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Restraining Orders

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An Overview of Minnesota’s Protective Order Laws

Family law restraining orders are designed to provide legal protection to victims of domestic abuse, harassment, stalking, and other threatening behavior. In Minnesota, a person can file for a protective order in the county they live in, the county the perpetrator lives, or the county that the alleged abuse occurred. Below, our Mankato family lawyers provide a more detailed overview of Minnesota’s protective order laws.

Southern Minnesota Restraining Order Attorney

Under Minnesota law (MN Statutes Sec. 518B.01), protective orders (restraining orders) provide legal protection to victims of domestic abuse. The state defines domestic abuse as physical harm, infliction of fear of imminent harm, or the making of terroristic threats. Here are some of the key things to know about protective orders in Minnesota:

  • Two Types: Minnesota allows victims to file for two separate types of domestic violence protective orders: Ex parte orders and full orders. An ex parte order is essentially a temporary restraining order. Notably, the standard needed to obtain an ex parte protective order is relaxed. It is possible to obtain an ex parte domestic violence restraining order without providing any advance notice to the abuser.
  • Eligibility to Apply: You must have some sort of personal (domestic) relationship with the alleged abuser. In Minnesota, this means that the parties must be married, family members, household members, in a dating-like relationship, or they must share a child.
  • How the Process Work: When issued, a protective order “enjoins conduct”—this is a legal way of saying that the order forbids a party from taking certain action. How exactly a protective order works depends on the circumstances of the case. That being said, orders of protection typically prohibit contact and communication between the parties.
  • Penalties for Violations: A protective order is a serious matter. Minnesota has imposed strict criminal penalties for violations. A person who breaks a protective order can face both civil and criminal liability. Notably, a violation of a protective order is, by itself, a misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by three days in jail and mandatory counseling. There can also be child custody and child visitation ramifications.

Protective orders are complicated. These cases should always be handled with the highest degree of care and sensitivity. If you are preparing to file for an order or protection or if you believe that an unjust restraining order is being placed against you, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced family law attorney. Your lawyer will be able to take action to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

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Contact us as soon as possible. The sooner you call us and get us on the case, the more time we wil have to prepare your defense. Even if you are not sure you want to hire us, call us and talk with one of our Mankato restraining orders attorneys. We offer a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. Talk to us and see what we can do for you.

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