A person may petition the Court for a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO). The person seeking the Harassment Restraining Order (Petitioner) must allege that they have been harassed by the person or organization they are seeking the Order against (Respondent). Harassment is defined as the following acts:
- a single incident of physical or sexual assault or repeated incidents of intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that have a substantial adverse effect or are intended to have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another, regardless of the relationship between the actor and the intended target;
- targeted residential picketing;
- a pattern of attending public events after being notified that the actor’s presence at the event is harassing to another.
Once a Petition for a Harassment Restraining Order is filed, the Court will review the Petition and determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that harassment has occurred and, in most, cases whether the Petition alleges an immediate and present danger of continued harassment.
If the Court so finds, it may issue a temporary Harassment Restraining Order that will immediately go into effect. If the Court issues a temporary Harassment Restraining Order, a hearing will be held to determine whether a long-term Harassment Restraining Order should be issued upon the request of the Respondent.
If the Respondent does not request a hearing, the temporary Harassment Restraining Order may stay in effect up to two years. If the Court does not issue a temporary Harassment Restraining Order, the Petitioner may request a hearing and the matter will be set on the Court’s calendar.
If a hearing is held, the Court may grant a Harassment Restraining Order based on the agreement of the parties without making any findings of fact regarding whether harassment occurred, issue a Harassment Restraining Order with findings that harassment occurred or dismiss the Petition.
Restraining Order Lawyers
Harassment Restraining Orders may grant only certain types of relief. Harassment Restraining Orders may restrict the Respondent from harassing the Petitioner, having contact with the Petitioner and going to Petitioner’s home or work. Harassment Restraining Orders cannot determine, among other things, child custody, child support, possession of animals or property, possession of real estate or require persons to attend various types of programming like domestic abuse classes.
Violation of a Harassment Restraining Order is an enhanceable crime in Minnesota. A first time violation of a Harassment Restraining Order is a misdemeanor unless certain criteria are met. If certain criteria are met first and subsequent violations of Harassment Restraining Orders become more serious and can be gross misdemeanors or felonies.
Contact us to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our lawyers about your Harassment Restraining Order 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.