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House passes bill to permit MN to enforce Canadian orders for protection

Domestic violence victims with protective orders still may feel the need to get far away from their abusers, even across international borders.

But if an abuser follows, current law doesn’t allow Minnesota law enforcement agencies to enforce an order for protection issued in Canada.

Legislation to change that advanced Thursday, when the House voted 131-0 to pass HF113/SF395*, which would permit Minnesota to enforce protection orders issued in Canada while the person under protection is in the state.

Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL-Shoreview) and Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) are the bill sponsors.  It passed the Senate 66-0 on March 8. The legislation now goes to Gov. Tim Walz for his signature.

Six states have enacted the Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Orders for Protection Act, Moller said, including North Dakota and Wisconsin.

“As a state bordering Canada, it’s important that we pass the act in order to ensure the safety of those who come into Minnesota from Canada with an order for protection,” Moller said.

Under current law, Minnesota enforces orders issued by other states along with the federal and tribal governments that would be an order for protection if issued in this state.

The bill would permit victims to register their Canadian orders for protection with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Those records would then be available electronically to law enforcement officers and agencies 24 hours a day.

The bill was developed in collaboration with the Uniform Law Commission and the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, Moller said. The Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Quebec already recognize and enforce Minnesota orders for protection.

“When the border is open, many people travel freely between Minnesota and Canada, and this bill will be a tool to help keep people safe on both sides of the border,” Moller said in a statement. “Minnesota has consistently been a leader in standing up for domestic violence survivors, and the Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Orders for Protection Act is another example of our commitment to protecting those who have experienced trauma.”

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