Types of Protective Orders in Minnesota
Whether you are in need of a restraining order or have just been served with a restraining order, you may be wondering what these orders entail. There are three different kinds of restraining orders in Minnesota, including Harassment Restraining Orders (HRO), Orders for Protection (OFP), and Domestic Abuse No Contact Orders (DANCO). If you need an order, it is important to know which kind is best applicable to your situation so you can ensure that you obtain the protection you need. If you have been served with an order, it is important to know what it means so that you can properly fight it.
Harassment Restraining Order (Minn. Stat. § 609.748)
Harassment Restraining Orders are available people who have suffered harassment. Harassment is defined as sexual assault, dissemination of private sexual images, repeated unwanted acts the adversely impact safety, security, or privacy, targeted residential picketing, and a pattern of attending public events after being notified that a person’s presence is harassing another.
To obtain an HRO, someone must petition the court requesting an HRO and explain how they have been the victim of harassment, and who the harasser is. If, based upon the petition, the court believes harassment occurred, it can issue a temporary order requiring the harasser to stop the harassment and have no contact with the other person. The order goes into effect as soon as it has been served on the harasser. Next, either party can request a hearing on the matter. The respondent, or harasser, has only 20 days from the time they are served to request a hearing or the order will no longer be temporary.
At the hearing, the petitioner will try to prove the harassment occurred while the respondent will try to cast doubt on the petitioner’s story or explain why harassment did not occur. Depending on who the judge believes to be credible, they will either issue an order granting or denying the HRO. If the order is granted, any violation by the respondent could result in criminal charges. If law enforcement has probable cause to believe the order was violated, they are required to arrest the violator.
Order for Protection (Minn. Stat. 518B.01)
An Order for Protection is similar to an HRO but is only available to those who have suffered domestic abuse at the hands of a family or household member. Family or household members include any spouse or former spouse, parents and children, blood relatives, people who live together or have lived together, people who have a child together, pregnant women and the men alleged to be the father, and anyone involved in a romantic or sexual relationship. Domestic abuse is defined as physical harm, bodily injury, assault, infliction of fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct, or interference with a 911 call.
The process to obtain an OFP is similar to an HRO. An emergency temporary order can be granted before a hearing. If a party requests a hearing, one will be scheduled and the petitioner will be required to prove their allegations, while the respondent will try to disprove them. If granted, the respondent can be charged criminally for any violations. Additionally, if law enforcement has probable cause to believe a violation occurred, they are required to arrest the respondent and hold them in jail for at least 36 hours. It is important to note that the day of arrest, Sundays, and holidays do not count towards the 36 hours. This means that a violator could spend significantly more time in jail.
Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (Minn. Stat. § 629.75)
Domestic Abuse No Contact Orders operate differently than an HRO or OFP. A DANCO is a no contact order issued as part of a criminal case when someone is charged with domestic abuse, harassment or stalking against a family or household member, violating an OFP, or violating a previous DANCO. Domestic Abuse No Contact Orders can be issued as a condition of pretrial release or as a condition of probation following a conviction.
Violation of a DANCO can result in criminal charges. Like an OFP, if law enforcement has probable cause to believe a DANCO was violated, they are required to arrest the violator and hold them in jail for at least 36 hours. It is important to note that the day of arrest, Sundays, and holidays do not count towards the 36 hours. This means that a violator could spend significantly more time in jail.
What Do I Do?
Whether you need to be protected from someone or you have been served with an order, you may need an attorney to ensure that you understand your situation and have a knowledgeable person to help guide you through the process. If you are in need of protection, it could be a matter of life and death, so make sure you have the assistance of an attorney to give you the best chance of obtaining the protection you need. If you have been served with an order, you could face severe criminal and civil penalties, like the loss of firearm rights, so it is important to have an attorney by your side to fight for you. Contact the BK Law Group today for assistance with your Harassment Restraining Order, Order for Protection, or Domestic Abuse No Contact Order.