Most people understand the basics behind a protective order. Yet some people who have been involved in domestic incidents aren’t quite clear on the nature of these courts orders and the way they can impact a person’s life.
There are several different types of protective orders available in Minnesota. It’s vital to understand how these different protective orders work and their varying purposes. Here’s what you need to know.
Domestic Abuse: What Is It?
In Minnesota, domestic abuse is defined as being threatened or physically hurt by someone in your household or family. This includes acts such as terroristic threats, not allowing you to call for help, or sexual violence. It also includes physical harm such as choking, hair pulling, and pushing or hitting.
Saying things that threaten another is considered domestic abuse too. So, if someone who is a household or family member tells another that they will kill them or even hurt a pet, then it’s considered domestic abuse.
A household or family member is further defined by the law to include:
- Anyone with whom you share a child
- Former spouses
- Current spouses
- Anyone related to you by blood
- Anyone with whom you are expecting a child
- Anyone with whom you’ve had a significant sexual or romantic relationship
- Anyone with whom you have lived with or currently live
Often, orders of protection are granted for situations involving domestic abuse.
Three Different Court Orders
In Minnesota, a court can issue one of three different court orders or order of protection to help preserve the safety of the person petitioning the court for the order. They are:
Orders of Protection
An order of protection is used for circumstances in which domestic abuse has been alleged. The purpose of an order of protection is to prevent the person named in the order – the “respondent” – from:
- Committing more acts of domestic abuse
- Staying in the same house as the victim
- Coming to the workplace or home of the victim
- Having custody of any minor children
Domestic Abuse “No Contact” Orders
These types of orders are often granted in domestic abuse cases where there are pending criminal charges.
Harassment Restraining Orders
These are restraining orders that can be taken out against someone who is harassing or stalking the victim.
Does The Court Require Proof of Domestic Abuse?
In order for the court to grant an order of protection, there doesn’t need to be any evidence of past abuse. There does, however, need to be evidence that the person named by the victim on the protective order intends to harm them or make them afraid that they will be harmed.
Judges will often issue a temporary order of protection first. This helps keep safe the person who believes they are in danger – until more evidence can be presented for a more permanent order of protection.
Can You Contest an Order of Protection?
The person named in the order as the respondent can contest the order of protection. They can require a hearing before the issuing judge, where both parties are allowed to present evidence for their case. This is often important, because orders of protection, if granted long-term, can last for two years or longer with a formal extension by the court.
Orders of protection are serious matters for everyone involved. If you’re named as a respondent, then it’s vital to understand what it means for you and your rights in the process.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyers is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.