Minnesota Statute § 518B provides the statutory mechanism to allow individuals who are the victims of abuse to seek an immediate "no contact order" and other relief against the perpetrator through an Order for Protection (OFP).

"Domestic abuse" means the following, if committed against a family or household member by a family or household member:

(1) physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;

(2) the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or

(3) terroristic threats, within the meaning of section 609.713, subdivision 1; criminal sexual conduct, within the meaning of section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, 609.345, or 609.3451; or interference with an emergency call within the meaning of section 609.78, subdivision 2.

"Family or household members" means:

(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; and

(7) persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.

Issuance of an order for protection on the ground in clause (6) does not affect a determination of paternity under sections 257.51 to 257.74. In determining whether persons are or have been involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship under clause (7), the court shall consider the length of time of the relationship; type of relationship; frequency of interaction between the parties; and, if the relationship has terminated, length of time since the termination.

The various Counties in Minnesota handle Orders for Protection differently. The victim must first complete a petition for order for protection through the Court Administrator. There is no filing fee for an Order for Protection. Based on the petition, the Court may grant an emergency (ex-parte) Order for Protection that will continue for up to two weeks until such time that the Court can hold an initial Court hearing on the matter. At this next Court hearing, the alleged perpetrator is entitled to appear and defend himself or herself. In some Minnesota Counties, this hearing is considered just an "admit-deny" hearing, wherein the alleged perpetrator will simply admit or deny the allegatations. If he or she denies the allegations, then the matter will get scheduled for an evidentiary hearing at a later date. However, many Minnesota Counties will have the evidentiary hearing right away as part of the admit-deny hearing.

It is important to know the policies of the County and Courthouse where the Order for Protection hearing is being held. Often times, there is very little time to prepare for an evidentiary hearing (a trial) and to call and potentially subpoena witnesses to the evidentiary hearing.

Order for Protection Lawyer

Blahnik, Prchal & Stoll Law Office, PLLC has represented numerous clients through Order for Protection (OFP) hearings. If you need legal representation for an OFP hearing, or if you have additional questions about the process or possible consequences of an Order for Protection, please telephone or email Blahnik, Prchal & Stoll Law Office, PLLC for more information and to set up your complimentary initial consultation.