Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

OFP & HRO Hearings

The hearing requirement for a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO)  or Order for Protection (OFP) includes the right to testify on your own behalf, to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to produce documents. Anderson v. Lake, 536 N.W.2d 909, 911 (Minn. App. 1995). Failure to provide a party with a full and fair hearing will result in reversal of the order.

In the past 12 months the court of appeals has reversed the issuance of two separate HROs based on Due Process violation(s). See, State v. Brown, A13-1092 (Minn. App. 12/30/2013); Dillon v. Burton, A12-1369 (Minn. App. 05/06/2013).

During contested OFP or HRO hearings, the court must afford both parties a full and fair hearing which includes the following basic due process rights: a) The right to testify on your own behalf and to complete your testimony; b) The right to call witnesses, or in the alternative to make an offer of proof as to what the witness’s testimony would be if allowed by the court; c) The right to cross-examine the other party and any witness that testifies. 

Failure to provide litigants with those basic due process rights will usually result in a reversal of the order. State v. Johnson, 755 N.W.2d 758 (Minn.App.2008). 

Judge Alan Pendleton

10th Judicial District, Anoka

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