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Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Minnesota

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
August 6, 2020

Am I eligible to file for an order for protection?

You can file for an order for protection for yourself and/or your minor child against any of the following people who have committed domestic violence against you or the minor child:

  • your spouse or former spouse
  • your parent
  • your child
  • someone related to you by blood
  • someone with whom you live/lived
  • someone with whom you have a child in common 
  • someone with whom you are expecting a child (if the female in the couple is currently pregnant)
  • someone with whom you have/had a significant romantic or sexual relationship.1 

Note: If you are a “reputable adult” who is at least 25 years old, you can file on behalf of a minor child who is a family or household member of yours but not your biological child.2

A minor child who is age 16 or older can file on his/her own behalf against a spouse or former spouse, or a person with whom the minor has a child in common - but the judge must believe that the minor has “sufficient maturity and judgment” to file on his/her own and that it is in the best interests of the minor to allow the minor to file.  All other minors must have a parent, guardian, or a ”reputable” adult in his/her household (who is age 25 or older) file on their behalf.2

If you do not qualify for an order for protection, you may be able to file for a Harassment Restraining Order.

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(2)(b)
2 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(4)(a)

Can a minor file for an order for protection?

A minor child who is age 16 or older can file on his/her own behalf against a spouse or former spouse, or a person with whom the minor has a child in common - but the judge must believe that the minor has “sufficient maturity and judgment” to file on his/her own and that it is in the best interests of the minor to allow the minor to file. All other minors must have a parent, guardian, or a “reputable” adult in his/her household (who is age 25 or older) file on their behalf.1

1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(4)(a)

Can I get an order for protection against a same-sex partner?

In Minnesota, you may apply for an order for protection against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to file for an order for protection?  You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Minnesota?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

If I am not eligible for an order for protection, is there another type of restraining order I can get?

If you are not eligible for an order for protection, you may be able to get a harassment restraining order (HRO).  Anyone who is a victim of harassment can file for a harassment restraining order. It does not matter what relationship you have with the harasser. To read more, go to our Harassment Restraining Orders page.

How much does it cost to get an order for protection? Do I need a lawyer?

There are no filing fees to get an order for protection.1

You do not need a lawyer to file for an order for protection.  However, you may wish to have a lawyer, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. If you can, contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, you can find contact information for legal assistance organizations, which offer free or low-cost help to those who qualify, on our MN Finding a Lawyer page.

Domestic violence organizations in your area may also be able to help you through the legal process and may have legal referrals. Having another person give you support through this process can be a tremendous help.  To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit our MN Advocates and Shelters page.

 1 Minn. Stat. § 518B.01(3a)

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.