Minnesota Harassment Restraining Order Attorney
If one person has acted in any threatening way that causes another person fear and anxiety, they have a right to petition for a restraining order in Minnesota to help ensure their safety from the person they fear. Sometimes these orders are warranted and occasionally they are not.
An order of protection for someone claiming harassment has stipulations that must be followed by both parties, but they can be confusing and, occasionally, life-altering for everyone.
If you have been served with a protection order, you may be charged with a crime as well. You must understand your situation and follow the rules stated in the petition to stay out of any further trouble. Here are the basics:
Legal Definition Of Harassment In Minnesota
- single incidents of physical and/or sexual assault
- using technology to share another person’s private images without permission
- posing as another person, via technology, to solicit sexual acts from another party
- stalking and repeated threats and actions all with the intent to cause fear, such as continuous phone calls or home visits
Minnesota also considers the act of picketing, or protesting, an individual outside their private residence as harassment as well as repeatedly showing up at a place of business that has barred your presence due to past actions.
The subject of the restraining order does not have to be personally involved with the petitioner. The court doesn’t see the difference between filing the order against an adult or a juvenile, as long as they are believed to be committing any of the above crimes.
A restraining order may be temporary or semi-permanent, based upon the severity of your perceived actions. There are two main protection orders granted in Minnesota when it comes to accusations of harassment.
Ex Parte Temporary Order
A temporary ex parte order is an emergency order of protection signed by a judge and its limitations begin immediately, even without your knowledge. This temporary order is signed without your presence and can last for a month or up to two years, per the judge’s decision.
You can always fight the order once you discover its existence and claim your innocence through either a modification of the order or vacation of the order. You can request a hearing to share your defense and you should have experienced representation to guide you through the paperwork and the process.
Full Order Of Protection
You may be allowed a court hearing for a full order of protection, which is much more serious. You should be organized and ready to defend yourself with witnesses and evidence because this order is much stricter than an ex parte order of protection.
This order may also last up to two years at first, but a judge could always increase it to fifty years if you are found to be negligent about the rules and your behavior. You can petition for an early release from the restraining order for good behavior with appropriate support.
Rules Enforced By Such Orders
There are several rules that you must abide by if you are served with a harassment restraining order, and it’s best for you to comply, even if you feel that you are innocent.
You must not contact the petitioner for any reason. This includes calling on the phone or visiting their residence, place of work, or anywhere else that the petitioner may go on a routine basis. Do not give the person any reason to believe that you are stalking them.
You will have certain rules to follow when it comes to any children in the equation and their custody arrangements will be up to a judge. You may or may not have access to your children.
You may need to leave your home and it is possible to lose your job. Breaking the rules can cause you a tremendous amount of trouble.
What Can Happen If I Break The Rules?
If you are found to be breaking the rules of the order, you could be found in contempt of court and punished accordingly.
If your transgression is considered minor, even if accidental, you could be required to spend three days in jail and attend specific counseling. If your transgression is more serious, a gross misdemeanor, you could spend ten days in jail with additional mandated counseling.
If the court believes that you are repeatedly breaking the order, or displaying a weapon while breaking the order at any time, you could be fined $10,000 and spend up to five years in jail for a felony charge.
Appropriate Response To Restraining Order
Seek out the advice of a lawyer immediately if you discover that you are the subject of a restraining order because criminal filings usually accompany Harassment Restraining Order.
Contact us at Anderson Law Firm, PLLC to protect yourself and get the information that you need to stay within the law. We can help you fight against any unfair restrictions and defend you and the actions that you are accused of. We will get to the truth.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.