Orders for protection

Victims of domestic violence may seek an Order for Protection (OFP) from Family Court. It is not necessary for a victim to report the violence to the police in order to request an OFP, but the Rice County Sheriff's Office strongly recommends they do. This allows the criminal justice system to intervene in the situation.

Pursuant to Minnesota Statue 518B.01 Subd. 2 (b), domestic abuse occurs to a family or household member if committed by a family or household member. Family or household member is defined as:

  • A man or a woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
  • Parents and children.
  • Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
  • Persons related by blood.
  • Persons who are currently residing together or who have resided together in the past.
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
  • Spouse and former spouse.

An adult may file a petition for an Order for Protection on behalf of any victim who is a minor, is considered vulnerable because of mental deficiency, or is of an advanced age.

Anyone seeking an OFP should contact the Rice County Court Administration at 507-332-6107. When a judge reviews the Petition and Affidavit for an OFP, the judge will determine if an ex parte Temporary OFP should be issued. Hearings to review the OFP are usually scheduled seven days following the filing of the OFP.

After the hearing, a judge will listen to both the petitioner (the filing party) and the respondent (the person the OFP is filed against) and will determine if a long-term Order for Protection should be issued. This is generally for one or two years.

If an OFP is granted, either temporary or long-term, it will be brought to the Rice County Sheriff's Office to be served. The Sheriff's Office will arrange for service within Rice County. If the respondent lives in another county, the Rice County Sheriff's Office will fax the order to the local Sheriff's Office.

In most cases, these orders can be served at any time and anywhere. The domestic abuse advocate will gather as much information as possible to assist the Deputies in locating the respondent.

The Court Administrator does not charge a fee for an OFP, nor does the Sheriff's Office.