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)