Application of Order for Protection in the State of Minnesota

An Order for Protection (OFP) granted under the Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act applies within the entire state of Minnesota.  Also, according to the United States’ Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (federal law), an OFP is recognizable and enforceable in all fifty states of the union, the District of Columbia, tribal lands, and United States territories. Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 20; 18 U.S.C. § 2265.

A valid foreign protective order issued by an “Indian tribe” or a judicial court in another state within the United States has the same effect and shall be enforced in the same manner as an OFP issued in the state of Minnesota.  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 19a.

Distribution of Order for Protection and Change in Residence Under Minnesota Law

The administrator of the court is to forward each Order for Protection (OFP) to the local policing agency that has jurisdiction over the residence of the applicant.  Law enforcement is to do this within 24 hours of the order’s issuance.  Each policing agency must make sure that all other law enforcement bodies have the information available to determine the the existence (or nonexistence) of any OFP and, if one exists, the actual status of it.

If the applicant notifies the administrator of the court of a change in the applicant’s residence, which results in a different local policing agency having jurisdiction over the residence, the OFP must be forwarded by the administrator of the court to the new policing agency within one full day (or twenty-four (24) hours) of the notice.  Further, the local policing agency shall request a copy of the order from the court administrator within one full day (or twenty-four (24) hours) if (1) the applicant notifies the new law enforcement agency that an Order for Protection has been issued and (2) the applicant has established a new residence within the agency’s jurisdiction.  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 13.

Subsequent Orders and Extensions of Orders Made by a State Court Judge in Minnesota

The court may extend the relief granted in an existing Order for Protection (OFP) or grant a new order if an earlier OFP is no longer in effect when an application for subsequent relief is made.  An extension or new order may be granted if the following can be shown:  (1) the respondent has violated a prior or existing OFP;  (2) the petitioner is reasonably in fear of physical harm from the respondent;  (3) the respondent has engaged in acts of harassment or stalking within the meaning of section 609.749, subd. 2;  or (4) the respondent is incarcerated and about to be released, or has recently been released.  NOTE:  a petitioner does not need to show imminent physical harm to obtain an extension or subsequent order.  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 6a.

Modification of Orders Under Minnesota Law

A judge may modify the terms and conditions of an existing Order for Protection (OFP) upon application, notice to all parties, and a hearing.  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 11.

Ex Parte Orders in the State of Minnesota

A judge may grant an ex parte order (i.e., an order granted upon request of the petitioner, without notice to the respondent) where an application for relief alleges an immediate and present danger of domestic abuse.  The court may grant the relief it deems proper, which may included the following:  (1) restraining the abusing party from committing acts of domestic abuse;  (2) excluding any party from the dwelling they share or from the residence of the other except by further order of the court;  (3) excluding the abusing party from the place of employment of the petitioner or otherwise limiting access to the petitioner by the abusing party at the petitioner’s place of employment;  and (4) continuing all currently available insurance coverage without change in coverage or beneficiary designation.

If an ex parte order has been issued, a full hearing must take place at the request of the petitioner or respondent.  The respondent has five (5) days from the service of the order to request a hearing.  The ex parte order shall be effective for a fixed period set by the judge or until modified or vacated by the judge pursuant to a hearing.  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 7.  An order is also effective upon a referee’s signature. 

If the petitioner seeks ex parte relief beyond asking the court to restrain the abusing party from committing acts of domestic abuse or domestic violence, the petitioner must request a hearing to seek the additional relief.  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 7.

How Much Does It Cost?

Each situation has its own complexities and there are many aspects to discuss to understand the details of your situation and advise you accurately. We have an experienced attorney here who would be happy to analyze your situation’s circumstances and advise you of your legal rights and options. This can generally be accomplished during a one-hour meeting (which can be by phone). Our fee for a one-hour meeting is $300. Work beyond that initial hour is at usual hourly rates. We do not offer free consultations on this type of work.

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