked.
The coming into force of the Domestic Violence and Stalking Act does not affect non-Family Maintenance Act protective orders (e.g. peace bonds, recognizances, civil injunctions).
Print copies of The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act, C.C.S.M. c.D93, and the Domestic Violence and Stalking Regulation (211Kb PDF), Man. Reg. 117/99, can be obtained from:
Lower Level - 200 Vaughan Street
Winnipeg MB R3C 1T5