Información Legal: Minnesota

Minnesota: Órdenes de Restricción

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Órdenes de Restricción

Órdenes de Protección

Información básica

¿Cuál es la definición legal de maltrato doméstico en Minnesota?

For the purposes of getting an order for protection, “domestic abuse” is defined as any of the following acts if committed by a family or household member:

  • causing physical harm, bodily injury, assault or making you afraid of immediate (imminent) physical harm, bodily injury or assault;
  • terrorist threats, such as threats to commit a crime of violence, bomb threats, or showing (brandishing) a firearm;
  • criminal sexual conduct in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th degrees; and
  • interference with an emergency call, which includes preventing someone from calling 911 or other emergency phone numbers or interrupting/ending an emergency call.1

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(2)(a)

What types of orders for protection are available? How long do they last?

There are two types of orders for protection: ex parte orders and full orders. However, unlike most other states, Minnesota does not necessarily require that a hearing be held with both parties present before issuing a long-term (full) order. Minnesota law allows a judge to issue a long-term order on your first court date and then it is up to the respondent/abuser to fill out paperwork to request a hearing to object to the order.

When you go to court to file for an order for protection, a judge will give you an ex parte order for protection if s/he finds that there is an immediate and present danger of domestic abuse and you need immediate protection.1 “Ex parte” means that the abuser is not notified beforehand or present in court - the judge will make this decision based only on the information you provide. An ex parte order will be effective for a fixed period set by the court and can generally last for up to two years or until modified or vacated by the judge after a hearing.2 Once you’ve been granted an ex parte order, you do not need to return to court for a full hearing unless:

  1. You request a hearing to ask the judge for additional protection than what can be granted with an ex parte order;
  2. The judge decides not to grant you all of the protection that you asked for in the ex parte order; or
  3. The abuser requests a hearing once s/he is served with your ex parte order.

If a hearing is ordered based on reasons #1 or #2, above, the hearing will be held within seven days. If the hearing is ordered based on reason #3, above, it will be held within ten days of when the court receives his/her request, although either side may request a continuance in any of the circumstances. The court will notify you of the hearing by mail3 and you would need to go to the hearing in order to present evidence as to why the order should continue. Note: If the judge does not grant you an ex parte order on your first court date, the hearing for a full order for protection will be scheduled within 14 days.4

If there is a court hearing for a full order for protection, both parties (you and the abuser) should have a chance to present evidence, testimony, witnesses, etc. to prove why the order should/should not be issued. The order can last for up to two years, but you may petition to have it extended if you need further protection once the order expires.5

If the abuser has violated a prior or existing order for protection on two or more occasions, or if you have been granted two or more orders for protection against the abuser, the judge can grant a full order for up to 50 years.6 If after five years there have been no violations of the order, the abuser may ask the judge to modify (change) the order by proving there has been a significant change in circumstances.7

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(7)(a)
2 Minn. Stat. §§ 518B.01(7)(c); 518B.01(6)(b)
3 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(5)(b)-(e)
4 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(5)(a)
5 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(7)
6 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(6)(a)
7 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(11)(b)

What protections can I get in an order for protection?

You can be granted the following protections in an ex parte order for protection:

  • that the abuser not abuse you or your minor children;
  • that the abuser be removed from the home that you share and that s/he stay away from a reasonable area surrounding the shared home or your own home;
  • that the abuser stay away from your place of work;
  • that the abuser not contact you, either in person, by telephone, mail, email or other electronic devices, or through another person (a “third party”);
  • that any insurance coverage currently available to you remain unchanged – for example, if you get health insurance through the abuser’s work, s/he won’t be able to remove you from the insurance plan;
  • giving either of you possession or control of a pet or companion animal owned, possessed, or kept by you, the abuser, or a child of you or the abuser, and ordering the abuser to not physically abuse the animal.1

If you get an order for protection that is issued after the respondent/abuser is given notice and the chance to appear in court at a hearing, you can get the following protections as part of a full order of protection:

  • all of the ex parte protections listed above; and
  • the following additional protections:
    • temporary custody of your children and/or establishing temporary parenting time giving primary consideration to the safety of you and your children; Note: The judge can restrict parenting time as to the time, place, duration, or supervision, or deny parenting time completely if necessary to protect the safety of you and your children;
    • temporary child support and/or spousal support;
    • counseling or other social services for you and the respondent if you are married or if you have minor children together;
    • an order for the abuser to participate in treatment or counseling services;
    • temporary use and possession of property that you share with the abuser, such as a car;
    • an order that neither party sell, damage, or get rid of property, or use it as the basis for a loan;
    • restitution paid to you from the abuser to compensate you for your medical bills and/or lost income as a result of the abuse, for example;
    • an order that the abuser not possess firearms for the time that the order is in effect; Note: The judge is supposed to include this prohibition against possessing firearms in all situations where the order:
      • instructs the abuser to stop harassing, stalking, or threatening you, or from engaging in other conduct that would place you in reasonable fear of bodily injury; and
      • includes a determination (“finding”) that the abuser represents a credible threat to your physical safety or prohibits the abuser from using, attempting to use, or threatening to use physical force against you; and
    • an order for any other relief that is necessary to protect you and your children, including ordering the sheriff or other law enforcement to act in a certain way – for example, to accompany you to the home to get your belongings.2

Whether or not a judge orders any, or all of the above, depends on the facts of your case. To read about what will happen to the firearms if the abuser is prohibited from possessing them, go to What will happen to the abuser’s firearms if the judge includes a firearm restriction in my order for protection?

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(7)(a)
2 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(6)(a), (6)(g)

In which county can I file for an order for protection?

You can file for an order for protection in any county in which:

  • either you or the abuser lives;
  • the abuse happened; or
  • there is/was a family court proceeding involving you and the abuser or a child you have with the abuser, such as a custody/visitation case.1

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(3)

Si el agresor vive en otro estado, ¿puedo conseguir una orden en su contra?

Si el/la agresor/a vive en un estado diferente al suyo, el/la juez/a podría no tener “jurisdicción personal” (poder) sobre ese/a agresor/a. Esto significa que es posible que el tribunal no pueda otorgar una orden en contra de él/ella.

Hay algunas formas en las que una corte puede tener jurisdicción personal sobre un/a agresor/a que es de otro estado:

  1. El/la agresor/a tiene una conexión sustancial a su estado. Quizás el/la agresor/a viaja regularmente a su estado para visitarlo/a, por negocios, para ver la familia extendida, o el/la agresor/a vivía en su estado y huyó recientemente.
  2. Uno de los actos de maltrato “ocurrió” en su estado. Quizás el/la agresor/a le envía mensajes amenazantes o le hace llamadas acosadoras desde otro estado pero usted lee los mensajes o contesta las llamadas mientras usted está en su estado. El/la juez/a puede decidir que el maltrato “ocurrió” mientras estaba en su estado. También puede ser posible que el/la agresor/a estaba en su estado cuando le maltrató pero desde entonces se fue del estado.
  3. Otra forma para que la corte adquiera jurisdicción es si usted presenta su petición en el estado donde usted está, y el/la agresor/a recibe notificación de la petición de la corte mientras él/ella está en ese estado.

Sin embargo, aunque nada de esto aplique a su situación, eso no necesariamente significa que usted no pueda conseguir una orden. A usted le pueden dar una orden por consentimiento o el/la juez/a puede encontrar otras circunstancias que permitan que la orden sea dada. Puede leer más sobre jurisdicción personal en nuestra sección de Asuntos Básicos del Sistema Judicial - Jurisdicción Personal.

Nota: Si el/la juez/a de su estado se niega a dar una orden, usted puede pedir una orden en la corte del estado donde vive el/la agresor/a. Sin embargo, recuerde que es probable que usted necesite presentar la petición en persona y asistir a varias citas en la corte, lo cual podría ser difícil si el estado de el/la agresor/a es lejos.

Quién puede conseguir una orden de protección

Am I eligible to file for an order for protection?

You can file for an order for protection against any of the following family or household members who have committed domestic abuse against you or your minor child:

  • your spouse or former spouse;
  • your parent;
  • your child;
  • someone related to you by blood;
  • someone with whom you live/lived;
  • someone with whom you have a child in common;
  • someone with whom you are expecting a child;
  • someone with whom you have/had a significant romantic or sexual relationship.1

Note: If you are a “reputable adult” who is at least 25 years old, you can file on behalf of a minor who is a family or household member of yours but not your biological child.2

A minor child who is age 16 or older can file on his/her own behalf against a spouse or former spouse, or a person with whom the minor has a child in common - but the judge must believe that the minor has “sufficient maturity and judgment” to file on his/her own and that it is in the best interests of the minor to allow the minor to file. All other minors must have a parent, guardian, or a “reputable adult” in his/her household file on their behalf.2

If you do not qualify for an order for protection, you may be able to file for a Harassment Restraining Order.

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(2)(b)
2 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(4)(a)

Can a minor file for an order for protection?

A minor child who is age 16 or older can file on his/her own behalf against a spouse or former spouse, or a person with whom the minor has a child in common - but the judge must believe that the minor has “sufficient maturity and judgment” to file on his/her own and that it is in the best interests of the minor to allow the minor to file. All other minors must have a parent, guardian, or a “reputable adult” who is a family or household member and who is age 25 or older file on their behalf.1

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(4)(a)

Can I get an order for protection against a same-sex partner?

In Minnesota, you may apply for an order for protection against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to file for an order for protection? You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, which is explained in What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Minnesota?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

If I am not eligible for an order for protection, is there another type of restraining order I can get?

If you are not eligible for an order for protection, you may be able to get a harassment restraining order (HRO).  Anyone who is a victim of harassment can file for a harassment restraining order. It does not matter what relationship you have with the harasser. To read more, go to our Harassment Restraining Orders page.

How much does it cost to get an order for protection? Do I need a lawyer?

There are no filing fees to get an order for protection.1

You do not need a lawyer to file for an order for protection. However, you may wish to have a lawyer, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. If you can, contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, you can find contact information for legal assistance organizations, which offer free or low-cost help to those who qualify, on our MN Finding a Lawyer page.

Domestic violence organizations in your area may also be able to help you through the legal process and may have legal referrals. Having another person give you support through this process can be a tremendous help. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit our MN Advocates and Shelters page.

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(3a)

Pasos para conseguir una orden de protección

Step 1: Fill out the necessary forms and file them in court.

You can get and file a petition for an order for protection at the appropriate courthouse - see In which country can I file for an order for protection? Check our MN Courthouse Locations to find the courthouse in your area. At the courthouse, the clerk will provide you with the forms that you need to file. If you need assistance filling out the form, you may ask the clerk for help or you can try to get help through one of the domestic violence organizations listed on our MN Advocates and Shelters page.

You will also find links to online forms at our MN Download Court Forms page.

Read the petition carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Describe in detail how the abuser (respondent) injured or threatened you. Explain when and where the abuse or threats occurred. Write about the incidents of violence, using descriptive language, such as slapping, hitting, grabbing, choking, threatening, etc. that fits your situation. Be specific. Include approximate dates, if possible.

Note: Do not sign the form until you have shown it to a clerk. The form may have to be signed in front of a notary public at the courthouse.

Step 2: A judge will review your petition and may grant an ex parte order.

After you finish filling out your petition, a judge will review it. If you are in immediate danger, the judge can order an ex parte order. A judge will decide this based on the facts included in your petition.

The abuser does not have to be notified in advance to receive an ex parte order, which can last for up to two years. If an ex parte order is granted, the ex parte order and petition must be served upon the respondent and, if a hearing was requested by you, s/he will also be served with a notice of the date set for the hearing. If you do not request a hearing, the order served on the abuser must include a notice advising the respondent/abuser of the right to request a hearing to object to the order along with a form that can be used by the respondent to request this hearing. S/he must request the hearing within five days of service of the order.1

1 Minn Stat § 518B.01(7)(c)

Step 3: Service of process

If you receive an ex parte order, it will not be enforceable until the papers have been served upon the abuser. The court clerk will give all of the necessary paperwork to the sheriff or another law enforcement officer to be served personally upon the abuser without any cost to you. Service is usually done by a “peace officer” but it could also be done by a corrections officer, such as a probation officer, court services officer, parole officer, or an employee of a jail or correctional facility.1 

As an alternative, the law allows a peace officer to serve the respondent with a “short-form notification” that notifies the respondent of the basic elements of the order. This may be appropriate, for example, if the respondent comes into contact with the police and the police learn that there is an unserved temporary order. The short-form notification will have the following instructions to the respondent: “The order for protection is now enforceable. You must report to your nearest sheriff office or county court to obtain a copy of the order for protection. You are subject to arrest and may be charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony if you violate any of the terms of the order for protection or this short-form notification.”2

Note: If service was attempted by a peace officer but it was unsuccessful because the respondent is avoiding service by hiding or for any other reason, you can file an affidavit with the court to explain what happened.  The judge can then allow the respondent to be “served” by alternate service, which can include mailing a copy to any addresses where there is a reasonable possibility that mail or information will be forwarded or communicated to the respondent and publication in a newspaper for one week. The application for alternate service must include the last known location of the respondent as well as other information about the respondent/abuser’s family members’ locations, etc. When deciding whether to order this, the judge is supposed to consider the length of time the respondent’s location has been unknown, the likelihood that the respondent’s location will become known, the type of things you are asking for in your order for protection, and the nature of the efforts made to locate the respondent. The judge can order service by first class mail, forwarding address requested, to any addresses where there is a reasonable possibility that mail or information will be forwarded or communicated to the respondent/abuser.  If either of these options are ordered, service shall be considered complete 14 days after mailing or 14 days after court-ordered publication.3

You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?

1 Minn Stat § 518B.01(3a), (9a)
2 Minn Stat § 518B.01(8)(a), (8a)
3 Minn Stat § 518B.01(4)(g), (5)(f), (8)(a), (8)(c)

Step 4: The hearing

It may be the case that you will not have to come back to court after you receive your ex parte order for protection. However, if you are ordered to return to court for a hearing, it is very important that you attend the court hearing. If you absolutely cannot attend, contact the court clerk immediately and ask how you can get a continuance for a later court date. See the At the Hearing section for ways you can show the judge that you were abused. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section. See the MN Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.

Después de la audiencia

¿Puede el agresor tener un arma de fuego?

Una vez que usted tenga una orden de protección, pueden haber leyes que prohíban que el/la demandado/a tenga un arma de fuego. Hay algunos lugares en los que puede encontrar esta información:

  • primero, lea las preguntas en esta página para averiguar si los/as jueces/zas en Minnesota tienen el poder para quitar armas de fuego como parte de una orden temporal o final;
  • segundo, vaya a nuestra sección de Leyes Estatales de Armas de Fuego para leer sobre las leyes estatales de armas de fuego específicas de su estado; y
  • tercero, puede leer nuestra sección de Leyes Federales sobre Armas de Fuego para entender las leyes federales que le aplican a todos los estados.

Puede leer más sobre cómo evitar que un/a agresor/a tenga acceso a armas de fuego en el sitio web del Centro Nacional de Recursos contra la Violencia Doméstica y las Armas de Fuego (National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center).

What will happen to the abuser's firearms if the judge includes a firearm restriction in my order for protection?

If the judge orders that the abuser’s firearms be removed, there are two ways that the firearms can be taken away. First, if the judge believes that there is evidence that the abuser poses an immediate risk of causing you or another person substantial bodily harm, the judge must order the local law enforcement agency take immediate possession of all firearms in the abuser’s possession.1 If the judge does not believe there is an immediate risk, the abuser will have three business days to transfer the firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer, a law enforcement agency, or a third party who may lawfully receive them, as long as the third party does not live with the abuser.2 The third party may be held criminally and civilly responsible if the abuser is able to access the firearms while they are in the custody of the third party. Then, the abuser must file proof of the transfer with the court within two business days of the transfer.3

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(6)(i)
2 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(6)(g)
3 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(6)(h)

¿Qué debo hacer al salir de la corte?

Aquí tiene algunas cosas que puede considerar hacer. Sin embargo, deberá evaluar cada una para ver si funciona en su situación.

  • Revise la orden antes de salir de la corte. Si hay algo incorrecto o falta algo, pídale a el/la secretario/a de la corte que corrija la orden antes que se vaya.
  • Si le preocupa que el/la agresor/a le acose al salir de la corte, pídale a el/la oficial de la corte si él/ella puede escoltarle a la puerta del edificio. Si tiene miedo que el/la agresor/a le siga al salir de la corte, explíquele eso a el/la oficial de la corte. El/la oficial de la corte puede detener a el/la agresor/a ahí durante algunos minutos en lo que usted se va para que pueda tener una ventaja, lo cual haría difícil que el/la agresor/a le siga. Esto puede ser especialmente importante si usted está viviendo en un albergue o un lugar confidencial y no quiere que el/la agresor/a sepa donde usted se está quedando.
  • Haga varias copias del interdicto lo antes posible.
  • Tenga una copia de la orden con usted en todo momento.
  • Deje copias de la orden en su trabajo, hogar, en la escuela o cuido de los niños/as, en su carro, con un/a vecino/a de confianza, y así sucesivamente.
  • Dele una copia a el/la guardia de seguridad o la persona que está en el recibidor del lugar donde usted vive o trabaja junto con una foto de el/la agresor/a.
  • Dele una copia de la orden a cualquier persona que aparezca en o esté protegido/a por la orden.
  • Si la corte no le ha dado una copia adicional para la policía local, lleve una de sus copias extras y entréguela.
  • Es posible que pueda considerar cambiar los seguros de las puertas (si la ley lo permite) y su número de teléfono.

Es importante que haga un plan de seguridad después de recibir la orden. Las personas pueden hacer ciertas cosas para aumentar su seguridad durante incidentes violentos, cuando se están preparando para dejar una relación de maltrato, y cuando están en la casa, el trabajo y la escuela. Muchos/as agresores/as respetan las órdenes de restricción, pero otros/as no. Haga clic en el siguiente enlace para sugerencias de Ideas para su Seguridad. Los/as intercesores/as en los centros de recursos locales también pueden ayudarle a diseñar un plan de seguridad y darle otros tipos de apoyo.

I was not granted an order for protection. What are my options?

If you are not granted an order for protection, there are still some things you can do to try to stay safe. It might be a good idea to contact one of the domestic violence resource centers on our MN Advocates and Shelters page to get help, support, and advice on how to stay safe. They can help you develop a safety plan and connect you with the resources you need. For safety planning ideas and information, go to our Safety Tips page.

If you were not granted an order for protection because your relationship with the abuser does not qualify as a “family or household member,” you may be able to seek protection through a harassment restraining order (HRO).

You may also reapply for an order for protection if a new incident of domestic abuse occurs after you are denied the order.

If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to a lawyer about the possibility of filing an appeal.

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

If the abuser violates the order, you can call the police, even if you think it is a minor violation. It can be a crime and contempt of court if the abuser violates the order in any way. An abuser can be arrested, fined, jailed, or ordered to participate in counseling or other appropriate programs.1 Another way to handle a violation is to file a violation petition in which you are asking the judge to hold the abuser in civil contempt for violating the judge’s order. This would be filed in the same court that issued your order.

If you do call the police, it is generally a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case. Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it may help you have the order extended or modified.

For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(14)

How can my order be changed, extended, or vacated?

The judge can extend the terms of an existing order if you can prove that:

  • the abuser has violated a prior or existing order for protection;
  • you are in fear of physical harm from the abuser;
  • the abuser has stalked you; or
  • the abuser is incarcerated and about to be released, or has recently been released from incarceration.1

You do not need to show that you are in danger of immediate physical harm to get your order extended.1 Generally, the judge can grant this extension of the order ex parte, without prior notice to the abuser and without a hearing where the abuser is present. A hearing will be held, however, if the judge decides not to grant you the ex parte extension or if the abuser requests a hearing after the ex parte extension is granted.2

Your order for protection can last for up to 50 years, if the judge determines that:

  • the abuser has violated a prior or existing order for protection on two or more occasions; or
  • you have had two or more orders for protection in effect against the same abuser.3

To modify or vacate an order, you may file a petition in court to request either one.

If you are granted an order up to 50 years, the abuser can request to have the order vacated or modified after the order has been in effect for at least five years and assuming the respondent has not violated the order during that time. Then you would be notified of this request and the judge would set a hearing date. The abuser has the burden of proving that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that the reasons that you needed the order for protection no longer apply and are unlikely to occur again. If the court believes the abuser, the judge can dismiss or modify the order. If the judge does not believe the abuser, the abuser must wait another five years before s/he can apply again to modify or dismiss the order.4

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(6a)(b)
2 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(6a)(a)
3 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(6a)(c)
4 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(11)

Can my employer discipline or fire me for taking time off work to file for an order for protection?

Under Minnesota state law, your employer cannot fire, discipline, threaten, penalize, or otherwise discriminate against you because you took a reasonable amount of time off from work to seek an order for protection for domestic abuse.1

If you do need to take time off work to protect yourself or your children from domestic abuse, it is your responsibility to give your employer 48 hours’ advance notice, unless you or your child are in immediate danger or unless giving notice is impractical. Your employer can ask for proof of why you are absent but s/he has to keep all information confidential.1

If your employer does violate this law, s/he can be guilty of a crime. You also have the option of bringing a civil suit for damages against your employer.2

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(23)(a)
2 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(23)(b), (23)(c)

Si me dan una orden de protección, ¿aparecerá en una búsqueda en el internet?

De acuerdo a la ley federal, que aplica a todos los estados, territorios y tierras tribales, se supone que las cortes no publiquen información que podría revelar su identidad y localización en el internet. Esto aplica a:

  • la petición que presenta;
  • la orden de protección, orden de restricción o interdicto que le dio la corte; o,
  • que se registró la orden en otro estado. 1

1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)

Harassment Restraining Orders

Información básica y definiciones

What is the legal definition of harassment in Minnesota?

For the purposes of getting a harassment restraining order, harassment is defined as:

  1. a single incident of:
  2. repeated incidents of intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that have a significant negative effect or are intended to have a significant negative effect on your safety, security, or privacy;
  3. targeted residential picketing; or
  4. a pattern of attending public events after being notified that the person’s presence at the event is harassing to another.1

1 MN Code § 609.748(1)(a)

What types of harassment restraining orders are there? How long do they last?

You can get a temporary order without the harasser present in court if the judge reasonably believes that the respondent has harassed you. If your petition is based on a single incident of harassment, your petition must also state that there is an immediate and present danger of harassment before the court may issue a temporary restraining order.1 A temporary order is in effect until a hearing is held on a final restraining order.2 If you or the respondent want to request a hearing, the request must be made within 20 days of service of the petition.3

A final restraining order will generally last up to two years. However, if you have had two or more previous restraining orders in effect against the same respondent or the respondent has violated a prior or existing restraining order on two or more occasions, your HRO can be issued for up to 50 years.4  Note: If the judge makes the order for a period of up to 50 years, the respondent can request to have the restraining order dismissed or modified (changed) if the order has been in effect for at least five years and the respondent has not violated the order.5

1 MN Code § 609.748(4)(b)
2 MN Code § 609.748(4)(d)
3 MN Code § 609.748(3)(d), (4)(f)
4 MN Code § 609.748(5)(b)(3)
5 MN Code § 609.748(5)(d)

What protections can I get in a harassment restraining order?

A temporary or final harassment restraining order can order the harasser to:

  • stop harassing you; and
  • have no contact with you.1

1 MN Code § 609.748(4)(a), (5)(a)

Getting a harassment restraining order

Who can file for a harassment restraining order?

Anyone who is a victim of harassment, or the victim’s guardian or conservator, can file for a harassment restraining order (“HRO”) from district court.1 It does not matter what relationship the victim has with the harasser. To see the legal definition of harassment for the purposes of getting an HRO, go to What is the legal definition of harassment in Minnesota?

1 MN Code § 609.748(2)

Can a minor get a harassment restraining order?

A parent, step-parent, guardian, or conservator of a minor who is being harassed can file for the restraining order on the minor’s behalf.1

1 MN Code § 609.748(2)

Can I get a harassment restraining order against a minor?

The law allows for a harassment restraining order to be issued against an adult or against a minor (“juvenile”) who has committed harassment as defined by law.1

1 MN Code § 609.748(1)(b)

What are the steps for getting a harassment restraining order?

To file for an HRO, you can go to the district court in the county where you live, where the harasser lives, or where the harassment took place.1 A judge will decide whether or not to issue you an ex parte temporary order on the day you file. If so, the temporary order will be in effect until a hearing is held on a final restraining order.2 The petition and any temporary restraining order must be personally served on the respondent, which is usually done by a peace officer but could also be done by a corrections officer, including probation officers, court services officers, parole officers, and employees of jails or correctional facilities.3 For more information on service of the order, see How can a harassment restraining order be served?

If you or the respondent want to request a hearing, it must be done within 20 days of service of the petition.4 If the respondent requests a hearing, you will get notice of the hearing date in the mail at least five days before the hearing. If you request a hearing, the respondent must be personally served with notice at least five days before the hearing.5

1 MN Code § 609.748(2)
2 MN Code § 609.748(4)(d)
3 MN Code § 609.748(5b)
4 MN Code § 609.748(3)(d), (4)(f)
5 MN Code § 609.748(3)(a)

How can a harassment restraining order be served?

If you request that a hearing be held, the petition and any temporary restraining order must be personally served on the respondent at least five days before the hearing. If personal service cannot be completed at least five days before the hearing, the court can set a new hearing date.1

Service is usually done by law enforcement (“peace officer”) but it could also be done by a corrections officer, such as a probation officer, court services officer, parole officer, or an employee of a jail or correctional facility.2  As an alternative, the law allows a peace officer to serve the respondent with a “short-form notification” that notifies the respondent of the basic elements of the order. This may be appropriate, for example, if the respondent comes into contact with the police and the police learn that there is an unserved temporary restraining order.  The short-form notification will have the following instructions to the respondent: “The restraining order is now enforceable. You must report to your nearest sheriff’s office or county court to obtain a copy of the restraining order. You are subject to arrest and may be charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony if you violate any of the terms of the restraining order or this short-form notification.”3

Note: If service was attempted by a peace officer but it was unsuccessful because the respondent is avoiding service by hiding or for any other reason, you can file an affidavit with the court to explain what happened.  The judge can then allow the respondent to be “served” by publishing notice of the hearing in the newspaper for one week as well as mailing a copy to the respondent’s home or business if the addresses are known.4

1 MN Code § 609.748(3)(a)
2 MN Code § 609.748(5b)
3 MN Code § 609.748(5a)(a)
4 MN Code § 609.748(3)(b)

How much does it cost to file for a harassment restraining order?

There can be a filing fee for a harassment restraining order, depending on the facts of your case and who you are filing against.  The district court can tell you what the fee is but it can likely be a few hundred dollars.1  However, if you allege that the respondent committed stalking, the fee will be waived. Also, if you are a low-income person and meet the income guidelines, the fee will be waived.2

1 According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch in 2022, the base filing fee is $285 plus possible “law library fees”
2 MN Code § 609.748(3a)

Violation of a harassment restraining order

What happens if the abuser violates the order?

In addition to being held in contempt of court, violating a temporary or final harassment restraining order can be a misdemeanor, a gross misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the circumstances.1  For the violation to be a gross misdemeanor, the abuser would have to commit the violation within ten years of a prior conviction for a “qualified domestic violence-related crime.”2  To read the list of crimes that are considered “qualified domestic violence-related offenses,” including juvenile offenses, see MN Code § 609.02(16).

The abuser may be guilty of a felony for violating a harassment restraining order if s/he violates the order under any of the following circumstances:

  • within ten years of two or more convictions for qualified domestic violence-related offenses, including juvenile offenses;
  • the violation is because of your actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or national origin as defined in MN Code § 363A.03;
  • by falsely impersonating another person;
  • while possessing a dangerous weapon;
  • with the goal of influencing a juror or tampering with a judicial proceeding or retaliating against a judicial officer, prosecutor, defense attorney, or officer of the court because of the person’s performance of official duties in connection with a judicial proceeding; or
  • against a victim who is under the age of 18 and the abuser is at least 36 months older than the victim.3

1 MN Code § 609.748(6)(b), (6)(c), (6)(d), (6)(h)
2 MN Code § 609.748(6)(c)
3 MN Code § 609.748(d)

What is the punishment for violating the order?

In Minnesota, if a person is guilty of a misdemeanor violation, s/he could be imprisoned for up to 90 days, fined up to $1,000, or both.1

If s/he is found guilty of a gross misdemeanor violation, s/he could be imprisoned for up to one year, fined up to $3,000, or both.2

If the abuser is found guilty of a felony violation, s/he could be imprisoned for more than one year, fined up to $10,000, or both.3  The length of possible jail time and the amount of the potential fine will depend on many factors and will ultimately be determined by the judge.  See What happens if the abuser violates the order? for more information about which violations are considered misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, or felonies.

1 MN Code § 609.02(3)
2 MN Code §§ 609.0341(1); 609.02(4)
3 MN Code § 609.02(2); see MN Code §§ 609.0341(1); 518B.01(14)(d)

Who can file a contempt of court petition to report a violation to the judge?

In addition to reporting a violation to the law enforcement, another way to report a violation is by filing a petition to hold the abuser in contempt of court in the court that issued the harassment restraining order.1 The following people can file a petition for contempt:

  • you (the harassment victim);
  • a peace officer; or
  • an “interested party” who is chosen by the judge.

The judge will then issue an order requiring the abuser to appear in court within 14 days to explain why s/he should not be held in contempt of court. The judge can also refer the violations to the appropriate prosecuting authority.2

1 MN Code § 609.748(6)(h)
2 MN Code § 609.748(6)(i)

Mudándose a Otro Estado con una Orden de Protección

Reglas generales

¿Puedo hacer cumplir mi orden de protección de Minnesota en otro estado?

Su orden de restricción de Minnesota se puede hacer cumplir en otro estado. La Ley de Violencia contra la Mujer (“Violence Against Women Act”), que es una ley federal, dice que todas las órdenes de restricción contra el maltrato doméstico válidas dadas en los Estados Unidos, reciben “entera fe y crédito” en todas las cortes estatales y tribales dentro de los EE.UU., incluyendo sus territorios.1 Vea ¿Cómo sé si mi orden de restricción es válida bajo la ley federal? para averiguar si su orden de restricción es elegible.

Cada estado debe hacer cumplir las órdenes de restricción de los demás estados de la misma forma en la que hace cumplir sus propias órdenes. Lo que significa, que si el/la agresor/a viola su orden de restricción de otro estado, él/ella será castigado/a según las leyes del estado en el que usted se encuentre al momento de la orden ser violada. Esto es a lo que se refiere “entera fe y crédito”. 

1 Vea Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(18)(a)(4)

¿Cómo sé si mi orden de restricción es válida bajo la ley federal?

Una orden de restricción es válida en cualquier lugar de los Estados Unidos siempre y cuando:

  • Se haya dado para evitar actos violentos o amenazantes, comportamiento acosador, violencia sexual, o para evitar que otra persona se acerque a usted o le contacte.1
  • La corte que dio la orden tenia jurisdicción sobre las personas y el caso. En otras palabras, la corte tenía la autoridad para ver el caso.
  • El/la agresor/a recibió la notificación de la orden y tuvo la oportunidad de presentarse en la corte para contar su versión de la historia.
    • En el caso de las órdenes temporales ex parte y de emergencia, el/la agresor/a debe recibir la notificación y tener la oportunidad de ir a la corte y contar su versión de la historia en la audiencia que está programada para antes de que la orden temporal expire.2

Nota: Para información sobre cómo hacer cumplir una orden de protección militar (MPO) fuera de la base militar, o una orden de protección civil (CPO) en una base militar, por favor vea nuestra página de Órdenes de Protección Militares.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

Tengo una orden de restricción temporal ex parte. ¿La puedo hacer cumplir en otro estado?

Una orden temporal ex parte se puede hacer cumplir en otros estados siempre y cuando the abuser received notice and has/had 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.1

Nota: El estado al que usted vaya generalmente no puede extender su orden temporal ex parte o darle una orden permanente cuando la orden temporal expire. Si usted necesita extender su orden temporal, deberá contactar al estado que dio la orden y hacer los arreglos para asistir a la audiencia en persona o por teléfono (si la corte le ofrece esa opción). Sin embargo, es posible que quiera volver a solicitar una en el estado al que se está mudando si cumple con los requisitos para obtener una orden de protección en ese estado – pero, si usted solicita en ese nuevo estado, el/la agresor/a sabrá el estado en el que usted está viviendo, lo cual puede ponerle en riesgo.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(b)(2)

Hacer cumplir su orden de restricción en otro estado

¿Cómo hago para que mi orden de restricción se pueda hacer cumplir en otro estado?

La ley federal no requiere que usted haga algo específico para hacer cumplir su orden de restricción en otro estado.

Muchos estados tienen leyes y regulaciones (reglas) para registrar o presentar órdenes de otros estados, lo cual puede hacer que su cumplimiento sea más fácil, pero una orden de restricción válida se puede hacer cumplir sin importar que haya sido registrada o presentada en el nuevo estado.1 Las reglas varían para cada estado, así que averiguar cuáles son las reglas en su nuevo estado puede servirle de ayuda. Puede contactar una organización local de violencia doméstica para más información visitando nuestra página de Intercesoras y Albergues y entrando a su nuevo estado en el menú desplegable.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)

¿Necesito algo especial para que mi orden de restricción se pueda hacer cumplir en otro estado?

En algunos estados necesitará una copia certificada de su orden de restricción. Una copia certificada demuestra que es una copia “cierta y correcta”. La misma está firmada e iniciada por el/la secretario/a de la corte que le dio la orden, y usualmente tiene algún tipo de sello de la corte. If the copy you originally received was not a certified copy, you can return to the courthouse and ask the clerk for a certified copy. 

Do I need to tell the court in Minnesota if I move?

The law says that a petitioner who has an order for protection is supposed to give notification of a change in residence immediately to the court administrator and to the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the new residence of where you are moving to. However, an order for protection is enforceable even if the applicant does not notify the court administrator or the appropriate law enforcement agency of a change in residence.1

If you notify the court administrator at the court that gave you the order that you are moving to an address that is covered by a different local law enforcement agency than your current one, the court administrator must forward a copy of your order to the new law enforcement agency within 24 hours.2 If you do not tell the court that you are moving, it is still a good idea to send a copy of your order to the law enforcement agency in your new town to make enforcement easier.

If you provide your new address to the court, you can ask them to keep it confidential. It will be kept in a confidential part of your file, and the public will not have access to it. However, your new address could possibly be released to court officials in your new state or law enforcement officials in either Minnesota or your new state.3

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(13)(c)
2 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(13)(b)
3 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(3b)

¿Puedo conseguir ayuda de alguien? ¿Necesito un abogado?

No necesita un/a abogado/a para hacer cumplir su orden en otro estado.

Sin embargo, es posible que quiera buscar ayuda de un/a intercesor/a o abogado/a local de violencia doméstica en el estado al cual se mude. Un/a intercesor/a de violencia doméstica puede decirle cuales son las ventajas y desventajas de registrar su orden de restricción, y ayudarle con el proceso si decide hacerlo.

Para encontrar un/a intercesor/a o abogado/a de violencia doméstica en el estado al cual se está mudando, escoja su estado del menú desplegable en la página de Lugares que Ayudan.

Hacer cumplir las disposiciones de custodia en otro estado

Me dieron la custodia temporal con mi orden de restricción contra el maltrato doméstico. ¿Puedo llevarme a mis hijos fuera del estado?

Whether or not a parent can take their children out of state for an extended period of time is a complicated legal question. Esto dependerá de los términos exactos de las disposiciones de custodia en su orden de protección. Es posible que deba conseguir permiso de la corte antes de irse. Si a el/la agresor/a le dieron derechos de visitación con sus hijos/as, entonces es posible que usted quiera cambiar la orden, o demostrarle a la corte que hay otra alternativa justa y realista para el horario de visitación.

Si usted no está seguro/a si puede o no sacar a sus hijos/as del estado, es importante que hable con un/a abogado/a que entienda las leyes de violencia doméstica y custodia, y que pueda ayudarle a tomar la decisión más segura para usted y sus hijos/as. Puede encontrar la información de contacto para las organizaciones locales de violencia doméstica y asistencia legal en el área de Minnesota en nuestra página de MN Encontrando un Abogado.

Me dieron la custodia temporal con mi orden de restricción contra el maltrato doméstico. ¿Se puede hacer cumplir esta orden de custodia en otro estado?

La custodia, visitación y las disposiciones de manutención de menores que se incluyen en una orden de restricción contra el maltrato doméstico se pueden hacer cumplir en todos los estados. La policía y las cortes en otro estado están obligadas a hacer cumplir estas disposiciones según la ley federal.1

18 USC § 2266

Hacer Cumplir una Orden de Protección de otro estado en Minnesota

Reglas generales para órdenes de fuera de Minnesota

¿Puedo hacer que mi orden de protección se haga cumplir en Minnesota? ¿Cuáles son los requisitos?

Cualquier orden de protección dada en los EE.UU. o sus territorios, o en Canadá,1 se puede hacer cumplir en Minnesota siempre y cuando:

  • Haya sido otorgada con el propósito de prevenir el comportamiento violento, amenazante o acosador, violencia sexual, o si fue otorgada con el propósito de prohibir que otra persona le contacte o se le acerque.2
  • La corte que otorgó la orden tenía jurisdicción sobre las personas y el caso. En otras palabras, el/la juez/a tenía la autoridad para ver el caso.
  • El/la agresor/a fue notificado/a de la orden y tuvo la oportunidad de presentarse en la corte y contar su versión de la historia.
    • En el caso de las órdenes temporales ex parte y de emergencia, el/la agresor/a debe recibir la notificación de la orden y tener la oportunidad de ir a la corte para contar su versión de la historia en una audiencia que este programada para antes que expire la orden temporal.3

Nota: Para información sobre hacer cumplir una orden de protección militar (MPO por sus siglas en inglés) fuera de la base militar, o hacer cumplir una orden de protección civil (CPO por sus siglas en inglés) en una base militar, por favor visite nuestra página Órdenes de Protección Militares.

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(19a)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
3 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

¿Puedo cambiar, extender o cancelar mi orden de protección de otro estado en Minnesota?

Por lo general, solo el estado que dio su orden de protección puede modificarla, extenderla o cancelarla. Esto no se puede hacer en una corte de Minnesota.

Para modificar, extender o cancelar su orden, deberá presentar una moción o petición en la corte donde se la dieron. Es posible que pueda pedir presentarse a la audiencia judicial por teléfono en lugar de ir en persona, para que así no tenga que regresar al estado donde vive el/la agresor/a. Para conseguir más información sobre como modificar una orden de restricción, vea nuestra página de Órdenes de Restricción del estado que le dio su orden.

Si su orden expira mientras usted está viviendo en Minnesota, es posible que pueda conseguir que le den una nueva en Minnesota, pero esto puede ser difícil si no han ocurrido nuevos incidentes de maltrato en ese estado. Para más información sobre cómo conseguir una orden de protección en Minnesota, visite nuestra página de MN Órdenes de Restricción

Me otorgaron la custodia temporal con mi orden de protección. ¿Seguiré manteniendo la custodia temporal de mis hijos en Minnesota?

Siempre que las disposiciones de la custodia de menores cumplan con ciertas leyes federales, Minnesota puede hacer cumplir una orden de custodia temporal que sea parte de una orden de protección.1

Para encontrar a alguien que revise su orden y le indique si cumple con estos estándares, contacte a un/a abogado/a en su área. Para encontrar a un/a abogado/a en su área, visite MN Encontrando a un Abogado.

1 Las leyes federales son: la Ley de Jurisdicción Uniforme de Custodia Infantil (UCCJA, por sus siglas en inglés), o La Ley de Jurisdicción y Cumplimiento Uniforme de la Custodia Infantil (UCCJEA, por sus siglas en inglés) y debe concordar con la Ley de Prevención de Secuestro Parental de 1980.

Registrando su orden de protección de otro estado en Minnesota

¿Qué es el National Crime Information Center Registry (Centro de Registro Nacional de Información de Crímenes)? ¿Quién tiene acceso?

El National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) (Centro de Registro Nacional de Información de Crímenes) es una base de datos nacional utilizada por agencias del orden público en los Estados Unidos, Canadá, y Puerto Rico. Es administrada por el FBI y los oficiales de autoridad competente.

Todos los oficiales judiciales tienen acceso al NCIC, pero esta información está​ encriptada para evitar el acceso de intrusos.

¿Cómo registro mi orden de protección en Minnesota?

Para registrar su orden de otro estado o territorio de los EE.UU. o de Canadá en Wisconsin, referred to in the law as a “foreign protective order,” deberá presentar una copia certificada to the court administrator in the county where you are living or in any of the counties mentioned here, if applicable.  You can also request the court that issued the order to send the certified copy directly to the court in Minnesota where you want to register it.1 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.2 

Si necesita ayuda registrando su orden de protección, puede contactar una organización local de violencia doméstica en Minnesota para que le asistan. Puede encontrar la información de contacto de las organizaciones en su área en nuestra página de MN Intercesoras y Albergues.

¿Tengo que registrar mi orden de protección en Minnesota para que se pueda hacer cumplir?

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 whether or not it was filed with a court administrator or otherwise entered in the state order for protection database.1 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.2 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.3

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(19a)(e)
2 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(19a)(h)
3 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(19a)(i)

¿Le notificarán al agresor si registro mi orden de protección?

Bajo la ley federal de Violencia Contra la Mujer o VAWA (“Violence Against Women Act”), que le aplica a todos los estados y territorios de los EE.UU., la corte no puede notificarle a el/la agresor/a cuando una orden de protección ha sido registrada o presentada en otro estado a menos que usted específicamente solicite que le notifiquen a el/la agresor/a.1 Sin embargo, si su dirección es confidencial, es posible que usted quiera confirmar que el/la secretario/a tiene conocimiento de esta ley antes de registrar la orden.

De todas formas, recuerde que existe la posibilidad de que el/la agresor/a se entere a qué estado se ha mudado. Es importante que continúe planificando para su seguridad, aunque ya no esté en el estado que vive el/la agresor/a. Tenemos algunas ideas para que se mantenga lo más seguro/a posible en nuestra página de Ideas para su Seguridad. También puede contactar una organización local de violencia doméstica para obtener ayuda para hacer un plan de seguridad personalizado para usted. Encontrará la información de contacto de las organizaciones en su área en nuestra página de MN Intercesoras y Albergues.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)

¿Tiene algún costo registrar mi orden de protección?

No hay costo por registrar su orden de protección en Minnesota.1

1 Minn. Stat. §518B.01(3a)

¿Qué pasa si no registro mi orden de protección? ¿Será más difícil hacerla cumplir?

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.

Si no está seguro/a de si registrar su orden de protección es la decisión correcta para usted, es posible que quiera contactar a una organización local de violencia doméstica en su área. Un/a intercesor/a puede ayudarle a decidir cuál es el plan de acción más seguro para usted en Minnesota. Para ver una lista de organizaciones locales de violencia doméstica en Minnesota, vaya a nuestra página de MN Intercesoras y Albergues.

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