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Protection order delivery

Published (2/22/2008)
By Mike Cook
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An applicant for an Order for Protection should not have to stalk their stalker just so papers can be served. Sponsored by Rep. Larry Hosch (DFL-St. Joseph), HF1625 would offer assistance. It would allow a restraining or harassment order to be served in an alternative way, such as to a place where the perpetrator works, their parents’ address or that of other nearby relatives.

The bill was approved Feb. 15 by the House Crime Victims Subcommittee and referred to the House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee. It has no Senate companion.

Hosch cited an example of Jennifer, a woman in his district who had an abusive relationship with the father of her first child. “She has had four Orders for Protection against him. He has violated that order over 40 times. Since their separation, he has not physically harmed her; however, he has continually harassed her, her employer and her children. At this time she is trying to have a fifth harassment order against him, but because she cannot find him, she has not been able to serve him.”

Hosch said 13 other states have similar laws, including Florida, Washington and California.

“I drove through the neighborhoods and previous employment sites that he used to be at in the hopes that I could give the police information on where to serve him at,” Jennifer wrote.

In cases where more than one restraining order has been filed, the perpetrator would be required to provide the home and employment addresses, as well as the names and locations of their parents, siblings, children or other relatives.

The bill would also provide a way for the petitioner to ask for reprieve from a permanent order after five years by providing to the court that circumstances have changed.

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