If a person is the victim of domestic abuse in Minnesota, he or she can file an order for protection. Domestic abuse is defined as an act committed by a family or household member against another family or household member. It may include physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, inflicting fear of physical harm, terroristic threats and criminal sexual conduct.
Family or household members can include married partners, couples who were married and are now divorced, parents, children and people who were in a romantic relationship with each other, among others.
Order for protection
The person who files a petition for an order for protection is called the petitioner and the accused abuser is called the respondent. The petition can be filed in the county where the petitioner or respondent lives, in the county where the domestic abuse occurred and where the court has jurisdiction in a family law or divorce action.
The petition includes a section that asks the petitioner to describe the domestic abuse incident including the date, who was present, the respondent’s conduct, if there were weapons or injuries and whether law enforcement was involved.
When the order for protection is granted, it requires the accused abuser not to contact, harm or threaten the victim or the victim’s children. The order may also list other people the abuser cannot contact. In some cases, the petitioner can also file an order for protection on behalf of another person, such as a child who is a victim of abuse.
If a victim needs help to file for an order for protection, there is assistance available.