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What is a Peace Bond?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 16, 2024
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A peace bond is a court order that requires a person to keep the peace with another person. This order is often granted in place of criminal charges, allowing a person who has been accused of threatening behavior to stay out of jail. Sometimes such an order is made after criminal charges have already been filed, as a condition for withdrawing the charges. There are penalties for individuals who violate these bonds, which may include monetary fines and jail time.

Peace bonds are typically granted to individuals who feel they have some reason to fear a specific person. For example, an individual may believe another party will harm him or members of his family. An individual may also seek such a bond if he believes another party will damage his property.

Before a peace bond is granted, an individual must request one from a law enforcement authority or court system in his jurisdiction. He typically has to fill out paperwork describing why he is afraid of the other person. Usually, he’ll have to go to court a few days later to continue the process of obtaining the order.

In court, the person who has requested the peace bond will have to answer questions regarding the case. Basically, he has to tell the judge and any lawyers present why he is afraid. The person who is accused of behaving in the threatening manner is usually present in court as well. The party who is requesting the bond may ask the accused person questions and vice versa.

If the judge who hears the case feels there are grounds for granting a peace bond, he will make the order. The order requires the accused to keep the peace, avoiding threatening or harmful behavior. In some places, this type of order will require the accused to stay away from the person who requested it. For example, the individual may be considered in violation of the peace bond if he goes within a certain distance of the other person. Sometimes, the accused person is prohibited from calling the other person as well.

The laws regarding the granting of peace bonds vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As such, the exact terms included in a peace bond vary from place to place. In most cases, this type of order lasts for a set period of time and requires the requester to go back to court to have it removed if he changes his mind and desires contact with the other party.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a MyLawQuestions writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon343337 — On Jul 29, 2013

@anon109953: Contact the American Civil Liberties Union. If you don't get any help, keep a relaxed attitude and keep asking how to stop trespassing at any agency you can. I believe email is as valid as handwritten letters, but save copies. ABA is correct, but remember, it just takes longer to crawl out of hell holes.

By anon303281 — On Nov 13, 2012

In Michigan, how do I remove an 18 year old from a home?

By anon294740 — On Oct 03, 2012

A former renter-turned-property-owner returned to the vacated property and was asked to leave after she was informed that they had violated the lease agreement and then proceeded to state that she had contacted some of my familym whom she does not know or ever met, and said that they told her that I was a bad person and that the whole neighborhood was thinking about putting us under a peace bond. I guess we are the bad ones for pointing out their violations.

By anon162871 — On Mar 25, 2011

There was a elderly man who cleaned plazas every weekend to make a living. He had done this for fourteen years. There had never been an incident involving him in all that time. Then one Saturday he went and cleaned the plaza as he usually did, left, and went on vacation. When he came back from his vacation, a peace bond ordering him to come to court to answer allegations about someone he did not know, and have never seen, or even had any form of contact whatsoever.

While he was on vacation, someone had placed a note somewhere on the plaza he had cleaned the Saturday before he left stating if you want a slave call him. The note said people could put him in a box until they wanted him, use him and put him back. Then the note gave a phone number which happened to be the same phone number the elderly man had.

The man had to go to court. He also lost his job cleaning the plazas. There was no evidence the elderly man left the note, no one saw him leave a note, and he did not know his accuser. So this is the way our police and judges waste tax dollars. They sit on their duffs and only put hardships on most people who have done absolutely nothing.

The criminals get to run the streets as well as our government and society while the people who deserve a break either sit in jail or pay fines they cannot afford. Government and law enforcement have now become competing businesses where the police do not care whether one is innocent or not. They're just brainwashed into thinking they're doing good for society by collecting the almighty dollar for their outfit and nothing else matters.

By anon109953 — On Sep 09, 2010

I caught trespassers bulldozing and stealing my timber on my property. When I ordered them off my property, filed a sheriff's report and told them they would be responsible for the damages, the trespassers went down to the local magistrate (which was a friend) and filed three criminal complaints and attempted to obtain three Peace Bonds against me on my own property.

The Magistrate even handwrote the complaints for the trespassers. The three criminal complaints were dismissed, but I ended up with three misdemeanors and a criminal record all because I told three trespassers to get off my property. The Magistrate violated my civil liberties and my constitutional rights. I have attempted to get an injunction against these people, but apparently in West Virginia the law only works on "who" you know and "who" your friends are. So far I've been in court for the past nine months and have not been able to get an injunction/restraining order. The trespassers state they are taking my property and there is nothing I can do about it. I have never seen corruption like this before. I have owned the property for 52 years and cannot believe that corruption like this exists.

I can only state that West Virginia lives up to all the "negative" thoughts that are depicted in movies. I can only strongly send a warning: be aware, and if at all possible, avoid relocating to the state of West Virginia. The American Bar Association was absolutely correct when they stated that West Virginia's justice system is a "Hell Hole".

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a MyLawQuestions writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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