Anyone seeking an Order for Protection (OFP) should contact the Dakota County District Court.
These orders are given for instances of domestic abuse. According to Minnesota Statute 518B.01, subd. 2(b), domestic abuse occurs to a family or household member if committed by a family or household member. Family or household member is defined as:
- Spouse and former spouse
- Parents and children
- Persons related by blood
- Persons currently residing together or who have resided together in the past
- Persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time
- A man or woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time
- Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship
Adults may file on behalf of minors or dependents
An adult may file a petition for an Order for Protection on behalf of any victim who is a minor, is considered vulnerable because of mental deficiency, or is of an advanced age.
When a judge reviews the petition and affidavit for an Order for Protection, the judge will determine if an Ex Parte Temporary Order from Protection should be issued. Hearings are usually scheduled 7 days following the filing of the Order for Protection.
After the hearing, a judge will listen to both the petitioner (the filing party) and the respondent (the person the Order for Protection is filed against) and will determine if a long term Order for Protection should be issued. This is generally for one year.
If an Order for Protection is granted
If an Order for Protection is granted, the court will fax the order to the Dakota County Sheriff's Office Civil Division. The Sheriff's Office will arrange for service within Dakota County. If the respondent lives in another county, the Sheriff's Office will handle getting the order to the correct county for service.
In most cases, these orders can be served at any time and anywhere. It is important to fill out the information sheet with as much information as possible to help in obtaining service.