HARASSMENT RESTRAINING ORDERS & ORDERS FOR PROTECTION

The law in Minnesota allows a person who is being harassed to request a Harassment Restraining Order or Order for Protection from the court.  If a person is being harassed by another person by a single act of physical or sexual assault, or repeated intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures intended to negatively affect the safety, security or privacy of that person, the person being harassed may file for a restraining order or order for protection.  A Harassment Restraining Order or Order for Protection will help prevent further harassment, order the Respondent not to contact you and your family at any time, and allow police to arrest the Respondent without a warrant for violations of the order.There are two types of orders for protection: full orders and ex parte orders.  Minnesota does not always require that a hearing be held with both parties present before issuing a long-term order.  A long term-order may be issued on your first court date and then it is up to the Respondent to fill out paperwork to request a hearing to object to the order.When a Petitioner initially files for an order for protection, the Petitioner may be granted an ex parte temporary order of protection if the judge finds that there is an immediate and present danger of domestic abuse and you need immediate protection.  “Ex parte” simply means that the Respondent is not notified beforehand or present in court.  A judge makes a decision based solely on the information that the Petitioner provides.  An ex parte order is effective for a fixed period set by the court and can generally last for up to two years or until modified or vacated by a judge after a hearing.  A hearing will be required if the Petitioner asks a judge for additional protection, the judge does not grant all of the protection requested in the ex parte order, or the Respondent requests a hearing

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PROTECTIVE ORDER FAQ

 

MY BOYFRIEND HAS THREATENED ME WITH PHYSICAL VIOLENCE.  SHOULD I FILE FOR A HARASSMENT RESTRAINING ORDER OR AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION?

The difference is the relationship between the petitioner and respondent.
An Order for Protection is applied for when domestic abuse has occurred and the petitioner (the person applying for the OFP) and the respondent (alleged abuser) are family or household members.
If a person is being harassed by another person, the person being harassed may file for a Harassment Restraining Order.

MY GIRLFRIEND VERBALLY ABUSES ME; CAN I OBTAIN AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION?

In some cases verbal abuse alone is enough to obtain an Order for Protection.
Fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, such as verbal threats, and terroristic threats (such as a threat to kill, break bones, or threatening someone with a knife or gun) are grounds for an Order for Protection.

MY FORMER GIRLFRIEND FILED FOR AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION AGAINST ME; CAN YOU HELP ME?

Yes, we assist both Petitioners and Respondents.
Both the Respondent and Petitioner may desire representation during the OFP/Harassment Restraining Order Process, especially at the hearing.  We have represented both Petitioners and Respondents in these types of cases.  

I’D LIKE TO GET AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION AGAINST MY BOYFRIEND DISMISSED.  IS THAT POSSIBLE?

Yes, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders can be dismissed.
If you would like to get an order for protection or harassment restraining order dismissed, you must fill out an Affidavit and Order for Dismissal form (found on court website) and file it with the court.  You may have to attend a court hearing to explain to a magistrate or judge why you want the action dismissed.   The judge or magistrate has the discretion to either deny or grant your request.   

I’D LIKE TO GET A HRO AGAINST MY EX-BOYFRIEND; HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

Harassment restraining orders typically last for 1-2 years.
A HRO typically lasts for 1-2 years.  However, a HRO can last longer if certain conditions are met.  An OFP usually lasts for 2 years.  If the Respondent violates the OFP or more abuse occurs, the Petitioner can get it extended.  In addition, if there have been 2 or more OFPs or restraining orders against the Respondent or if the Respondent has violated the order more than twice, the court can 
make an order last for up to 50 years.

MY NEIGHBOR IS HARASSING ME; IS A HARASSMENT RESTRAINING ORDER THE CORRECT LEGAL METHOD?

There does not have to be a romantic relationship to file a HRO.
Our firm handles a wide variety of HRO cases, from neighbor disputes to online and electronic bullying/harassment (including the defense of such cases).  We are seeing more cases involving situations like this with the rise of electronic communications.  We also litigate a large number of neighbor disputes.  

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