As stated in our previous blog post on Orders for Protection in Minnesota, this post addresses Harassment Retraining Orders, which is a similar legal tool to OFPs.
In Minnesota, a person who is being “harassed” can obtain a Harassment Restraining Order from the court. A Harassment Restraining Order, or HRO, aims at preventing future harassment and may prevent the harassing person from having any contact, direct or indirect, with the victim or his or her family. An HRO also allows the police to arrest the harasser without a warrant if he or she violates the order. However, a person does not have to file a police report in order for a person to file for an HRO.
If you have been the victim of harassment or abuse, you might be able to obtain a Harassment Restraining Order. Although only certain people can petition the Court for an Order for Protection (you must have a family relationship, such as spouse, child, significant other, brother, sister), a Harassment Restraining Order can be obtained regardless of any relationship. Be sure to check out our previous blog post on Orders for Protection in Minnesota to learn more.
Under Minnesota law, harassment includes a variety of acts. Harassment includes not only physical or sexual assault, but also repeated acts of intrusive behavior, such as words, gestures, or contact. Harassment is defined, in part, in the Harassment Retraining Order statute as follows:
- a single incident of physical or sexual assault or repeated incidents of intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that have a substantial adverse effect or are intended to have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another, regardless of the relationship between the actor and the intended target;
- targeted residential picketing; and
- a pattern of attending public events after being notified that the actor’s presence at the event is harassing to another.
Typically, the person requesting the HRO has to submit a sworn affidavit to the Court. After reviewing the affidavit, the Court has the discretion to issue an HRO for a period of two (2) years. If the person who is the subject of the HRO wishes to challenge the merits of the HRO, he or she can request an evidentiary hearing. If such a hearing is scheduled, both parties and any witnesses have the ability to testify in Court. After listening to all of the evidence, the Judge decides whether or not to issue a Harassment Restraining Order.
Our office has handled many HRO cases, both on behalf of victims of harassment and those accused of harassment. To learn more about Harassment Restraining Orders in Minnesota, contact one of our experienced Minnesota Order for Protection attorneys and visit Minn. Stat. 609.748 for more information.