If you are a victim of harassment in Minnesota, you may be able to obtain a harassment restraining order (HRO) against the perpetrator. An HRO is a legal order that prohibits the harasser from having any contact with you or coming within a certain distance of you. This can help you feel safer and more secure, and can give you legal recourse if the harassment continues.
Minnesota Statutes section 609.748 grants a person the right to seek a harassment restraining order against another. To obtain an HRO, certain elements must be present, including an act of physical assault or sexual assault, a single incident of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, or repeated words, acts, or gestures that have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another.
If you believe you have experienced harassment that meets these criteria, you can file a petition for an HRO with the court. The process for obtaining an HRO is as follows:
- File a Petition To begin the process of obtaining an HRO, you must file a petition with the court. The petition should include your name and address, the name and address of the person you are seeking the order against, and a detailed description of the harassment that has occurred. You must also provide any evidence you have to support your claim.
- Serve the Other Party Once you have filed the petition, the court will issue a summons and the petition must be served on the other party. This can be done by a sheriff or other authorized person. The other party will have an opportunity to respond to the petition and a hearing date will be set.
- Attend the Hearing At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case to the judge. You should bring any evidence you have, such as witness statements, photographs, or text messages. The other party will also have the opportunity to present their case. After hearing both sides, the judge will decide whether to grant the HRO.
- Follow the Order If the judge grants the HRO, it will be in effect for a certain period of time, usually two years. The harasser will be prohibited from having any contact with you or coming within a certain distance of you. If the harasser violates the order, they can be arrested and charged with a crime. If there are violations during the two-year period, the HRO may be extended.
It’s important to note that a harassment restraining order is not a criminal charge, but a civil order. This means that the harasser will not have a criminal record if an HRO is granted, but they will be prohibited from having any contact with you.
If you are experiencing harassment, it’s important to take action to protect yourself. An HRO can provide you with legal recourse and help you feel safer and more secure. To learn more about obtaining a harassment restraining order in Minnesota, contact Judith Samson, Attorney at Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our experienced legal team can help guide you through the process and provide you with the support you need to obtain an HRO.
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