Peace Bonds

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Introduction

A Peace Bond is a form of recognizance (a pledge to judge or justice to abide by conditions) that can be required at the request of either Crown or Defence, or on the Court's own motion. The Peace Bond lasts for up to 12 months and may include conditions such as requiring the accused to "keep the peace", to refrain from contact or communication with a named party, or not to possess any weapons or ammunition.

Timing
The Peace Bond can be ordered at any point before or during a trial.

Right to a Hearing
Where a trial judge is considering imposing common law peace bond, he must allow parties to make submissions on it, as a matter of fairness, before deciding.[1]

  1. e.g. see R v Riad, 2014 ONSC 3407 (CanLII), at paras 9 to 10

Common Law

The peace bond traces back to the English common law as a form of "preventative justice". It "empowers justices to place a person under bond where it appears the person may be a threat to peace, regardless of the fact the person has committed no offence." [1]

The common law peace bond still exists. It is not a criminal punishment that is extinguished by s. 9 of the Criminal Code and is affirmed by section 8(2)[2]

  1. Stevenson v Saskatchewan (Minister of Justice), 1987 CanLII 4983 (SK QB), 61 Sask.R.91 (Q.B.)
    R v Siemens, 2012 ABPC 116 (CanLII)
    see also Mackenzie v Martin, 1954 CanLII 10 (SCC), [1954] SCR 361 at p.370
  2. 8.(2) The criminal law of England that was in force in a province immediately before April 1, 1955 continues in force in the province except as altered, varied, modified or affected by this Act or any other Act of the Parliament of Canada.

Statute

The peace bond provisions between s.810 and 810.2 are all invoked on the same standard, whether the judge is "satisfied by the evidence adduced that the informant has reasonable grounds for the fear" that he will commit one of the enumerated offences.[1] Where satisfied, the accused will be required to enter into a recognizance to "keep the peace and be of good behaviour".

Proceedings under s. 810 to 810.2 are more civil than criminal nature. It is not designed to punish for past bad acts, but rather is preventative in nature. It only carries the potential for criminal charges upon violation.[2]

The court must assess the "present risk" of the person in committing an enumerated offence in the future. The court must consider "all relevant factors in a person’s life" and "factors that are not immutable but will change over time".[3] Then the court must balance the interests in protecting the victims of the enumerated crime and the interest of the person's liberty.[4]


The purpose of s. 810.1 is not to punish but to prevent crime from happening.[5]

Section 810.1 does not violate s. 7 and is constitutional.[6]

Orders under s. 810.1 is "designed to protect children from victimization." [7]

  1. See comment R v Nawakayas, 2013 SKPC 35 (CanLII) at para 1
  2. R v Bilida, 1999 ABQB 1016 (“... is not a criminal charge, nor does it address past misconduct”)
    c.f. R v Fontaine, 2010 SKPC 16 (CanLII) rejects view of it as a "quasi criminal" proceeding
    Nawakayas at para 7, 8
    R v Budreo, 2000 CanLII 5628 (ON CA), (2000), 142 CCC (3d) 225 (Ont. C.A.) (s. 810.1 "is a preventative provision not a punitive provision.")
  3. Budreo at para 25, 33
  4. Budreo at para 39
  5. R v Budreo at para 30
    R v Nawakayas, at paras 7-13
  6. R v Budreo
    R v Sem Paul Obed, 2000 CanLII 28287 (NS PC)
  7. R v Loysen, 2006 SKQB 290 (CanLII) at para 1
    R v Budreo at para 25 ("It aims not to punish past wrongdoing but to prevent future harm to young children, to prevent them from being victimized by sexual abusers.....It is about assessing the present risk of a person committing a sexual offence against young children...")

Laying on Information

See also: Laying of an Information and Issuing Process

The "laying of an information" does not require the applicant swear and information before a provincial court judge.[1]

  1. R v K(R), 2011 ONCJ 129 (CanLII)

"Reasonable Grounds for the Fear"

All four types of peace bonds require that the provincial court judge be satisfied that there is "reasonable grounds for the fear" that the respondent will commit one of the enumerated offences.

The requirement of "reasonable grounds" for a "fear" suggests "a reasonably based sense of apprehension about a future event" or "a belief, objectively established, that the individual will commit an offence".[1]

The judge is to look at the risk of "future harm" not "future conduct".[2]

  1. R v Budreo, 2000 CanLII 5628 (ON CA), (2000), 142 CCC (3d) 225 (Ont. C.A.)
  2. R v Letavine, 2011 ONCJ 444 (CanLII)

Evidence

The onus is on the Crown to satisfy the court on a balance of probabilities that there are sufficient grounds to make the order.[1]

The court must consider all relevant evidence.[2]

The standards of evidence are relaxed and may include hearsay.[3]

Hearsay evidence is admissible but may be given limited weight.[4] However, second-hand information will mostly be considered non-hearsay since it is tendered for the purpose of establishing belief and not the underlying fact.[5]

  1. Nawakayas at para 13
    see R v Soungie, 2003 ABPC 121 (CanLII)
    R v Boone, 2003 MBQB 292 (CanLII) at para 8
  2. Nawakayas at para 13
    see R v Loysen, 2006 SKQB 290 (CanLII), para 17
  3. Nawakayas at para 18
  4. R v Nawakayas at para 15
  5. Nawakayas at para 18

Injury or Damage Peace Bond (810)

Under s. 810 a provincial court judge or justice of the peace may require a person to enter into a recognizance, often called a "peace bond", for a period of up to 12 months. The judge or justice must be satisfied that the person will cause injury to another person, their spouse, or child or will damage another person's property.

Sureties to Keep the Peace

If injury or damage feared
810 (1) An information may be laid before a justice by or on behalf of any person who fears on reasonable grounds that another person

(a) will cause personal injury to him or her or to his or her spouse or common-law partner or child or will damage his or her property; or
(b) will commit an offence under section 162.1.

Duty of justice
(2) A justice who receives an information under subsection (1) shall cause the parties to appear before him or before a summary conviction court having jurisdiction in the same territorial division.
Adjudication
(3) If the justice or summary conviction court before which the parties appear is satisfied by the evidence adduced that the person on whose behalf the information was laid has reasonable grounds for the fear, the justice or court may order that the defendant enter into a recognizance, with or without sureties, to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of not more than 12 months.
...
Forms
(4) A recognizance and a committal to prison in default of recognizance may be in Forms 32 and 23, respectively.
Modification of recognizance
(4.1) The justice or the summary conviction court may, on application of the informant or the defendant, vary the conditions fixed in the recognizance.
Procedure
(5) The provisions of this Part apply, with such modifications as the circumstances require, to proceedings under this section.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 810; 1991, c. 40, s. 33; 1994, c. 44, s. 81; 1995, c. 22, s. 8, c. 39, s. 157; 2000, c. 12, s. 95; 2011, c. 7, s. 7; 2014, c. 31, s. 25.


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A provincial court judge has power to impose a 810 peace bond upon an accused post-trial. However, notice must be given to allow for an opportunity to either call evidence or make submissions. Further, there must be a factual basis to conclude that there is a future risk of a breach of the peace.[1]

  1. R v Wells, 2012 ABQB 77 (CanLII)

Additional Conditions

810
...
Conditions in recognizance
(3.02) The justice or summary conviction court may add any reasonable conditions to the recognizance that the justice or court considers desirable to secure the good conduct of the defendant, including conditions that require the defendant

(a) to abstain from the consumption of drugs except in accordance with a medical prescription, of alcohol or of any other intoxicating substance;
(b) to provide, for the purpose of analysis, a sample of a bodily substance prescribed by regulation on the demand of a peace officer, a probation officer or someone designated under paragraph 810.3(2)(a) to make a demand, at the place and time and on the day specified by the person making the demand, if that person has reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant has breached a condition of the recognizance that requires them to abstain from the consumption of drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance; or
(c) to provide, for the purpose of analysis, a sample of a bodily substance prescribed by regulation at regular intervals that are specified, in a notice in Form 51 served on the defendant, by a probation officer or a person designated under paragraph 810.3(2)(b) to specify them, if a condition of the recognizance requires the defendant to abstain from the consumption of drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.

Conditions
(3.1) Before making an order under subsection (3), the justice or the summary conviction court shall consider whether it is desirable, in the interests of the safety of the defendant or of any other person, to include as a condition of the recognizance that the defendant be prohibited from possessing any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, or all such things, for any period specified in the recognizance and, where the justice or summary conviction court decides that it is so desirable, the justice or summary conviction court shall add such a condition to the recognizance.
Surrender, etc.
(3.11) Where the justice or summary conviction court adds a condition described in subsection (3.1) to a recognizance order, the justice or summary conviction court shall specify in the order the manner and method by which

(a) the things referred to in that subsection that are in the possession of the accused shall be surrendered, disposed of, detained, stored or dealt with; and
(b) the authorizations, licences and registration certificates held by the person shall be surrendered.

Reasons
(3.12) Where the justice or summary conviction court does not add a condition described in subsection (3.1) to a recognizance order, the justice or summary conviction court shall include in the record a statement of the reasons for not adding the condition.
Idem
(3.2) Before making an order under subsection (3), the justice or the summary conviction court shall consider whether it is desirable, in the interests of the safety of the informant, of the person on whose behalf the information was laid or of that person’s spouse or common-law partner or child, as the case may be, to add either or both of the following conditions to the recognizance, namely, a condition

(a) prohibiting the defendant from being at, or within a distance specified in the recognizance from, a place specified in the recognizance where the person on whose behalf the information was laid or that person’s spouse or common-law partner or child, as the case may be, is regularly found; and
(b) prohibiting the defendant from communicating, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, with the person on whose behalf the information was laid or that person’s spouse or common-law partner or child, as the case may be.

...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 810; 1991, c. 40, s. 33; 1994, c. 44, s. 81; 1995, c. 22, s. 8, c. 39, s. 157; 2000, c. 12, s. 95; 2011, c. 7, s. 7; 2014, c. 31, s. 25.

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Refusal to Enter Peace Bond

810
...
Refusal to enter into recognizance
(3.01) The justice or summary conviction court may commit the defendant to prison for a term of not more than 12 months if the defendant fails or refuses to enter into the recognizance.
...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 810; 1991, c. 40, s. 33; 1994, c. 44, s. 81; 1995, c. 22, s. 8, c. 39, s. 157; 2000, c. 12, s. 95; 2011, c. 7, s. 7; 2014, c. 31, s. 25.

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Subject Matter Specific Peace Bonds

Organized Crime Peace Bond (810.01)

Terrorism Peace Bond (83.3 and 810.011)

Forced Marriage (810.02)

Sexual Offence Peace Bond (810.1)

Serious Personal Injury Peace Bond (810.2)

Breaches of a Peace Bond

Breach of recognizance
811 A person bound by a recognizance under any of sections 83.3 and 810 to 810.2 who commits a breach of the recognizance is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than four years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 811; 1993, c. 45, s. 11; 1994, c. 44, s. 82; 1997, c. 17, s. 10, c. 23, ss. 20, 27; 2001, c. 41, s. 23; 2015, c. 20, s. 27, c. 23, s. 19, c. 29, s. 12.


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An offence of a "breach of recognizance" under s. 811 is an absolute jurisdiction offence under s. 553(c)(ix) and so there is no defence election. It must be tried by provincial court judge.

A breach of a peace bond order cannot amount to a breach of undertaking under s. 145(3).[1]

Terms of a peace bonds apply to conduct that occurs in other provinces.[2]

  1. R v Simancek, [1993] O.J. No. 1342 (O.C.A.)(*no link)
  2. see e.g. R v Pheiffer, 1999 BCCA 558 (BCCA)

Ranges

History

On July 17, 2015, the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act (Bill C-26) came into force resulting in an increase of the maximum penalties for convictions s. 811. On summary conviction, the maximum penalties increased from 6 months and to 18 months. On indictable election, the maximum penalties increased from 2 years to 4 years.

Appearance by Video Link

Video conference
810.21 If a defendant is required to appear under any of sections 83.3 and 810 to 810.2, a provincial court judge may, on application of the prosecutor, order that the defendant appear by video conference if the judge is satisfied that it would serve the proper administration of justice, including by ensuring a fair and efficient hearing and enhancing access to justice.
2015, c. 20, s. 26.


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Transfer of Bond Between Provinces

Transfer of order
810.22 (1) If a person who is bound by an order under any of sections 83.3 and 810 to 810.2 becomes a resident of — or is charged with, convicted of or discharged under section 730 of an offence, including an offence under section 811, in — a territorial division other than the territorial division in which the order was made, on application of a peace officer or the Attorney General, a provincial court judge may, subject to subsection (2), transfer the order to a provincial court judge in that other territorial division and the order may then be dealt with and enforced by the provincial court judge to whom it is transferred in all respects as if that provincial court judge had made the order.
Attorney General’s consent
(2) The transfer may be granted only with

(a) the consent of the Attorney General of the province in which the order was made, if the two territorial divisions are not in the same province; or
(b) the consent of the Attorney General of Canada, if the information that led to the issuance of the order was laid with the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.

If judge unable to act
(3) If the judge who made the order or a judge to whom an order has been transferred is for any reason unable to act, the powers of that judge in relation to the order may be exercised by any other judge of the same court.
2015, c. 20, s. 26.


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Collection and Use of Bodily Samples Under Peace Bond

Samples — designations and specifications
810.3 (1) For the purposes of sections 810, 810.01, 810.011, 810.1 and 810.2 and subject to the regulations, the Attorney General of a province or the minister of justice of a territory shall, with respect to the province or territory,

(a) designate the persons or classes of persons that may take samples of bodily substances;
(b) designate the places or classes of places at which the samples are to be taken;
(c) specify the manner in which the samples are to be taken;
(d) specify the manner in which the samples are to be analyzed;
(e) specify the manner in which the samples are to be stored, handled and destroyed;
(f) specify the manner in which the records of the results of the analysis of the samples are to be protected and destroyed;
(g) designate the persons or classes of persons that may destroy the samples; and
(h) designate the persons or classes of persons that may destroy the records of the results of the analysis of the samples.

Further designations
(2) Subject to the regulations, the Attorney General of a province or the minister of justice of a territory may, with respect to the province or territory, designate the persons or classes of persons

(a) to make a demand for a sample of a bodily substance for the purposes of paragraphs 810(3.02)(b), 810.01(4.1)(f), 810.011(6)(e), 810.1(3.02)(h) and 810.2(4.1)(f); and
(b) to specify the regular intervals at which a defendant must provide a sample of a bodily substance for the purposes of paragraphs 810(3.02)(c), 810.01(4.1)(g), 810.011(6)(f), 810.1(3.02)(i) and 810.2(4.1)(g).

Restriction
(3) Samples of bodily substances referred to in sections 810, 810.01, 810.011, 810.1 and 810.2 may not be taken, analyzed, stored, handled or destroyed, and the records of the results of the analysis of the samples may not be protected or destroyed, except in accordance with the designations and specifications made under subsection (1).
Destruction of samples
(4) The Attorney General of a province or the minister of justice of a territory, or a person authorized by the Attorney General or minister, shall cause all samples of bodily substances provided under a recognizance under section 810, 810.01, 810.011, 810.1 or 810.2 to be destroyed within the period prescribed by regulation unless the samples are reasonably expected to be used as evidence in a proceeding for an offence under section 811.
Regulations
(5) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing bodily substances for the purposes of sections 810, 810.01, 810.011, 810.1 and 810.2;
(b) respecting the designations and specifications referred to in subsections (1) and (2);
(c) prescribing the periods within which samples of bodily substances are to be destroyed under subsection (4); and
(d) respecting any other matters relating to the samples of bodily substances.

Notice — samples at regular intervals
(6) The notice referred to in paragraph 810(3.02)(c), 810.01(4.1)(g), 810.011(6)(f), 810.1(3.02)(i) or 810.2(4.1)(g) must specify the places and times at which and the days on which the defendant must provide samples of a bodily substance under a condition described in that paragraph. The first sample may not be taken earlier than 24 hours after the defendant is served with the notice, and subsequent samples must be taken at regular intervals of at least seven days.
2011, c. 7, s. 11; 2015, c. 20, s. 34.


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Prohibition on use of bodily substance
810.4 (1) No person shall use a bodily substance provided under a recognizance under section 810, 810.01, 810.011, 810.1 or 810.2 except for the purpose of determining whether a defendant is complying with a condition in the recognizance that they abstain from the consumption of drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.
Prohibition on use or disclosure of result
(2) Subject to subsection (3), no person shall use, disclose or allow the disclosure of the results of the analysis of a bodily substance provided under a recognizance under section 810, 810.01, 810.011, 810.1 or 810.2.
Exception
(3) The results of the analysis of a bodily substance provided under a recognizance under section 810, 810.01, 810.011, 810.1 or 810.2 may be disclosed to the defendant to whom they relate, and may also be used or disclosed in the course of an investigation of, or in a proceeding for, an offence under section 811 or, if the results are made anonymous, for statistical or other research purposes.
Offence
(4) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
2011, c. 7, s. 11; 2015, c. 20, s. 34.


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Proof of certificate of analyst — bodily substance
811.1 (1) In a prosecution for breach of a condition in a recognizance under section 810, 810.01, 810.011, 810.1 or 810.2 that a defend- ant not consume drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance, a certificate purporting to be signed by an analyst that states that the analyst has analyzed a sample of a bodily substance and that states the result of the analysis is admissible in evidence and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is proof of the statements contained in the certificate without proof of the signature or official character of the person who appears to have signed the certificate.
Definition of analyst
(2) In this section, analyst has the same meaning as in subsection 254(1).
Notice of intention to produce certificate
(3) No certificate shall be admitted in evidence unless the party intending to produce it has, before the trial, given reasonable notice and a copy of the certificate to the party against whom it is to be produced.
Requiring attendance of analyst
(4) The party against whom a certificate of an analyst is produced may, with leave of the court, require the attendance of the analyst for cross-examination.
2011, c. 7, s. 12; 2015, c. 20, s. 34.


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See Also

  • R v Siemens, 2012 ABPC 116 (CanLII) gives a detailed summary of the history of the peacebond

Application Digests