Order For Protection

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If domestic abuse has occurred, an Order for Protection is a civil order that prohibits the abuser from contacting the victim or going to the victim’s place of work or residence. An Order for Protection can include a provision for custody and parenting time to the extent necessary to protect the victim and can also include a temporary child support order.

To obtain an Order for Protection, a petition must be filed in family court alleging the domestic abuse that occurred. In Minnesota, domestic abuse is defined as the following:

  • Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault between a family or household member;
  • Terrorstic 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.

If the court determines that the initial Petition and affidavit allege that domestic abuse has occurred, the court will grant an Ex Parte Order for Protection. The Ex Parte Order will then be served upon the alleged abuser. When an Ex Parte Order for Protection is granted, the court must schedule a hearing no later than fourteen (14) days from the issuance of the Ex Parte Order to determine whether the Order for Protection will stand. At the hearing, the court may extend the Order for Protection by agreement of the parties whether or not a finding of domestic abuse has been made or may issue the Order for Protection if it finds that domestic abuse has occurred after a hearing. Typically, an Order for Protection is effective for one year; however, an Order can be extended if circumstances warrant such an extension.