Minnesota has enacted significant laws and procedures in an effort to both help victims of domestic violence, and to protect victims or potential victims from any further acts of domestic abuse or violence. Under Minnesota law, "domestic abuse" is defined as:
To qualify as “domestic” abuse, the acts must have been committed against a family, or household, member. The law defines a “family or household member” as a:
ORDERS FOR PROTECTION
If an individual has committed an act of domestic abuse upon another, the abused party can seek relief under the Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act in the form of an Order for Protection (or “OFP”).
HOW TO GET AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION (OFP)
Every court administrator in every county in Minnesota maintains an office where victims of domestic abuse are able to file a petition seeking an Order for Protection. It is the only legal proceeding where court staff will actually assist a person in filling our their legal paperwork. Also, the filing fee required to file the proceeding is usually waived. There also are statewide advocacy agencies which will assist victims of abuse by providing them with guidance and an “advocate” who will even attend the hearing on behalf of a victim of abuse.
The legal relief available to victims of domestic abuse includes:
Under the Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act, the Court can enter an Order for Protection that is valid for up to two years. An OFP can be reviewed and extended, if the Court deems it appropriate.
If you are in immediate danger, call 911 or the Minnesota Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-866-223-1111, or the National Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
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John P. Guzik - Divorce & Family Law Attorney