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Protecting Yourself from Abuse with a Court Order
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Asking for an Order for Protection
Under MN Statutes Ch. 518B, victims of domestic violence may ask for an Order for Protection (OFP) from Family Court. A victim is NOT required to report the violence to the police before asking for an OFP. There is no filing fee for an Order for Protection.
If a family member, household member, or someone with whom you have had a romantic or sexual relationship, or if you have lived together or are currently living together, and that person has physically hurt you, or threatened to physically hurt you, you can petition the court for an Order for Protection.
You can petition the court for an Order for Protection if:
- you or the Respondent lives in Hennepin County;
- the assault occurred in Hennepin County, OR
- there is a pending or completed family court case involving the parties or their minor children.
Under MN Statutes § 518B.01 subd. 2(b), domestic abuse occurs to a family or household member if committed by a family or household member. Family or household member is defined as:
- spouse and former spouse;
- parents and children;
- persons related by blood;
- persons who are currently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
- persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
- a man or a woman, if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; OR
- persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
What an Order for Protection Can Do
- restrain the abusing party from committing acts of domestic abuse;
- exclude the Respondent from your home, work, school, or daycare;
- require “no contact” in person, by telephone, notes, letters, telegrams, pagers, e-mail or third party;
- provide other appropriate relief; AND/OR
- allow the police to arrest the abuser if there is a violation of the Order.
Steps to Ask the Court for an Order for Protection
Anyone seeking an Order for Protection should contact the Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Service Center (DASC) to schedule an appointment at (612)348-5073. Walk-in assistance is available on a limited basis.
District Court staff will help you complete the paperwork (Affidavit and Petition) needed to ask for a temporary "ex parte" Order for Protection. You are called the "Petitioner" and the person you are filing against is called the "Respondent."
A judge will then review your Petition and Affidavit and decide if a temporary ex parte Order for Protection should be issued.
If a hearing is needed, it will be held within 14 days following the filing of the ex parte Order for Protection.
See also Laws, Rules & Resources on Domestic Abuse & Harassment
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