Tuft & Lach, PLLC can assist you in obtaining an Order for Protection or in defending an Order for Protection matter. An Order for Protection can be obtained on behalf of yourself or on behalf of a family or household member In Minnesota, domestic abuse is defined to include the following types of physical or sexual abuse:
- physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, between family or household members;
- terroristic threats or criminal sexual conduct committed against a family or household member by a family or household member; or
- intrafamilial sexual abuse committed against a minor family or household member by an adult family or household member.
An Order for Protection must be based on a present intention to inflict physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, or to inflict a fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault. A verbal threat, depending on the words and circumstances, can provide the basis for a protective order. A separate statute allows for a victim of harassment to obtain a court order prohibiting further harassment if no domestic abuse has occurred.
Obtaining an Order for Protection
A domestic abuse action is commenced by filing a Petition for an Order of Protection with an affidavit (sworn written statement) detailing the domestic abuse that occurred. When the court receives the Petition and affidavit, the court will determine if the Petition alleges an immediate and present danger of domestic abuse. If such a danger is alleged, the court may immediately grant an Ex Parte Order for Protection. The Ex Parte Order for Protection will be personally served on the alleged abuser, most commonly, by the local sheriff’s department. The court must schedule a hearing to take place no later than fourteen days from the court’s Ex Parte Order for Protection to determine if the Order for Protection should continue.
At the hearing, the Court may order the continuation of the Order for Protection if the responding party agrees to the continuation of the Order for Protection or if after a hearing, the court finds that domestic abuse occurred. The Order for Protection is effective for a fixed period of up to one year, except when the court determines a longer time is appropriate. In addition to restraining the abusing party from committing further acts of domestic abuse, the court may:
- exclude the abusing party from the dwelling the parties share or from the residence of the petitioner;
- exclude the abusing party from a reasonable area surrounding the dwelling or residence;
- award temporary custody or establish temporary parenting time rights on a basis that give primary consideration to the safety of the victim and children;
- establish temporary support for minor children or a spouse and order the withholding of support from the obligor’s income;
- provide counseling or other social services for the parties;
- order the abusing party to participate in treatment or counseling services;
- award temporary use and possession of property;
- exclude abusing party from the place of employment of petitioner; and
- order any other relief deemed necessary.
A violation of a term or condition of the Order for Protection is a crime. The issuance of an Order for Protection does not prevent criminal charges from being filed separately for the underlying acts of domestic abuse. An Order for Protection applies throughout the state. If properly drafted, the Order for Protection will apply nationwide.