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HRO Defense

HRO (Harassment Restraining Order) Defense Attorney In Minnesota

Being on the receiving end of a Harassment Restraining Order in Minnesota can happen to anyone, and you have a right to defend yourself. A Harassment Restraining Order or HRO is entered when someone seeks to prevent someone from harassing someone else. More specifically, a Harassment Restraining Order can keep someone from contacting an individual and going near certain properties associated with said individual. My work in criminal defense led me to work with individuals on the receiving end of a Harassment Restraining Order. Accordingly, I am well-versed to serve as your Harassment Restraining Order attorney in any Minnesota court.

What is considered harassment in the Harassment Restraining Order Context?

Harassment occurs when a person knowingly engages in acts or behaviors that substantially adversely impact the safety, security, or privacy of the person who is the target of those acts or behaviors. Under Minnesota statute §609.748, someone may seek a harassment restraining order on the following grounds:

  • A single or repeated incident of physical or sexual assault.
  • Intending to injure someone, their property, or their rights, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
  • A single or repeated incident of harassment.
  • calling or texting someone continuously.
  • following someone in person or through electronic means.
  • Using a person’s personal information to invite, encourage and solicit sexual acts with a third party.
  • A single incident of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images.
  • Targeted residential picketing.
  • A pattern of attending public events after being notified of the person’s presence is harassing another.

What to do when you are served with a Harassment Restraining Order in Minnesota?

If you are served with a Harassment Restraining Order in Minnesota, call an HRO attorney immediately. Time is of the essence. You have 20 days to request a hearing, or you will waive your right to a hearing.

What is an Ex Parte Harassment Restraining Order in Minnesota?

An Ex Parte HRO means that the court granted the Harassment Restraining Order without a hearing or a chance for you to defend the allegations. An ex parte order turns into a full Harassment Restraining Order if you do not contest within 20 days of service.

How can a Minnesota Harassment Restraining Order Attorney help your case?

More times than not, when someone contacts me regarding a frivolous Harassment Restraining Order, the petitioner lacks more than mere words. The issue is that “a district court may issue a restraining order if it has “reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent has engaged in harassment.”

Words alone can be enough to grant someone an HRO, even if there is no way that they can prove that. If they testify to it and you do not discredit their testimony, almost always, the court will grant the order. As a Minnesota Harassment Restraining Order attorney, I know what courts look for when evaluating someone’s word, particularly in the HRO context.

For example, if the petitioner alleges you are always at their house, but you can establish they invited you there on most occasions? Another example to consider: did the petitioner allege you called them repeatedly, but the petitioner did the same to you?

I’ve used these two questions of defense to defend clients in Harassment Restraining Order proceedings successfully.

Above knowing how to discredit witnesses, an HRO petition is a matter in district court. There are many rules and procedures you must follow. Many of these hearings are now taking place through Zoom. Depending on the circumstance, an in-person hearing may be advantageous as it’s more challenging to lie to someone in person than to sit behind a web camera online.

What is targeted picketing?

Targeting picketing is one of the grounds for receiving a Harassment Restraining Order. Targeted picketing is:

Marching, standing, or patrolling by one or more persons directed solely at a particular residential building in a manner that adversely affects the safety, security, or privacy of an occupant of the building; or doing the same to prevent someone from gaining access to a building.

Can someone file a petition for a Harassment Restraining Order on behalf of their children?

Yes. I’ve seen frivolous sexual misconduct accusations in Harassment Restraining Order petitions. It’s amazing how far people will go. The quicker you call a Minnesota Harassment Restraining Order attorney, the better position a Harassment Restraining Order attorney in Minnesota can be in to counter the accusations and prevent the court from granting an HRO on behalf of children within your family.

What if there is substantial evidence against me in my Minnesota HRO case?

Too often, people use the HRO process as a tool in family and criminal matters. If handled quickly and correctly, you can prevent a Minnesota Harassment Restraining Order from interfering with other ongoing court matters. For example, if the allegations in the petition are true or you are risk-averse, it’s possible in Minnesota for your attorney to stipulate to an HRO without findings of fact, allowing you to prevent a finding any of the alleged behavior is true.

What if the other party does not show up to the hearing?

A Minnesota court will dismiss the HRO petition and the Ex Parte HRO if one exists. You should consult with a Minnesota Harassment Restraining Order attorney to make the proper arguments to have the HRO dismissed with prejudice and forbid the party from bringing the same claim again.

Bottom line

Harassment Restraining Orders in Minnesota can have significant impacts on your life. You have the right to defend yourself against frivolous accusations. Contact my office today so we can prepare your case and set you up for the most favorable outcome.