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Domestic Abuse / Harassment
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Court Filing Process

Services in the Ramsey County Domestic Abuse/Harassment Office are on a walk-in basis. Accommodations may be made for individuals that do not speak English as their first language or for individuals that may require other special accommodations due to the inability to read and/or write English. Please call the office prior to coming in to make those arrangements.

Our office assists in the writing and filing of Petitions for Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders. Because we assist with two different types of orders, a clerk with ask you a few questions to help you determine which order file, and to determine if Ramsey County is the proper county for you to file your documents.

Should you file in Ramsey County?

If you can answer yes to one or more of the following questions Ramsey County may be the correct county to file your documents:

  1. Do you live in Ramsey County?
  2. Does the person your filing against live in Ramsey County?
  3. Did the acts of domestic abuse or Harassment occur in Ramsey County?
  4. Do you have a pending or former family court action with the other person in Ramsey County? This may include, but not limited to, matters such as divorce, custody, child support and paternity. (#4 applies to Order for Protections only)

Which order should you request?

The court clerks cannot tell you which order you should request, but they can provide you with information to help you make an informed decision. Below is information to help you make your decision.

Order for Protection:

  1. Relationship requirement (at least one)
  • Spouse or former spouse
  • Parent and child
  • Related by blood
  • Live together or have lived together in the past
  • Child(ren) in common (includes pregnancy if the respondent is the alleged father)
  • Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship
  1. Domestic Abuse (at least one)
  • Physical assault
  • Fear of imminent physical harm
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Terroristic threats
  • Interference with an emergency call

 

Harassment Restraining Order:

  • A single incident of physical or sexual assault
  • 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
  • See MN §609.748 for more information of what harassment includes

Is there a fee?

  • There are no fees associated with filing an Order for Protection
  • The Civil Filing Fees apply to all Harassment Restraining Orders

Once you have decided which order you would like to request, the clerk will ask you to fill out a few forms that will provide us with the information necessary to draft your petition for you. Below is a list of the documents and links you may complete before you come in. (this is not required)

Order for Protection:

  1. Ramsey County Law Enforcement Sheet
  2. OFP - Petitioner's Information Sheet
  3. OFP Allegations Checklist
  4. Addendum
  5. We will provide lined paper to write your allegations, but you may also use your own
  • Start with the most recent incident and work your way backwards
  • Provide a date or an approximate timeframe for each incident
  • Be specific. Instead of saying “I was threatened”, write what the threat was
  • Do not write too close to the edge of the paper. We are an electronic court and your document could get cut off

Harassment Restraining Order:

  1. Ramsey County Law Enforcement Sheet
  2. HRO - Petitioner's Information Sheet
  3. HRO Allegations Checklist
  4. Affidavit for Proceeding In Forma Pauperis (low income fee waiver)
  • You must have proof of your income to request the fee to be waived
  1. We will provide lined paper to write your allegations, but you may also use your own
  • Start with the most recent incident and work your way backwards
  • Provide a date or an approximate timeframe for each incident
  • Be specific. Instead of saying “I was harassed”, write what the harassment was
  • Do not write too close to the edge of the paper. We are an electronic court and your document could get cut off

What’s next?

Once your paperwork is completed, a clerk will draft a Petition and Affidavit and a proposed order for the Judicial Officer to review. These documents will be thoroughly reviewed with you before we bring it to the Judicial Officer. We will ask you to sign the Petition and Affidavit confirming that everything is true and correct and you do so under the penalties of perjury.

Next the clerk will bring this to the Judicial Officer while you wait in the lobby. This process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple hours, and on rare occasions, review and signing will happen the next business day.

If the Judicial Officer signs your order, the clerk will provide you with copies and information about service of the Petition/Affidavit and Order.

After you leave the clerks will send your paperwork to the sheriff’s department to attempt personal service upon the respondent (If you provided an address). The clerks will also send a copy of the order to all police departments in cities with a protected address.

Need help writing your allegations?

Our office is part of a community collaborative that provide services to victims of domestic abuse. Additional assistance may be available for you. Please go to Bridges to Safety's website for additional information.

Will a hearing be required?

Most orders can be issued for two years without a court hearing; however, certain relief may require a court hearing. The other party also has a right to request a hearing. We will notify you by mail if a hearing is requested.