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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a "restraining" order?

An order from a court directing one person not to do something, such as make contact with another person, enter the family home or remove a child from the state. Restraining orders are typically issued in cases in which partner abuse or stalking is feared -- or has occurred -- in an attempt to ensure the victim's safety.

What types of restraining orders are available? 

Do I need an appointment?

You can schedule an appointment for an OFP by calling the Domestic Abuse Service Center (DASC) at (612)348-5073, or you can get help on a walk-in basis from 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., but same-day service is not guaranteed for walk-ins.

To ask for a harassment restraining order in Hennepin County, you can get help on a first-come first-served basis at the Hennepin County Court Self-Help Center.

What is the process to file an Order for Protection?

  • Staff at DASC will help prepare your paperwork to ask for an OFP.
  • After the order is drafted, the order goes to the "signing Judge."
  • If the order is signed by the judge, staff from DASC will file the order.
  • The order is then taken to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office for service on the other party. 
  • This entire process can take several hours, depending on the availability of staff and the signing judge. You may either wait at DASC for the order, or you can leave and call later to see if it has been signed. Once it has been signed, you can pick it up your order (that same day or the next day).

If I don’t have an appointment how long is the wait?  

It is hard to predict how long each meeting will last with clients. We will assist you as soon as we can. If you cannot wait for an extended period of time, please feel free to make an appointment by calling DASC at (612)348-5073.

Is there a charge to file an Order for Protection?

There is no charge or fee to file an Order for Protection.

How long will my order be good for?

If granted, an Order for Protection order is usually valid for one year to two years.

Once my order is signed, how long will it take for the other party to get served?

Once your order has been signed by the Judge, it goes to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office for service. Contact the Sheriff’s office for more information about their procedures by calling (612)348-3744.

What information must I have to ask for a restraining order?

The Respondent's (person against whom you are seeking an order) full name. It would also be very helpful to have:

  • Respondent's address (both home and work) so they can be served with a copy of the order;
  • date of birth or approximate age of the Respondent and any impacted children;
  • date(s) of the event(s) or incident(s) (or approximate date); and
  • any Family Court orders involving you and the Respondent.


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