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The state of Minnesota provides two excellent options for addressing harassment: orders for protection and harassment restraining orders. Although similar in many respects, these orders hold several key differences, which tend to prompt confusion among petitioners. Many of these distinctions involve the following eligibility standards:

Petitioner Relationship

Depending on the type of order sought by the victim, the relationship between the petitioner and the respondent may play a key role. To qualify for an OFP, the petitioner must meet at least one of the following eligibility standards.

  • Blood relative of the respondent.
  • Currently or previously resided together.
  • Pregnant with or already have a child together.
  • Are currently or were previously involved in a romantic relationship.

With HROs, no specific relationship needs to be established between the petitioner and the respondent.

Additional Eligibility Standards

Beyond the relationship considerations, OFPs maintain a variety of additional eligibility standards. To qualify, the victim must have suffered either physical harm, bodily injury or assault or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault.

As with OFPs, HROs are available to any victims who have suffered physical or sexual assault. Additionally, individuals can petition for HROs if they endured unwanted words, gestures, or acts that prompted an adverse impact or were “intended to have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another.” To qualify, however, such acts must have occurred on more than one occasion.

As a victim of abuse or harassment, there is no need to allow fear to dominate your daily life. An OFP or HRO could make all the difference. At the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd., we can help you secure the protection you need at this difficult time. Contact us to learn how we can assist you in obtaining the appropriate order based on your unique situation.