Harassment Restraining Order - Do it Yourself
About the Harassment Restraining Order Forms
If you are in danger, CALL 911
This information will help you with paperwork. It cannot protect you from a dangerous person. If you believe you are in danger right now, call the police right away.Think about getting a lawyer
You should think seriously about getting a lawyer if your case involves harm to a child, concerns about your immigration status, subpoenas for witnesses, written evidence, or expert witnesses like doctors or police. If the person harassing you has a lawyer, you should try to get one, too.
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About Harassment Restraining Orders
Before you apply to get a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO), there are some things you should know.
What Can an HRO Do To Protect Me?
An HRO is a court order. It provides protection from harassment or stops another person from bothering you. It is not a criminal proceeding. It takes place in civil court.
The court can order the harasser to leave you alone and have no further contact with you. This includes stopping the telephone calls, letters, and e-mails. For example, the order can limit the number of times in a day or week or month you can be contacted. The order can state a specific number of feet the harasser must stay away from you. Or, the order may just say "stop calling."
Ask for everything you want the court to order in your petition for an HRO or you may not get what you want.
What Is the Difference Between Having an HRO and an Order for Protection (OFP)?
An OFP provides better protection. Police and the courts take an OFP more seriously. If you qualify for both, it is usually best to apply for an OFP.
Some behaviors do not meet the legal definition of domestic abuse, but do meet the definition of harassment. For example, repeated telephone calls from your ex-boyfriend threatening to take custody of the children away from you may be harassment, but now always domestic abuse. It may depend on if you were afraid of being harmed, or just really annoyed that the calls don't stop.
As another example, if your ex's new girlfriend is repeatedly making threatening calls by swearing at you and/or calling you bad names, that is harassment because you and the girlfriend are not in a kind of relationship that qualifies for an OFP.
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Do You Qualify?
Who Can Get a Harassment Restraining Order?
Anyone can get a harassment restraining order. you do not need to have a relationship with the harasser like you do for an Order for Protection (OFP). A parent, guardian or stepparent can get a harassment restraining order for a child.
For example, if your ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend threatens to "get you," you can apply for an HRO against her. Or, if you have an OFP against your ex-boyfriend and he keeps calling and threatening your parents, they could ask for an HRO against him.
If someone is harassing you, sometimes it helps if you first tell them to stop or write them a letter telling them to stop. Keep a copy of any letter you send and a written record of any times you verbally told the harasser to stop.
What Counts As Harassment?
Harassment is when someone does or says things that threaten you. Harassment also includes:
- repeatedly telephoning a person
- repeatedly following a person
- slashing car tires
- sending letters or e-mail
- leaving notes
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Links to FormsThe Minnesota courts have forms that you can fill out to apply for an Order for Protection. Go to the Court's forms for Filing a Harassment Restraining Order to find the forms you will need. You can also find them here: