An order of protection in Minnesota may also be referred to as a restraining order in general conversation. They are one and the same.
An order of protection was created to protect an individual, or even a group of individuals, from harassment and unwanted contact from a known person that has caused them to fear either violence or abuse from the subject of the restraining order.
Usually, an order of protection is given to someone to claims to fear for their safety or their life and that of their children (if present), but occasionally, the claims made in these orders are false because they do not need to be fully proven in a courtroom before documented and enforced.
Even though the orders are civil matters, not criminal, they may refer to, and support, criminal behaviors that could be included in any criminal court proceedings. They will become a part of your public record and show up on any background checks.
It is essential to clear your name right from the start, before things can get any worse. So, what do you do if you are the subject of an unjust restraining order?
What Crimes Warrant A Restraining Order?
Any crime that causes a person to fear for their own and their dependent’s safety can petition for a form of a restraining order. You could be accused of:
- assault and battery
- terroristic threats
- employment issues
- criminal sexual conduct
- interference of emergency calls
Loved ones, roommates, partners, and other family members can ask for an order with believable accusations of these crimes before they are investigated. Even businesses have been known to request a protective order when someone doesn’t leave quietly after termination or keeps returning when they have been told not to.
There are two types of orders.
Ex Parte Temporary Orders
Ex Parte Temporary Orders are mostly used for instances of domestic violence, and they are granted by a judge if the judge believes the petitioner may be in some form of danger. The subject of the order is not present in the decision-making process.
These pleas for protection are taken very seriously. A judge does not want to deny an order when someone’s life could be at stake.
The petitioner can ask for temporary protection for themselves and any of their minor children in their care and the order is effective immediately. The accused abuser must stay a certain length away from the petitioner and anyone else named in the order. This includes their workplace, children’s school, and even the dwelling you may share. There shall be no contact between the parties.
Someone will have to leave the home and the subject of the order may lose custody of their children. An ex parte order may last up to two years.
Full Order Of Protection
A full order of protection can be issued if the judge believes that the situation is much more complicated than what it seems to be on the surface. A hearing will be scheduled within fourteen days to give the plaintiff and the defendant time to procure evidence and construct an argument. Witnesses are usually included and a lawyer is very beneficial with guidance from the start.
A full order may also last up to two years and can be extended with proof that the subject has broken the order. A full order can be extended for up to fifty years, which may be life for many people.
If the order has not been violated in five years then a person may request for the order to end.
Harassment Restraining Order
Minnesota’s harassment restraining order is a restraining order that can be placed on anyone, no matter the relationship they have. This order can be written up after a single encounter if the complaining party believes that they are in danger of further harassment.
A court hearing concerning the incident will be scheduled within twenty days of the accusation, so the restraining order is only temporary until then. A full order of protection may be issued during the court hearing if you cannot effectively protect yourself.
How Do You Protect Yourself From Charges?
The first thing you should do when you learn about the order is to abide by every single rule placed upon you. You must protect yourself during this time. A local lawyer with a great reputation will guide you through the process of protecting yourself against unjust claims and may even be able to clear your name entirely.
Do not engage with the petitioner even if they attempt to contact you. Be above reproach.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.