In Minnesota, there are two types of restraining orders—Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders. Orders for Protection are civil orders, and provide protection from violence or harassment by a family or household member. Harassment Restraining Orders are issued against harassers with any relationship to the plaintiff; they order the defendant to stop harassing you and cease all contact. To get a protective order, you will need to file paperwork with the county clerk and present your case to a judge at a hearing.
Complete paperwork. Go to your county courthouse and fill out the appropriate paperwork, which the court clerk will provide you with. You will have to fill out an Affidavit and Petition, an Order to Show Cause and Ex Parte Order For Protection, and a Service Information Sheet. These explain your situation and need for protection, and provide the court with the necessary information about the alleged abuser. If applicable, you may be asked to submit any relevant court documents or copies of recent police and/or medical reports pertaining to recent domestic violence incidents.
If you are applying for an Ex Parte Order, you will need to explain why you feel you are in immediate danger. You will then be given a hearing with a judge, who will decide whether to grant the temporary order, and who will set your full court hearing date and time. An Ex Parte Order will protect you until your hearing. In a few counties in Minnesota, the Ex Parte Order is considered the final protective order, unless the plaintiff or respondent request a hearing.
Serve the respondent with the order. The county clerk will give the papers to the appropriate law enforcement agency, who will serve these papers for you. Service papers inform the defendant regarding the accusations being brought against him, and of the date and time of the hearing. An Ex Parte Order can not be enforced until the defendant has been properly served. If the defendant lives with you, law enforcement will also accompany you to your home and compel the defendant to vacate the premises.
Prepare for your hearing. Collect all the evidence you have to demonstrate to the judge your need for a protective order. This can include related police and medical reports, photographs of injuries or damaged property and witness testimony. You will need to be able to prove that the respondent has committed acts of domestic violence or harassment against you.
Attend the hearing. This is your opportunity to present your case to the judge. If you can not make it to the hearing, ask the judge to reschedule. If you fail to appear, the judge may decide to reschedule or deny your request, and it may become more difficult for you to be granted a protective order in the future. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant you a full protective order. If an Ex Parte Order has been properly served to the respondent and he does not appear at the hearing, a bench warrant will be issued for his arrest.
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