Harassment Restraining Orders
- by Eric C. Nelson, Attorney

In cases where you need protection from contact from your significant other, but are unable to prove domestic abuse, the Petition for a Harassment Restraining Order is a useful tool, because it is much easier to prove than domestic abuse.

A Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) can be obtained by proving: “a single incident of physical or sexual assault or repeated incidents of intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that have a substantial adverse effect or are intended to have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another, regardless of the relationship between the actor and the intended target.” [1]

Unlike an Order for Protection, and HRO cannot award temporary child custody or support, but it can order no contact from the Respondent.

As with OFPs, the HRO is subject to abuse. If you are accused of harassment, you have the right to an evidentiary hearing to defend against that. Having an attorney is crucial in these proceedings.

  1. Minnesota Statute section 609.748, Subdivision 1(a)(1). The statute also lists some alternative grounds, but this is by far the most common basis for an HRO.