The Hennepin County District Court accepts petitions for restraining orders from residents of the county who have been subjected to repeated harassing comments or conduct. If you feel that your safety or privacy is in jeopardy, you can petition the harassment court for a harassment restraining order. A restraining order can help prevent further harassment by ordering the harasser to have no contact with you at any time. The order also allows police to arrest the harasser without waiting to have a warrant issued if the order is violated.
Go to the Minnesota Judicial Court's website and download the Petitioner's Affidavit and Petition for Restraining Order form (see Resources). You can fill out the form online and print it.
Complete the affidavit with specificity, including the dates, times, places and actions that have occurred leading to you feeling that you are being harassed.
File the petition at the Hennepin County Government Center. The office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every week day, except on Wednesday when the office closes at 1:30 p.m.
Hennepin County Government Center
300 South 6th Street
Public Service Level, 2nd Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55487-0421
Pay the filing fee by check made payable to the District Court Administrator or pay in cash. If you cannot afford the fee you can request a waiver. Download the Affidavit for Proceeding In Forma Pauperis from the Minnesota Judicial Court's website (see Resources). Fill out the affidavit but do not sign it; it must be signed in front of the court administrator. Submit the affidavit along with proof of your financial need such as your public assistance card, a paycheck or tax return. A judge will review your request and issue an order granting or denying the waiver.
Receive your restraining order. A signing judge will review your paperwork and decide if the incidents you describe meet the level of harassment. If they do, a two-year harassment order will be issued. If they do not, you can request a hearing within 45 days of your request for the order. During the hearing you can present evidence and witnesses to the incidents that have occurred to you. A hearing judge will decide whether you will be issued an order.
Follow up on the service of the order, making sure the Sheriff's Office served the order on the harasser by personal delivery.
- An order of protection is obtained from the Domestic Abuse Service Court for cases involving physical or verbal abuse by a spouse, ex-spouse or significant other.
- Hennepin County has two self-help center locations to help you if you do not have a lawyer to represent you.
- US Supreme Court image by dwight9592 from Fotolia.com