Orders of protection are available for those with evidence of domestic violence or spousal abuse. Often, this evidence includes signs of physical assault or significant fear of harm.

At the Meinerts Law Office, P.A., we provide legal representation for those requesting orders of protection and for those accused of domestic violence.

The Process of Obtaining an Order for Protection

The first step in obtaining an order for protection (“OFP”), is to seek an ex parte order for protection from the court. If a party makes allegations of domestic violence, or fear of domestic violence, then the court will likely issue a temporary order until a hearing is scheduled.

At the initial hearing, the other party is given an opportunity to admit to or deny the allegations of domestic abuse or to agree to the entrance of the order without determining whether or not domestic abuse has occurred. If a denial is made, an evidentiary hearing will be scheduled allowing the accused individual to present evidence to the contrary of the allegations.

Some circumstances involve harassment restraining orders with repeated and unwanted contact. These orders are often appropriate for bothersome behavior that does not rise to the level of domestic abuse. However, the petitioner must demonstrate harassment has occurred to obtain this type of order. The other party is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to determine if harassment took place.

The Impact of an Order for Protection

The long-term effects of an order for protection can be significant. In place for up to two years, the temporary order may exclude the accused party from the family dwelling and include orders for financial relief and award temporary child custody to the applicant. If a finding is made by the court that domestic abuse occurred, this determination can have an effect on custody determination in a divorce.

With a temporary order of protection in place, the alleged offender will be prohibited from owning and carrying firearms, including for recreational purposes such as hunting. Further, the order will be visible to those running background checks, such as landlords screening housing applicants.

Learn about the process of obtaining an Order for Protection in Minnesota