What is an Order for Protection?

In Minnesota, victims of domestic abuse can obtain an Order for Protection against a family or household member, or certain other individuals. An Order for Protection, commonly called an OFP, is a court order that aims to protect a victim of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse includes not only actual physical contact, but also fear of imminent or immediate physical harm, such as threats or threatening gestures. Domestic abuse also includes interfering with an emergency call to the authorities. Pushing a person against a wall, threatening to hit, or even leaving a threatening note may all constitute domestic abuse.

An Order for Protection also prevents the abusive party from having any contact, direct or indirect, with the victim. This can include contact through email, text messages, or social media, including social media such as Facebook. A person who violates an OFP risks severe consequences, including criminal charges.

Obtaining an Order for Protection

To obtain an OFP, the victim of domestic abuse must file a Petition, along with an affidavit, detailing the abuse. The domestic abuse alleged must be recent, as the OFP is only granted if an emergency exists. A parent can also file an Order for Protection on behalf of their minor children (for example, if there is an allegation of physical abuse or sexual abuse against the children). A copy of the form for an Order for Protection can be found on the Minnesota court website or by clicking here.

Once a person files for an OFP, a judge may grant an Emergency Order for Protection. This temporary OFP lasts until there is a trial, where the accused person can dispute the allegations. After the hearing, if a judge finds domestic abuse has in fact occurred, the judge will issue a permanent OFP that can last for a period of up to two years. If acts of domestic abuse are not proven, however, the Emergency OFP is dismissed.

The attorneys at Alithis Family Law have handled many Order for Protection cases, both on behalf of victims of domestic abuse and those accused of domestic abuse. Our office also represents those criminally charged with violating an OFP or those who want to appeal a Minnesota Order for Protection.

At Alithis Family Law, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (952) 800-2025 or contact us by email at info@alithisfamilylaw.com.