Order for Protection in Minneapolis, Minnesota
An Order for Protection (OFP) in Minnesota is a court order used to protect a victim of domestic abuse from their abuser. Often domestic violence involves romantic partners, but protection orders can also be sought if the parties are roommates or family members.
The Order for Protection (OFP) serves to prohibit contact between victims and perpetrators as well as prohibiting the abuser from getting near a victims’ home, school or workplace.
Without any of these domestic relationships, the court can’t order an Order for Protection. A commonly confused order is a Harassment Restraining Order, which can be issued between any two people regardless of the relationship. A Harassment Restraining Order does not require a significant relationship in order to be granted, only a person or organization who engaged in or promoted harassment.
Obtaining an Order for Protection in Minnesota
In order to obtain an Order for Protection in Minnesota, the petitioner must allege that domestic abuse occurred. Domestic abuse includes:
- Physical harm, bodily injury or assault;
- Infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
- A threat to commit a crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize the victim, or communication in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror;
- Criminal sexual conduct;
- Interference with an emergency call.
Once demonstrated, an Order for Protection (OFP) can be granted on an emergency basis until a court hearing is possible. This is called an “ex parte” Order for Protection. After an ex parte Order for Protection is issued, or if an ex parte Order for Protection is not issued, a court may order a full evidentiary hearing, depending on what the petitioner requested in his or her petition. If the court does not automatically order an evidentiary hearing, the respondent may request an evidentiary hearing within 5 days of being served with the ex parte Order for Protection. An evidentiary hearing is like a trial, where all parties will have the opportunity to testify and present any witnesses and evidence.
After hearing any testimony and reviewing the evidence, a judge will decide whether an Order for Protection (OFP) should be issued for a longer period of time and what the terms of that Order for Protection (OFP) are, or if there should be no Order for Protection (OFP) issued.
Obtaining a Harassment Restraining Order in Minnesota
The standard to obtain a Harassment Restraining Order in Minnesota is different than an Order for Protection (OFP). To obtain a Harassment Restraining Order in Minnesota, a petitioner must allege one of the following:
- A single incident of physical or sexual assault;
- A single incident of stalking;
- A single incident of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images;
- Repeated incidents of intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that have a substantial adverse effect, or are intended to have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another—regardless of the relationship between the accused and the intended target;
- Targeted residential picketing;
- A pattern of attending public events after being notified that the accused’s presence at the event is harassing to another.
A Harassment Restraining Order can be granted temporarily; without notice to the respondent, just like in an Order for Protection (OFP). A court can decide to order a hearing on its own, if the petitioner requests a hearing, or if the respondent requests a hearing after being served with a temporary Harassment Restraining Order. A respondent must request a hearing on a Harassment Restraining Order within twenty days of being served. If a hearing is not requested, and the court does not automatically order one; the Harassment Restraining Order becomes permanent.
No Contact Orders and Other Forms of Relief for Victims
The Order for Protection (OFP) and Harassment Restraining Order both require the respondent to have no contact with the petitioner. However, due to the nature of the relationship between the parties in an Order for Protection (OFP), the types of relief available are much more significant.
These can include the following:
- Removal of the respondent from the home;
- Awarding custody of the children;
- Awarding any pets to the petitioner;
- Ordering the respondent into domestic violence counseling or treatment;
- Awarding temporary use and possession of property shared with the respondent.
Both an Order for Protection (OFP) and a Harassment Restraining Order can be granted for up to two years and may be extended if certain conditions are met.
Contact Experienced Minneapolis, Minnesota Family Law Attorneys
If you or a loved one are suffering from domestic abuse or harassment, or if you have been falsely accused and want to defend against an Order for Protection (OFP) or Harassment Restraining Order, it is crucial that you speak up and seek help right away.
Call Perusse Nixon PLLC today to talk about the strength of your case and the best way to handle an Order for Protection (OFP) or a Harassment Restraining Order.