Divorce is a sensitive subject, and if your spouse is particularly hostile you may find the process easier with a protective order in place. These court-mandated orders enforce a certain distance between one person who is an alleged harasser and the person they allegedly harass. Due to the need for immediate safety, the Minnesota court process has to balance fast signing and measured investigation.
There are a few steps you may need to take, but the required forms are more easily accessible through the use of e-filing.
Definitions of harassment
According to Minnesota statutes, harassment comes in many forms including physical or sexual assault. Harmful words or gestures that threaten your safety or privacy likewise fall under harassment. In the digital age, this also includes the dissemination of certain photos without consent.
If your situation reflects any of these behaviors, Minnesota has a Petition for Harassment Restraining Order forms online that you may submit. Be specific in your details in how exactly you feel harassed. While the protective order puts distance between an alleged harasser, proving that harassment may not always be easy. Transcripts of texts, pictures of injuries and more may encourage courts to utilize an Ex Parte order.
Actions by the court
Once you file, the courts determine what action to take. An Ex Parte order goes into effect without a hearing and the alleged harasser may request a hearing when served the orders to dispute it, but unless the courts rescind the order, it remains in effect for two years. The courts may deny your submission and you instead request a hearing for the judge to review your case. An outright dismissal means you may need to refile the submission.
Your immediate safety is important. A protective order may help in the long run and while this blog is not legal advice, you should seek help from emergency services or authorities if necessary.