How do I get my OFP enforced in another state?
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your order for protection (OFP) enforced in another state.
Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid OFP is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.
Note: It is important to keep a copy of your OFP with you at all times. It is also a good idea to know the rules of states you will be living in or visiting to ensure that your out-of-state order can be enforced in a timely manner.
1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)
Do I need anything special to get my OFP enforced in another state?
In some states, you will need a certified copy of your OFP. A certified copy says that it is a "true and correct" copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. In Minnesota, a certified order has a stamp and a seal on it.
The copy you originally received was probably not a certified copy. If your copy is not a certified copy, go to the Domestic Abuse Office of the court that gave you the order and ask for a certified copy. If your court does not have a Domestic Abuse Office, go to the court clerk and ask how to get a certified copy. There is no fee to get a certified copy of a MN OFP.
Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children's school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
Can I get someone to help me? Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to get your OFP enforced in another state.
However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your OFP, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.
To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to please visit Places that Help page and select the state you are moving to.
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.1
You are not required to tell the court in Minnesota if you move, but it might be a good idea to give the court a current address so that you can be notified of any actions that are taken regarding your order for protection.
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 MN Statutes § 518B.01(13)(c)(1)
2 MN Statutes § 518B.01(13)(b)
3 MN Statutes § 518B.01(3b)