HARASSMENT & ORDER FOR PROTECTION ATTORNEY
Areas of Practice:
HRO – OFP – TRO – Harassment – Terroristic Threats – Domestic Violence – Ex Parte Order –Sexual Assault – Assault – Battery – Petition – Shelter –– Request a Hearing – Summons – Restraining Order – Victim Rights Advocate – Parenting Time
Understanding HROs and OFPs
Orders for Protection (OFP) and Harassment Restraining Orders (HRO), are civil remedies available to victims of harassment, threats, or violence. These court orders forbid a particular individual from having contact with other people allegedly victimized by harassment, threats, or violence. They can be preliminarily obtained against someone without a hearing, and can dramatically affect the defendant’s rights in future criminal and family law proceedings.
Pursuant to Minnesota law, the Courts are required to assist individuals in filing for HROs and OFPs without the aid of an attorney. As a result, petitions for HROs and OFPs are oftentimes filed by an individual without an attorney and petitioners and defendants alike mistakenly believe that future court proceedings will be short and simple. Rarely is that the case. Many HRO and OFP hearings mushroom into full-blown mudslinging trials with complex witness testimony and exhibits. Additionally, it is not uncommon for the opposing party to appear with an attorney without notice on the day of the hearing in an attempt to sabotage the opposing party.
These cases, more than any other, tend to be the tip of the legal iceberg. Under the surface, there is usually a divorce or child custody dispute brewing. We oftentimes see these proceedings improperly used by people seeking to gain an unfair advantage in upcoming or pending child custody proceedings, and before criminal charges come to light.
Our Approach To HROs and OFPs
At Cadem Law Group, every case receives individualized attention and we consider these types of cases of the highest priority. These cases can irreparably impact the relationship between people, custody and parenting time of children, your residence, and your gun rights.
Our Experience Matters
In one-sided cases, less qualified attorneys will oftentimes just stipulate to an order with no findings, or will advise their clients not to challenge the ex-parte order or request a hearing. That is oftentimes a mistake. An aggressive and experienced litigation attorney like those at Cadem Law Group can use these proceedings to scratch out benefits in future criminal and/or custody matters. For example, except in very rare situations, we are unable to take the statement of victims in criminal matters before the trial. HRO and OFP hearings gives us the rare opportunity to do so. That testimony can give us valuable information and expose weaknesses in the victim’s version of events before the trial, even when we know we will lose the OFP or HRO hearing. This is also an important consideration for those wishing to file for an HRO or OFP. Victims’ advocates like those at Someplace Safe oftentimes encourage victims to immediately apply for an order. However, if criminal charges are being filed, a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO) and general conditions of release prohibiting contact with the victim will almost always be issued. In such a circumstance, an HRO or OFP is in many ways duplicative, and may not serve the best interests of the victim when looking at the bigger picture.
Probably the most important issue to consider when dealing with HROs and OFPs is that they can dramatically affect the ability of parents to co-parent in the future, can affect the ability of people to reconcile, and they can affect gun rights. Once an order is issued, it is the Court’s order, not the Petitioner’s. The parties are unable to agree between themselves to disregard the order, even if that is the wish of both parties. The parties are also unable to alter the terms of the order without agreement and further Court action, and even then, the Court can deny the request.
Before you make any decision about what to do, you need to speak to an experienced attorney who can intelligently guide you through all of these issues, to answer your questions, and to help you make the best decision for you and your future. The initial consultation is free and 100% confidential, so you have nothing to lose by calling.
A Law Firm You Can Trust
At Cadem Law Group, we understand the serious and emotional consequences of being in a situation in which a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) or Order for Protection (OFP) is an issue.
If you have questions about pursuing one of these orders, or are faced with defending against one, contact our office online or call to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options with an aggressive attorney who will fully protect your rights.
Proudly fighting for the rights of people across the entire state of Minnesota, including Ramsey County, Hennepin County, Otter Tail County, Wahpeton, Wilkin County, Washington County, Becker County, Clay County, Wadena County, Douglas County, Grant County, Wright County, Dakota County, Scott County, Carver County, Anoka County, Pope County, Stillwater, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes, Elbow Lake, Alexandria, Pelican Rapids, Perham, Alexandria, Wadena, Morris, Breckenridge . . . and everyone in between.