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Know the Laws: Minnesota

UPDATED August 15, 2016

Enforcing Your Out-Of-State Order in Minnesota

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If you are planning to move to Minnesota or are going to be in Minnesota for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Minnesota

back to topCan I get my protection order enforced in Minnesota? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your protection order can be enforced in Minnesota as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you;*
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case); and
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.**

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

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back to topCan I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in MN?

No. Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Minnesota.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. It  may be possible to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. You may not want to contact the clerk of court where you live to find out.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in Minnesota, you may be able to get a new one issued in Minnesota but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Minnesota. To find out more information on how to get an order for protection in Minnesota, visit our MN Orders for Protection page.

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back to topI was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in MN?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Minnesota can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area please visit our MN Finding a Lawyer page under the Where to Find Help tab.

* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

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Registering your Out-of-State order in Minnesota

back to topWhat is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database that contains protective order information, used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

 

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back to topHow do I register my protection order in Minnesota?

You (or the court that issued your order) can provide a certified or authenticated copy of your out-of-state protective order to the court administrator in the county where you are living (or in any of the counties mentioned here, if applicable).*  If the copy you have is not certified or authenticated, you can still file it if you swear in an affidavit that it is an accurate, valid copy.**  

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Minnesota for assistance. To find a lawyer or legal aid program in your area, please visit our MN Finding a Lawyer page.

* MN Statutes § 518B.01(19a)(b)
** MN Statutes § 518B.01(19a)(c)

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back to topDo I have to register my protection order in Minnesota in order to get it enforced?

No.  A valid out-of-state protective order has the same effect and is supposed to be enforced in the same way as a Minnesota order for protection issued whether or not it was filed with a court administrator or otherwise entered in the state order for protection database.* In addition, a peace officer is supposed to make an arrest for a violation of your out-of-state protective order in the same manner that a peace officer would make an arrest for a violation of a Minnesota order for protection.**  The fact that an out-of-state protective order has not been filed with the court administrator or otherwise entered into the state order for protection database is not a valid reason for a police officer to refuse to enforce the terms of the order if s/he is shown a copy of the order unless, by looking at the order, it is apparent to the officer that the order is not valid.***

* MN Statutes § 518B.01(19a)(e)
** MN Statutes § 518B.01(19a)(h)
*** MN Statutes § 518B.01(19a)(i)

 

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back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our MN State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

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back to topWhat if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Maybe. Neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced.  However, if your order is not registered, then it will not be entered into the state registry, which might delay enforcement.

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Minnesota. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit the MN State and Local Programs page under the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.

 

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back to topDoes it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in Minnesota.*

* MN Statutes §518B.01(3a)

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