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Domestic Violence and Harassment Protective Orders

Authored by: Messick Law PLLC

Domestic Violence and Harassment Protective Orders In Minnesota

Minnesota law allows for three types of protective orders – a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO), an Order for Protection (OFP), and a Domestic Assault No Contact Order (DANCO). It is important to know that an experienced family law attorney can help you through the process of getting a protection order or contesting one.

Harassment Restraining Order

A Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) is a court order prohibiting the harassment of yourself or your children by any individual who has engaged in harassing behavior. Harassment is defined as a single incident of sexual assault, stalking, non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images, nonconsensual distributing private information, or repeated intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that result in an adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another person.

To grant an HRO, the court must find that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused party has engaged in harassment.  The person filing the HRO must claim an immediate and present danger of future harassment. An HRO can cover a wide range of conduct and can be used to order the harasser to stop the incidents of harassment, to limit or avoid any contact with the victim, and to stay away from their place of residence or employment.

Order For Protection

An Order For Protection (OFP) deals specifically with domestic violence which means physical harm, bodily injury, fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, or terroristic threats, criminal sexual conduct, or interference with an emergency call. An OFP may be granted on behalf of an individual and/or their children against a family or household member.  An OFP can be granted on an emergency “ex-parte” basis, meaning the individual can be protected before a hearing is held.

With an OFP, a court can order the abuser to cease causing further harm to the victim, place limitations on contact with the victim, award possession of a residence, exclude the abuser from the victim’s place of employment, and order counseling or treatment for the abuser. In the case of families with children, the Court can also award temporary custody, parenting time, child support, and spousal support to last until the parties are able to get into family court on those issues.

Domestic Abuse No Contact Order

A Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO) is governed by criminal statute. A DANCO is distinguished from an OFP or HRO as it arises as a result of a criminal charge.  A DANCO is normally ordered by the court in a criminal proceeding or juvenile court proceeding stemming from domestic abuse, harassment, or stalking of a family or household member, or from a violation of an OFP. 

A DANCO is generally put in place until the criminal case is resolved or as a condition of probation after sentencing. A DANCO cannot be removed prior to the resolution of the criminal case without the permission of the Court.

Getting Help With Protection Orders

HRO’s, OFP’s, and DANCO’s are court orders that can have significant consequences for both of the parties involved. It is essential to have an experienced family law attorney familiar with these remedies if you need a protective order or are subject to one. Contact our attorneys today to discuss how we can assist you with the protection order process in Minnesota.

Messick Law PLLC has handled many different protection orders, from HRO’s, OFP’s, to DANCO’s. They have years of experience as litigators, are AV Rated, and recognized as Rising Stars by SuperLawyers.com. Get to know our attorneys; better yet, schedule a consultation with them. Contact Messick Law PLLC today.

Minnesota law allows for three types of protective orders. Learn more about each of these orders and how they function at Messick Law PLLC.
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