What protections can I get in an order for protection?
You can be granted the following protections in an ex parte order of protection:
- Ordering the abuser not to abuse you or your minor children;
- Ordering the abuser to be removed from the home that you share and that s/he stay away from a reasonable area surrounding the shared home or your own home;Order the abuser to stay away from your place of work;
- Ordering the abuser not to contact you, either in person, by telephone, mail, email or other electronic devices, or through another person (a “third party”);
- Ordering that any insurance coverage currently available to you remain unchanged (in other words, if you get health insurance through the abuser’s work, s/he won’t be able to remove you from the insurance plan);
- Giving either of you possession or control of a pet or companion animal owned, possessed, or kept by you, the abuser or a child of you or the abuser and ordering the abuser to not physically abuse the animal.1
If you get an order for protection that is issued after the respondent/abuser is given notice and the chance to appear in court at a hearing, you can get the following protections as part of a full order of protection:
- Ordering all of the ex parte protections listed above;
- Awarding you temporary custody of your children and/or establishing temporary parenting time giving primary consideration to the safety of you and your children; Note: The judge can restrict parenting time as to the time, place, duration, or supervision, or deny parenting time completely if necessary to protect the safety of you and your children;
- Establish temporary child support and/or spousal support;
- Provide counseling or other social services for you and the respondent (if you are married or if you have minor children together);
- Order the abuser to participate in treatment or counseling services;
- Award you temporary use and possession of property that you share with the abuser, such as a car;
- Order neither party to sell, damage or get rid of property, or to use it as the basis for a loan;
- Order the abuser to pay restitution to you (i.e., to compensate you for your medical bills and/or lost income as a result of the abuse);
- Order the abuser to not possess firearms for the time that the order is in effect; Note: The judge is supposed to include this prohibition against possessing firearms in all situations where the order:
- instructs the abuser from harassing, stalking, or threatening you, or from engaging in other conduct that would place you in reasonable fear of bodily injury; and
- includes a finding (the judge’s determination) that the abuser represents a credible threat to your physical safety or prohibits the abuser party from using, attempting to use, or threatening to use physical force against you; and
- Order any other relief that is necessary to protect you and your children, including ordering the sheriff or other law enforcement to act in a certain way (for example, to accompany you to the home to get your belongings).2
Whether or not a judge orders any, or all of the above, depends on the facts of your case. To read about what will happen to the firearms if the abuser is prohibited from possessing them, go to What will happen to the abuser’s firearms if the judge includes a firearm restriction in my order for protection?
1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(7)(a)
2 Minn. Stat.