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Order for Protection Against Domestic Violence - Do it Yourself

Contents
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Click "Proceed" above to get to the guided interview. If you only want the form by itself, click this link

Step 1

About this Program

Welcome! This free program helps you create the forms to ask the court for an Order for Protection. These forms are called "Petitioner's Affidavit and Petition for an Order for Protection."

The program works by asking you questions. It uses your answers to fill out your form. You can print your form and file it with the court.

It could take an hour to get through the interview. If you don't have enough time to finish, save your answers by creating an account with LawHelp Interactive. You can create an account now or any time during the interview.

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 abusing you has a lawyer, you should try to get one, too.

Find a free lawyer for low-income individuals or find a private lawyer.

Before you start the interview, you need to read the instructions on the next 4 tabs.

To continue, click on the green Step 2 tab above.

Step 2

About Orders for Protection

What does an OFP do?

An OFP is a court order. It orders the abuser not to hurt you. It can make the abuser leave your home and have no contact with you. It can order temporary custody, parenting time or visitiation, as well as child support or alimony payments. It can order the abuser to let you use certain property (like a car you share). You can also ask for other protections.

Are you eligible for an OFP?

To get an OFP, you must be at least 16 years old, and you need to show that you have suffered domestic violence. "Domestic violence" means you have been abused by:

  • a family member
  • a spouse (or ex-spouse)
  • someone you have had a child with
  • a boyfriend / girlfriend
  • someone you live with or used to live with
  • anyone you have had a significant sexual or romantic relationship with

If someone has abused you, but they don't fit into one of the categories above, you may be able to get a "Harassment Restraining Order" instead.

What counts as abuse?

Legally, you have been abused if someone has:

  • physically harmed you
  • tried to harm you
  • made you fear harm
  • forced you to perform sexual acts against your will
  • made terroristic threats
  • tried to stop you from calling 911 for any reason
Can you get an OFP for a child?

Yes, if you are the child's parent, guardian, or other family member. Sometimes, the court lets other adults over 25 get OFPs for children. If you want to apply for a child who has been abused, you will probably need a lawyer.

For more information:

 Read the Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders Booklet

 Read the Orders for Protection and Harassment Orders Fact Sheet

To continue, click on the green Step 3 tab above.

Step 3

What You Need Before You Start

You will need certain information to fill out the Order for Protection forms. If you don't know all the answers, that's okay. You can leave some questions blank and still get an OFP. But the more information you give, the better your chances are.

Basic Information About All Parties

You will need to give basic information about yourself, the abuser, and any children that are involved. Basic information includes names, dates of birth, and addresses. If you do not have the exact information for the abuser, you can give as much information as you know.

Earlier Family Court Cases

If you have been involved in earlier family court cases with the abuser, you will need to say where (which county) and when the case took place.

Financial Information If You Want Child or Spousal Support

If you want child support or spousal support, you will need to say how much money you make, how much the abuser makes, and what your expenses are. Expenses can include food, rent or mortgage payments, and utility bills.

Restitution

You can ask the court to order the abuser to pay you back for damage that happened because of the abuse ("restitution"). Damage can include broken property or medical bills. You will need to tell the court how much the damages were. It is helpful if you have copies of bills or other information showing how much you had to pay.

Will I Need A Hearing?

Some of the requests you make to help protect you mean you need to have a hearing in front of a judge. Other types do not. Please read pages 4 through 6 of the Court's instructions for more information about when you will need to have a hearing.

To continue, click on the green Step 4 tab above.

Step 4

What Does Your Computer Need?
This interview will only work on a desktop computer. If you only have a mobile device, go to a library or other location with a desktop computer and printer. If you are at a library, you can skip this step of instructions. Public computers already have these programs installed. If you are using your own computer, make sure your computer has the following:

1.   Microsoft Word or Word Viewer

If you don't have Microsoft Word, you can use Word Viewer to view, copy, and print your forms (but it won't let you make changes.) Click here to get Word Viewer for free.

(Note: Microsoft Word Pad is not the same as Microsoft Word and will not work with this program.)

2.   Adobe Flash Player

If you don't have Adobe Flash Player, click here to get the newest version for free.

To continue, click on the green Step 5 tab above.

Step 5

Click "Proceed" above to get to the guided interview. If you only want the form by itself, click this link: mncourts.gov