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)