In Minnesota, domestic abuse includes infliction of physical harm, bodily injury or assault, infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, terroristic threats, acts of criminal sexual conduct or interference with an emergency call.
Acts of domestic abuse are committed by one family or household member against another family or household member. This could be a spouse or former spouse, parents and children, partners involved in a romantic or sexual relationship, people related by blood, people who live together or who have previously lived together or people who have a child in common.
Order for Protection
Domestic abuse victims can request an Order for Protection (OFP) which is an order signed by a judicial officer. It orders the domestic abuser not to contact, harm, or threaten the victim, his or her children or other people listed on the OFP.
The judge may also include exceptions for contact in the order for parenting time or other custody arrangements if children are involved, with the safety of the parties in mind.
If the judicial offer reviews the request for an OFP and does not grant it, the victim has a right to ask for a hearing to explain to the judicial officer why it should be granted.
In most situations, court files are open to the public. However, if the victim does not want the abuser to know his or her address or does not want the address to be included in the public court file, the victim is not required to include it on the request for the OFP but must notify that court of that information.
Domestic violence in any form is unacceptable and victims have a right to address it. An experienced family law attorney can provide advice and representation.