I honestly believe that a restraining order that I was arrested on was invalid, because it doesn't show up on my public record (rap sheet), and both the BCA, and director of public safety in my city have told me that there was no reason for being arrested on a restraining order that was never a matter of public record. This has prompted me to wonder for a while what the definition of "valid" is on a restraining order/order for protection (I know there is a difference) is.

Basically I'm asking for an explanation of what "valid" is on a court order.

I live in Minnesota, USA if that matters.

  • 3
    The unstated premise here is that the agency that generates rap sheets can invalidate court orders by refusing or failing to enter them into a database. I think that's pretty obviously incorrect.
    – bdb484
    Jun 17, 2022 at 14:12
  • Were you served with the restraining order?
    – Stuart F
    Jun 17, 2022 at 15:27
  • What makes you think that police aren't aware of a court order regardless of it not being a "public record"? How else can such orders be enforced and breaches identified?
    – user35069
    Jun 17, 2022 at 17:01
  • I was served with a summons, but not with an actual restraining order. A dads mind can twist kissing with a clear, and eminent danger.
    – person
    Jun 17, 2022 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


There are three kinds of restraining orders in Minnesota, but what they have in common is that a person petitions the court to order a person to e.g. stop the harassment and have no further contact. This order if granted by the court will be served on the respondent, and all actual restraining orders are valid. A forgery which was not actually ordered by the court is not a restraining order, and of course it is not legally valid. But you don't seem to be claiming that this is a forgery.

In principle, a person can obtain a copy of a restraining order under The Minnesota Data Practices Act. However, there are limits on access to certain records. Minnesota Court Rule 4 restricts access to domestic abuse and harassment records, blocking disclosure until the respondent has been served with the order. If someone fails to obtain a record in such a case, it could be because the request was made before the order was served. Even if the request was improperly denied, that does not invalidate the court order.

Subsequent comments by OP indicate the possibility that he was not given the restraining order, as required by law, which would substantially impact the validity of the arrest. This handbook from the courts spells out the rules for handling these orders. If it is impossible to personally serve the notice on respondent (he can't be found), then it is possible for the court to order notice by publication, where an item is placed in the newspaper (legal notices, which nobody reads). In other words, you can be "served" in the legal sense, but not know it (however, the police will know it, so if BCA is saying "we can't find any restraining order", this would be a plainly improper arrest).

  • so what's the definition valid under this statute?
    – person
    Jun 17, 2022 at 19:00
  • I assume you mean the statute allowing for these protective orders. The word "valid" does not figure into these statutes, so it's not defined. Point is, per you recent comment, they have to actually serve you with the order.
    – user6726
    Jun 17, 2022 at 19:30
  • See 609.748(4)(c) "A copy of the restraining order must be served on the respondent along with the order for hearing and petition, as provided in subdivision 3"
    – user6726
    Jun 17, 2022 at 19:35
  • what if it never gets filed electronically because the judge was starting to feel her friends were the ones who were abusing her, not me (go for entrapment, because the judge knew she couldn't keep her mouth shut, and would tell them that the judge told her that nobody would understand, unless they were in the courtroom)?
    – person
    Jun 18, 2022 at 20:51

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