Domestic Abuse Laws in Minnesota | Domestic Abuse Act Definitions

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 Act Definitions

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:

  • physical harm, bodily injury, or assault
  • the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault
  • terroristic threats, within the meaning of section 609.713, subdivision 1; or criminal sexual conduct, within the meaning of sections 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, 609.345, or 609.3451; or interference with an emergency call within the meaning of section 609.78, subdivision 2

Family or household member

A “family or household member” means the following:

  • spouses and former spouses
  • parents and children
  • persons related by blood
  • persons who are presently 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
  • 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
  • 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. Minn.
Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 2.


This and any related posts have been adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Domestic Abuse Laws in Minnesota – An Overview, written by legislative analyst Judith Zollar.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Domestic Abuse in Minnesota.


1 If conduct meets this definition, a six-year statute of limitations for assault, battery, false imprisonment,
or other tort applies. Minn. Stat. § 541.05.