What is the legal definition of harassment in Minnesota?
For the purposes of getting a harassment restraining order, harassment is defined as:
- a single incident of:
- physical assault;
- sexual assault;
- using another person’s personal information, without consent, to invite, encourage, or solicit a third party to engage in a sexual act with the person, which falls under the crime of stalking; or
- nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images;
- 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;
- targeted residential picketing; or
- 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)