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Protection order changes

Published (4/25/2008)
By Mike Cook
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An Order for Protection or restraining order could be issued for up to 50 years, under a bill awaiting action by a conference committee.

Sponsored by Rep. Larry Hosch (DFL-St. Joseph) and Sen. Tarryl Clark (DFL-St. Cloud), HF1625/SF3492* would extend the duration of Orders for Protection and restraining orders after multiple violations or continued threats.

Prior to the 133-0 vote April 17, a technical amendment was successfully offered by Hosch to correct a cross-reference. The Senate refused to concur April 21, and a conference committee has been requested. The Senate passed the original bill 64-1 April 3.

To get the maximum issuance, the respondent would need to have had at least two previous OFPs or restraining orders, or if the previous orders were violated by the respondent. The original Hosch bill had a permanent protection order, but after a court decision the 50-year cap was implemented.

Hosch said the bill comes from a constituent who continues to deal with an abusive relationship that started 11 years earlier. “She was in the process of trying to issue her fourth harassment order against this individual,” he said. “This individual continually stalked her, harassed her, abused her, and she was trying to issue this harassment order, but could not find him to serve him with this harassment order.” Because he did not have a permanent address she essentially became a stalker in trying to serve the order.

“Because this individual violated previous harassment orders and Orders for Protection on 53 different occasions, it made sense to me that we have to have a process that allows for a harassment order or Order for Protection to be issued more a longer period of time if the judge deemed fit,” Hosch said.

The bill would also:

• include e-mail and electronic messaging in no-contact provisions;

• allow a respondent to petition for a modification of an order after five years or original issuance; and

• require that a relief petitioner must state if there was a previous order filed against the respondent.

“This gets to the crux of the issue to make sure that we know if a particular individual has had previous orders against them,” Hosch said.

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