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Minnesota Protective Orders Laws

Note: If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, call the Minnesota Day One Crisis Hotline at 1-800-223-1111 or your local police.

Overview of Protective Orders in Minnesota

A Minnesota protective order requires a person that is named in the order, such as a stalker or an abusive spouse, to stay a certain distance away from the petitioner for up to one year. "The petitioner" is the person requesting protection with the order, while the person from whom the petitioner is seeking protection is called "the respondent."

Also known as restraining orders, these orders may be extended if the court deems it appropriate. The petitioner alleging domestic abuse must file a sworn affidavit as to the specific circumstances requiring relief. A hearing is held within 14 days of when the petitioner files the petition for the order.

If either the hearing that is requested or the petition are denied, another hearing must be held within seven days. If it's an emergency order (ex parte order), the order goes into effect, but only on a temporary basis until either the hearings take place or the petition is completely denied.

How to File an Order of Protection in Minnesota

The Minnesota courts provide a number of official forms for filing orders of protection and for other processes related to domestic violence. The state judiciary's self-help center also provides a section on laws, rules, and resources on domestic abuse and harassment. You may also want to speak with a family law attorney experienced in such matters.

Additional details about orders of protection in Minnesota can be found in the table below. See FindLaw's Domestic Violence section for additional resources.

Code Section

518B.01 Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act

Activity Addressed by Order

Orders address many types of activities. Examples of activities that orders address are:
  • Prohibiting the respondent from making contact with the petitioner
  • Requiring that the respondent yield possession of a pet or companion animal to the petitioner
  • Directing the respondent not to harm or injure a pet or companion animal as a way to manipulate or threaten the petitioner
  • Excluding the respondent from a dwelling, workplace, or school
  • Establishing temporary custody, child visitation rights, or child support
  • Requiring that the respondent go to counseling or therapy
  • Directing the respondent to pay restitution (compensation) to the petitioner
  • Requiring that the respondent continue payment of joint insurance coverage
  • Prohibit the respondent from possessing or using firearms or other dangerous weapons

Duration of Order

A general order may last for a duration of up to a maximum of two years, while the petitioner may request that the court extend the order.

Penalty for a Violation of Order

Misdemeanor: violations of protective orders are treated as a misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum of three days in jail and mandated sessions with a therapist. Gross misdemeanor: if the respondent is convicted under certain laws, within 5 years of when the order takes effect, the violation is treated as a gross misdemeanor. For a gross misdemeanor, the respondent faces a minimum of ten days in jail and mandated sessions with a therapist. The court may order a bond of $10,000, five years of imprisonment, or both if repeated violations are likely to occur or if the respondent was in possession of a weapon during one of the offenses.

Who May Apply for Order

The following people are eligible for protective orders:
  • Any family or household member of the respondent
  • A guardian on behalf of the petitioner
  • A reputable adult of 25 years of age or older as determined by the court
  • A minor on minor's own behalf if court determines minor has sufficient maturity
“Family or household members" means any of the following people:
  • Spouses and former spouses
  • Parents and children
  • Persons related by blood
  • People that live together or who have lived together in the past
  • People who have a child in common regardless of marriage or whether the people have lived together
  • A man and a pregnant woman, if the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time
  • People in a sexual or romantic relationship

Can Fees Be Waived?

There are no filing fees.

Order Transmission to Law Enforcement

A copy of the order is sent within 24 hours to the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner.

Civil Liability for Violation of Order

Contempt of court

Note: State laws are constantly changing. Contact a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer or domestic violence lawyer, or conduct your own legal research, to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Consider reviewing the following resources to learn more about Minnesota laws, including those related to protective orders:

Minnesota Protective Order Laws: Related Resources

Consider reviewing the following, too, if you'd like to learn more about domestic violence and other related offenses:

Have Questions About Minnesota Protective Orders Laws? Get Legal Help

Whether you're in need of a protective order or are subject to one, it's very important that you understand how they work. If you have additional questions related to your specific situation or want to learn more about Minnesota protective orders laws in general, it's a good idea to speak to an experienced family law attorney or criminal defense attorney near you today.

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