Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Restraining order clarification

Published (5/6/2011)
By Mike Cook
Share on: 

Potential changes to the state’s harassment restraining order could clear up state statute and remove an administrative barrier for victims.

Sponsored by Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe), HF469 would allow an application for a harassment restraining order to be filed in the county of residence of either party or in the county where the alleged harassment occurred.

Passed 128-0 by the House May 2, the bill now goes to the Senate where Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes) is the sponsor.

Because current statute doesn’t clearly give direction to the courts about filing a restraining order, this has led to inconsistent handling of requests, especially in Greater Minnesota. Gruenhagen said advocates working with victims found they would appear in one county to help their clients file an order for petition, only to be told that they would have to go to another county to seek court protection.

Supporters previously said it would help in cases like when a victim tried to file the petition in a county of residence, but was told by a court clerk she had to file for a petition in the county where the incident took place. When the petitioner went to the second county she saw the perpetrator, who harassed her.

Gruenhagen said endorsements have been forwarded from a number of groups, including the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association and the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.

Courts would also be permitted to waive filing fees for certain restraining order petitions. The fee can now be waived if the alleged acts would constitute criminal sexual conduct or gross misdemeanor or felony stalking. In order to be eligible for federal grants to combat violence crimes against women, states must certify their laws do not require victims of sexual assault, stalking or domestic violence bear the cost of filing for a protection order.

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

Keeping the courts adequately funded
Public safety finance law doesn’t gut Human Rights Department
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Governor vetoes public safety bill
At about $1.8 billion in spending, no cuts to courts were proposed
(view full story) Published 7/15/2011

DNA - It’s all in the family
Familial DNA could help solve criminal cases, but at what cost?
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Creating a ‘Safe Harbor’
Wide-ranging support for bill to decriminalize juveniles exploited by prostitution
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Two omnibus bills merged into one
DFL legislators oppose cuts to Department of Human Rights, Civil Legal Services
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Safety versus savings
Home fire sprinklers would be costly, but can save lives
(view full story) Published 3/4/2011

Minnesota Index: State corrections
Figures and statistics on Minnesota's correctional system
(view full story) Published 2/25/2011

How young is too young?
Committee debates age for youth being charged as an adult in certain cases
(view full story) Published 2/18/2011