If you find yourself in a relationship where you are hurting, either physically or emotionally, the world can feel dark and lonely. You may feel isolated from friends and family. You may not see a way out or know how to stop the abuse or harm. But you can get help!
Restraining orders can be a tool you can use to distance yourself from the person hurting you. Minnesota law allows you to obtain help from the courts through restraining orders.
Order for Protection
Domestic abuse is when your partner or a member of your household causes you bodily harm, threatens to cause you harm, or puts fear in you of physical harm. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, an Order For Protection (OFP) is an important tool to protect you against further abuse.
You can ask the courts to enter an OFP on your behalf to stop this abuse. An OFP can stop the abuse by prohibiting future abuse and harm by your household member or partner, excluding that person from your home and your place of work, and preventing contact through other people (third parties).
Harassment Restraining Orders
In Minnesota, harassment is defined as incidents of physical or sexual harm (assault), sharing (dissemination of) sexual images, repeated incidents of intrusive or unwanted acts/words/gestures that have caused you to feel, or intend to cause you to feel, unsafe. If you are feeling harassed, a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) can protect you against further harassment.
Unlike OFPs, HROs are used against persons who are not household members or with whom you do not have a romantic relationship. For example, a coworker or neighbor. HROs can stop the harassment by prohibiting future harassment by the perpetrator. Similar to OPFs, our attorneys can assist you in obtaining an HRO.
Both OFPs and HROs can protect any children in your custody who are also in need of protection. You need not have immigrant status to qualify for either OFPs or HROs.
How We Can Help
The procedures to obtain OFPs or HROs are very similar. Our attorneys will file the necessary paperwork (petition) with the courts to request an OFP or HRO on your behalf. The courts may approve your request immediately (known as an ex parte order) and then offer the other party a chance to contest the order. The courts may skip the ex parte order and just schedule your request for a hearing before first approving your request. If the other party contests your request for an OFP or HRO, either after an ex parte order or at a regularly scheduled hearing, we can represent you in those proceedings. We will fight for your protection by presenting available evidence and testimony on your behalf.
Our attorneys will guide you through this process so you are not alone. Our team has decades of experience working with victims of abuse. We will fiercely advocate for you to obtain the protections you need so you can leave that scary and dark place of fear and hurt for a better place of light and safety.