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Legal Systems

Violence Free Minnesota develops resources to support member programs and victim/survivors  navigate the legal system, which includes family court, child protective services, immigration court, and more.  



Eviction and Moratorium Off-Ramp Training for Advocates

Economic Justice as Transformative Justice Workshop:

August 5, 2021 Meeting

Economic Justice as Transformative Justice Workshop:

May 18, 2021 Meeting

Economic Justice as Transformative Justice Workshop: February 12, 2021 Meeting

Economic Justice as Transformative Justice Workshop:

January 13, 2021 Meeting

This session focuses on financial empowerment programming and centering survivor leadership in economic justice programmingEm Jackson from Free Form joins us to talk about Free Form’s Survivor Led Peer-to-Peer Financial Support Groups ( After the presentation there's a group discussion about financial empowerment programming and survivor led peer-to-peer support models both generally, and how programming like this relates to addressing equity, anti-oppression work, and transformative justice.

Economic Justice as Transformative Justice Workshop: November 17, 2020 Meeting


Minnesota Department of Corrections

Sheriff and County Jails Memo

Minnesota Courts

Message from courts: "While certain Minnesota Court proceedings will be temporarily suspended, Minnesota Courts will continue to accept, issue, and hold hearings on Domestic Abuse Orders for Protection and Civil Harassment Restraining Orders in accordance with the Limited Court Service Case Priorities List."​ An overview of the courts' Guide & File and Fillable Smart Forms. A helpful resource to advocates on how to file court forms online.


Domestic Abuse Transformation Programming

Considerations for Working with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence during COVID-19

COVID-19 and Minnesota Courts

OJP Victim Notices Now Online

Supreme Court Order Governing Court Operations under COVID (May 15, 2020)

Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Civil/Family Court Transitional Strategies

​Criminal Court Transitional Strategies

Best Practices Guide for the Courts - OFPs & HROs

Supreme Court Order Guaranteeing Advocate Access to Hearings

Previous Supreme Court Orders and Juvenile and Probate Court Transitional Strategies Documents 

COVID-19 and Immigrant Survivors

Coronavirus Guidance for the Criminal and Immigration Legal Systems

Vera and Community Oriented Correctional Health Services have created a series of fact sheets to guide actors in these systems, who have a unique and critical role to play. Adopting the recommendations in these documents will help protect and care for the millions of vulnerable people who make contact with, and the staff who work for, the nation’s courts, police departments, prisons, jails, and detention centers.

Understanding the Impact of Key Provisions of COVID-19 Relief Bills on Immigrant Communities

​From the National Immigration Law Center​

Working with System-Based Advocates 

Joint Guide (VFMN, MNCASA, MAC) 

MAC Membership Victim/Witness Program Staff

Advocate Types Cheat Sheet 

Additional Legal Systems Resources

Understanding Minnesota Court Data and Access

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Expungement Guide

This guide provides a background of the law that allows misdemeanor domestic violence charges to be expunged. There is a set of frequently asked questions about the law and how it impacts survivors. Helpful links for survivors and advocates are provided within the guide.

Firearms Guidebook

A thorough guide to the firearm surrender law that requires abusers to surrender their firearms in certain domestic violence cases. Details about the law, how it is implemented, and frequently asked questions are included in the guidebook.


Provides information on Domestic Abuse No Contact Orders (DANCO), and the statutes and court cases that impact the law.

HRO Filing Fees Memo

Under the harassment restraining order (HRO) statute, fees associated with the filing of an order can be waived in certain circumstances. This memo outlines who can get their fees waived, and how to do this.

Current Law on Custody and Parenting Time

Summarizes and gives context to the current law on custody and parenting time in the state. This should provide clarification for misconceptions or falsehoods that may be spread about the law and how custody and parenting time is set under Minnesota statutes.

Advocacy Toolkit - “Crime-Free” Public Nuisance Ordinances, 

Domestic Abuse-Related 911 Calls & Housing Stability

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide advocates with tools to advocate for ordinances that allow victims of domestic abuse access to call 911 without losing their housing. This packet will also provide information on how city ordinances can be constructed to promote safety and comply with state and federal law.

Confidentiality Guide

The “Advocate’s Confidentiality Guide” clearly explains the confidentiality requirements of a domestic violence advocate, and uses scenarios to demonstrate how these rules work in practice.

Confidential Healthcare for Insured Dependents: Guide for Advocates and Attorneys

Use this guide to learn what options a survivor has to protect their healthcare information. The guide explains what a Confidential Communications Request is, how to submit a request, and provides many tools (such as forms, scripts, info sheets and more) for advocates to use when working with survivors on this issue.

Providing Shelter and Services to Unaccompanied Minors

This can help with your program with the decision on how to serve unaccompanied minors.  

DOC Visitation Policy

The Department of Corrections (DOC) updated its visitation policy in 2016 for all state correctional facilities. Victims of the crime for which a perpetrator is incarcerated can no longer visit said perpetrator. This document provides more information and outlines the policy.

DOC Visitation Policy FAQs

A set of frequently asked questions surrounding the DOC visitation policy.

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