Grand Forks Police Department
122 S. 5th Street
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: 701-787-8000
Business hours: M-F, 8 to 5 pm
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Press 2: Dispatch Center
Press 3: GF County Jail
701-780-8253 (FAX)

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    Protection Orders & Domestic Violence
    Community Violence Intervention Center
    Abuse and Rape Crisis Program
    211 South 4th Street, Suite 207, Grand Forks, ND 58201
    "A United Way Agency"
    (701) 746-0405
    24 Crisis Line (701) 746-8900

    WHAT IS AN EX PARTE TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDER?

    An ex parte temporary protection order may be granted by the court without a hearing ("ex parte") when you are in immediate and present danger of abuse. Obtaining a protection order is a civil, not a criminal, action. The temporary order is based upon a sworn statement of recent abuse and/or threat of abuse. The temporary order provides only emergency relief and does not provide for support, counseling or attorney fees. The relief provided by the court order may include:
    • Restraining the abuser from committing acts of domestic violence against you or another person.
    • Excluding the abuser from your home, place of employment, from the residence of another person, or from an adult shelter care facility.
    • Awarding temporary custody and/or temporary visitation rights with minor child(ren).

    You may apply for a temporary protection order through the Abuse and Rape Crisis Program. An advocate will assist you with the application and accompany you to see a judge, who will review your application and determine if the situation warrants a protection order. There is no charge to obtain a protection order.

    A full hearing will be scheduled within 14 days from the date the judge signs the temporary order. The temporary protection order remains in effect until the hearing but not more than 30 days. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if there is a need for the protection order to be extended. Protection orders are generally extended for one year; however, other requests can be made, such as three months, six months, or nine months. An advocate will accompany you to the protection order hearing, however, it would be in your best interest to also have an attorney present at the hearing. The abuser has the right to have his/her side of the story heard, and therefore may be present with legal representation. If you meet the income requirements, you may be eligible to be represented by the Legal Aid Association for a small fee. Phone Legal Aid (777-2932) for more information.

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    WHAT IS AN EXTENDED PROTECTION ORDER?

    An extended protection order is a court order to protect an individual from physical and/or mental abuse. A court hearing is held to determine if there is a need to extend the ex parte protection order. Relief provided by the court may include:
    • Restraining the abuser from committing acts of abuse against you or another person.
    • Excluding the abuser from your home and/or place of employment.
    • Awarding custody of and/or visitation rights with minor child(ren) for the duration of the order.
    • Requiring the payment of child support and/or spousal support.
    • Recommending or requiring one or both parties to undergo counseling with a domestic violence program, an offender treatment group or any other agencies that provide appropriate professional counseling.

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    WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A PROTECTION ORDER?

    You may file an application for a protection order if you have recently been a victim of adult abuse. "Adult abuse" is defined as physical harm, bodily injury or assault, or the immediate threat of abuse. Such acts as pushing, shoving, grabbing, slapping, punching, choking, pulling hair, kicking, forcing sexual acts, threatening with a weapon, or threatening a person’s life or safety are all considered abuse. In addition, you may be eligible for a protection order if you have been a victim of "stalking", a pattern of conduct consisting of two or more acts of behavior intended to frighten, intimidate, or harass another person.

    The following individuals may request a protection order:
    • A spouse or former spouse.
    • Family member.
    • A person who is currently residing with the abusive individual or who has resided with him/her in the past.
    • A person who has a child in common with the abuser regardless of whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time.
    • A person who is in a dating relationship with the abuser.
    • Any other person if the court determines that the relationship between the two persons is sufficient to warrant the issuance of a protection order. (This may include persons previously in a dating relationship who have not resided together.)

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    WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PROTECTION ORDER IS VIOLATED?

    If the abuser violates any of the restrictions of the protection order, he/she will be in violation of the court order. If you are in danger, please call 911 immediately. If a violation has occurred and you are not in danger, please contact your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible and report the violation. If an officer can establish probable cause that a violation of a protection order has occurred, then the officer is mandated by law to arrest the abuser if he/she can be located within four hours of establishing probable cause.

    If a violation of the protection order is reported to law enforcement and they have established probable cause, they can file an affidavit with the State’s Attorney’s Office. The State’s Attorney’s Office will review the affidavit and evidence and determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute. The first violation of a protection order is a class A misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is 1-year imprisonment and/or a $2,000 fine. Violations of a protection order after the initial charge is a class C felony. The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment and/or a $5000 fine.

    If telephone harassment is a problem, please document each call and report it to law enforcement. If possible, you should discourage future contacts by telling the abuser to stop calling and then hanging up the telephone. If the harassment continues and you have filed police reports, you may want to contact the telephone company and request a tracer be put on your phone. There are other options (where there will be a cost to you) that the phone company can offer, such as caller I.D. or call tracing.

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    POINTERS FOR APPEARING IN COURT

    1. Be familiar with your protection order.
    2. Be on time.
    3. Dress appropriately.
    4. Be serious in the courtroom.
    5. This is a serious matter and not one to be taken lightly.
    6. Avoid talking about the case in the hallway or restrooms of the courthouse in such a way that the other party, counsel, and/or witnesses may see or hear you.
    7. Be respectful of the judge. Refer to the judge as "your honor".
    8. Take your time when answering questions.
    9. Directly answer the question asked of you.
    10. Tell the truth.
    11. If you do not remember, say that you do not remember.
    12. Do not minimize but do not maximize either. If you do not understand a question, ask to have it explained or restated.
    13. Be brief and concise.
    14. Discuss only events that took place, not what you think happened, or what you heard someone say took place. If you cannot be exact when discussing dates, times, or places make sure that it is understood that you are only estimating.
    15. Always answer verbally so that it can be recorded properly by the court reporter. Talk slowly and loudly enough so that everyone can hear you.

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    WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU LET THE ABUSER BACK INTO YOUR HOME?

    The purpose of the protection order is to provide for your safety by keeping the abuser away from you. The order is not made invalid because you let the abuser into your home. The abuser may still be held in violation of the order and may be fined, jailed, or both. However, you put yourself in an extremely vulnerable position if you allow the abuser back into your home, since law enforcement agencies may not take you seriously should you require their assistance at a later time.

    If you have a protection order, there should be no contact between you and the abuser. If you later wish to reconcile with the abuser, it is important that you apply to have the order amended or dismissed. This can be done through Community Violence Intervention Center, your private attorney or Legal Aid.

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    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:


    COMMUNITY VIOLENCE INTERVENTION CENTER
    211 SOUTH 4
    th STREET, Suite 207
    Grand Forks, ND 58201

    24-Hour Crisis Line
    701-746-8900
    Office Line
    701-746-0405
    Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Monday - Friday
    Phone Numbers
    Grand Forks Legal Aid Association 777-2932
    Grand Forks County State’s Attorney’s Office 780-8281
    Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department 780-8280
    Grand Forks Police Department 787-8000
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