Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic Violence Protection Order
ND Century Code 14-07.1-02

If the Court determines at a full hearing that abuse is imminent, it issues a Domestic Violence Protection Order. The Domestic Violence Protection Order:

  • Provides the same relief and is implemented in the same manner as the Temporary Order.
  • May be issued as a Permanent Order in effect for up to one year or longer.
  • May recommend or require that either or both parties undergo counseling.
  • May require the abuser to pay necessary support costs and attorney's fees.
  • Emergency Protection Order

  • Is an option when a district judge is not available.
  • May be signed by a local magistrate, such as a municipal judge or a small claims court referee.
  • Can provide the same relief as the Temporary Order, but expires in 72 hours.
  • May be extended beyond 72 hours if the victim appears before a Judge.
  • Temporary Protection Orders

  • Granted when a victim of violence alleges an immediate and present danger of abuse based on a recent incident or threat.
  • May be granted ex parte (without a hearing).
  • Gives immediate relief until a full hearing is held.
  • Relief May Include:

  • Restraining the perpetrator from further abuse of, or contact with, the victim.
  • Excluding the abuser from another person's residence, a domestic violence shelter, or the dwelling the abuser and victim share.
  • Awarding temporary custody or temporary visitation rights for minor children.

    Court Hearing:

  • Must be held within 14 days.
  • Court listens to the accounts of both parties and determines whether or not to continue the Order.
  • Probable Cause Arrest
    ND Century Code 14-07.1-11
    Domestic Assaults

    An officer may arrest an abuser without a warrant if there is probable cause, or reasonable belief, that the abuser has assaulted

  • His or her partner or spouse.
  • Family or household member, or
  • Any person with whom the abuser has or has had a relationship, including same sex partners.
  • The officer

  • Need not witness the assault.
  • Need not find other witnesses.
  • Has 12 hours from the establishment of probable cause to make an arrest.
  • Either the victim or the arresting officer may file a complaint against the abuser.

    Before arresting both parties in a domestic violence incident, the officer must consider

  • If either party acted in self-defense as defined in section 12.1-05-03.
  • If self defense is not a factor, the office must determine which party was the predominant aggressor by considering certain factors, including the comparative severity of injuries involved, any history of domestic violence, or any other violent acts that the officer can reasonably ascertain and the likelihood of future harm.
  • Violation of a Protection Order
    ND Century Code 14.07.1-06

    The officer must arrest an abuser if there is probable cause that the abuser has violated a Protection Order.
    Officers may arrest even if they did not witness the incident.
    Violation of a protection order by stalking a victim is a Class C Felony.

    Custody & Visitation
    North Dakota Century Code 14-05-22

    In general, the state presumes that it is not in a child's best interest

  • to place him or her with a parent who has a history of violence.
  • to allow unsupervised visitation with that parent. If the Court decides otherwise, it must document why.
  • changes in the 1997 legislature created a more narrow definition of domestic violence as it applies to custody and visitation.
  • Family Violence Option

    The Family Violence Option in ND mandates screening for domestic violence. It provides referral for specialized services, and provides temporary exemptions from program requirements to enable battered women to have the time, services, and support they need to address domestic violence as a barrier to self -sufficiency.

    North Dakota Century Code 50-09-31

    The state agency shall:

  • Inform all TANF applicants and recipients of the options available under the domestic violence option.
  • Screen all applicants to determine who are past or present victims of domestic violence or at risk of further domestic violence.
  • Refer these individuals to a local domestic violence sexual assault organization for safety planning and supportive services; and
  • Determine if good cause exists to waive work requirements or time limits on receipt of benefits of domestic violence.
  • For a more complete list of all domestic violence laws go to