Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act & Legal Definitions

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Minnesota Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1-866-223-1111
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National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act

Minnesota’s Domestic Abuse Act (chapter 518B) provides an action for an order for protection (OFP) in cases of domestic abuse; describes the relief available in OFP proceedings; establishes procedures for OFP proceedings; and contains the penalties for violation of an OFP. The provisions of Minnesota’s Domestic Abuse Act apply to OFPs issued under the Domestic Abuse Act or a similar law of another state, the United States, tribal lands, or U.S. territories.

Domestic Abuse Legal Definitions in Minnesota:

“Domestic Abuse”

The Domestic Abuse Act defines domestic abuse to mean the following conduct, if committed against a family or household member by a family or household member:

  1. physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
  2. the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
  3. terroristic threats, within the meaning of section 609.713, subd. 1;
  4. criminal sexual conduct, within the meaning of sections 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, 609.345, or 609.3451; or
  5. interference with an emergency call within the meaning of section 609.78, subd. 2. See Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 2.

If a person’s conduct falls under this definition, then a 6-year statute of limitations for assault, battery, false imprisonment, or other tort applies. Minn. Stat. § 541.05. Thus, under Minnesota law, it is important to discuss your case with an attorney right away. Your legal claims may be time-sensitive, so legal action may be required right away.

“Family or Household Member”

A “family or household member” means the following:

  1. spouses and former spouses;
  2. parents and children;
  3. persons related by blood;
  4. persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
  5. persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
  6. a man and 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;
  7. persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.

In determining involvement in a significant romantic or sexual relationship, the court must consider the length of the relationship; type of relationship; frequency of interaction between the parties; and, if the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination. (See Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 2.)

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