Minnesota Improves Order for Protection Law
Friday, June 6, 2008 11:12 AM

Minnesota lawmakers have strengthened the protections available to victims of domestic violence through several changes to the state’s Order for Protection (OFP) law, including establishing a long-term OFP. Under the new law, judges will be able to grant an OFP that lasts up to 50 years when a victim has had two previous OFPs against the abuser, or when the abuser has violated an OFP on two occasions. In addition, the standard time period for an OFP will change from one year to two years. By lengthening the standard time period and creating a new long-term OFP, the new law will greatly reduce the frequency with which victims must return to court to engage in recurring legal actions to renew these orders. In doing so, the law will lighten the financial, emotional, and psychological burdens carried by battered women and diminish their entanglement with their abusers.

The new law also explicitly gives judges the authority to include in an OFP an order requiring the abuser to have no contact with the victim. Minnesota judges routinely order no contact under a catch-all provision that allows them to grant any relief necessary for the victim’s protection, and the new language specifically affirms their ability to do so.

The changes, which amend Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 518B.01, subdivisions 6, 6a, 7, 11, 18; and 609.748, subdivisions 3, 5, 8 will go into effect on July 1, 2008.

For the full text of the new law, click here.

Compiled from: “MCBW Public Policy & Legislative Update: 2008 Brief Legislative Summary,” Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, 4 June 2008; Minnesota Session Laws Chapter 316, Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes, last accessed 6 June 2008.