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Legal Information: Minnesota

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
August 6, 2020

What 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.

How 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).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  

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.

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

Do 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.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 MN Statutes § 518B.01(19a)(e)
2 MN Statutes § 518B.01(19a)(h)
3 MN Statutes § 518B.01(19a)(i)

Will 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.1  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 Safety Tips 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 Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)

Does it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in Minnesota.1

1 MN Statutes §518B.01(3a)

What 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 Advocates and Shelters page under the Places that Help tab at the top of this page.