Orders for Protection

A person may Petition the Court for an Order for Protection (OFP).  The Petition must allege that domestic abuse has occurred between household or family members. Domestic abuse is defined as: 1.) Physical harm; 2.) Bodily injury; 3.) Assault; 4.) Infliction of fear of imminent physical harm; 5.) Infliction of fear of imminent bodily injury; 6.) Infliction of fear of imminent assault; 7.) Terroristic threats; 8.) criminal sexual conduct; or 9.) Interference with an emergency call. Household or family members includes: 1.) Spouses and former spouses; 2.) Parents and children; 3.) Persons related by blood; 4.) Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past; 5.) Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; 6.) A man and 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; 7.) Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.

Once a Petition for an Order for Protection has been filed, the Court will review the Petition and determine whether the Petition alleges an immediate and present danger of domestic abuse.  If the Court so finds, it may issue an ex-parte Order for Protection meaning that an Order for Protection will immediately go into effect. If an ex-parte Order goes into effect, under most circumstances the Court will not schedule a hearing unless requested by one of the parties.  If the Court declines to grant an ex-parte Order for Protection a hearing must be scheduled. If a hearing occurs, the Court may grant an Order for Protection after finding that domestic abuse has occurred, dismiss the Petition for an Order for Protection and the ex-parte Order if any, or grant an Order for Protection without findings that domestic abuse occurred based on the agreement of the parties that an Order issue.

Order For Protection Lawyer

Orders for Protection may grant various types of relief and impose various types of restrictions on people.  Types of relief that may be granted include, among others: child custody, parenting time, possession of animals or property, possession of real estate and requiring persons to attend various types of programming like domestic abuse classes.  Restrictions that may be imposed include among others: preventing contact between certain people, restraining one party from committing acts of domestic abuse, restraining a person from coming to or within a certain distance of the protected party’s home, work or other location and preventing one party from shipping, possessing or using firearms or ammunition.

Violations of Orders for Protection are enhanceable crimes in the State of Minnesota, meaning that the seriousness of the offense increases if the violator has prior convictions for violating Orders for Protection within a specified timeframe or is in possession of a dangerous weapon at the time of the violation.  Misdemeanor level violations of an Order for Protection are punishable by up to ninety (90) days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine.  Gross Misdemeanor level violations of an Order for Protection are punishable by up to three hundred and sixty-five (365) days in jail and/or a $3,000.00 fine.  Felony level violations of an Order for Protection are punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and/or a $10,000.00 fine. In addition, under certain circumstances, a person who is restrained by an Order for Protection may be subject to federal criminal charges if they ship, use or transport a firearm.

Contact us to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our lawyers about your order for protection case.

*This material is educational only, it does not constitute legal advice, it should not be relied on and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.