Minnesota Family Law on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is taken very seriously in the Minnesota court system. Given the seriousness of domestic violence, the courts’ remedies can sometimes seem harsh and have detrimental consequences on all parties.

Domestic violence can manifest in many ways. It can look like a physical injury and/or an emotional harm. Domestic violence might even be a threat to cause bodily injury. Domestic violence may result in physical, psychological, emotional, and financial consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator.

Minnesota Family laws contain provisions related to domestic violence, which not only define the violence but also provide modus operadi to report it and provide remedies for the victims of domestic violence.

Definition of Domestic Violence under the Law of Minnesota

In Minnesota, the law says to have a successful claim of domestic violence, the claim shall include any of the following acts committed by one family or household member against another family or household member:

  1. Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault.
  2. To inflict fear of causing imminent physical harm, assault, or bodily injury to another, provided that the fear shall be reasonable to cause apprehension of imminent danger.
  3. Terrorist threat or threat to use violence
  4. Criminal sexual conduct
  5. Interference with an emergency call

Definition of Family or Household under the Law of Minnesota

The claim of domestic abuse may be made against a family member or a household member only. The distinction of a “family or household member” is important because this is needed for domestic violence.

A family or household member includes the following:

  1. Spouses and former spouses;
  2. Parents and children;
  3. Persons related by blood;
  4. Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
  5. Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
  6. A man and 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; and
  7. Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship..

Remedies Available to Parties in Domestic Violence Cases

Minnesota courts take immediate actions in domestic violence cases. An aggrieved party or the guardian of a minor may request the court issue an Order for Protection (“OFP”). If the court is satisfied by the prima facie facts of the case, the court may issue an ex parte OFP before any court hearing takes place. After the issuance of an ex parte OFP, the court may conduct a hearing at the request of either party. The purpose of the ex parte OFP is to immediately prevent the continuation of domestic violence.

An OFP may restrict the accused from contacting the victim through a phone call, email, or any other means of communication. The accused may have to vacate the shared home. There might be temporary custody order.

In addition, the OFP may deprive a person from carrying firearms (resulting in the possession of firearms becoming a violation of both state and federal law). The court may also impose other penalties such as imprisonment, counseling or fines, etc.

The entire OFP process can be very difficult and scary. Moreover, the nature of the domestic violence cases demands immediate action. Therefore, it is very important to consult an experienced attorney whether you are charged with domestic violence or you are a victim of domestic violence.

Our team is here to help! Call Martine Law for a free consultation at (612) 208-8076 or visit us at www.xmartinelaw.com