Walz signs law bill to honor Canadian restraining orders

    Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. File photo by Nicole Neri/Minnesota Reformer.

    Gov. Tim Walz recently signed a bill into law that requires Minnesota to recognize and enforce Canadian domestic violence protection orders. 

    Minnesota is the seventh state to pass such a law, joining Washington, Wisconsin, Nevada, California, North Dakota and Delaware. 

    The Senate bill was co-authored by Sen. Mark Johnson, R – East Grand Forks, who said it is “a protective shield for victims of domestic violence which does not stop at international borders.”

    Canada already recognizes U.S. restraining orders. The Uniform Law Commission — a nonprofit that drafts nonpartisan, international legislation — has been urging states to pass a law to honor Canadian restraining orders since 2015, and the idea is endorsed by the American Bar Association. 

    The legislation requires law enforcement to treat the order as if it were issued in Minnesota and inform the protected person of local victims’ services. It also requires courts to honor the order. 

    A protection or restraining order is a court-issued way to protect a person from another in a situation involving abuse, domestic violence, stalking, harassment or assault. 

    There are two types of Canadian protection orders: criminal and civil. 

    Gracie Stockton
    Gracie Stockton is a senior at the University of Minnesota. She was awarded the 2021 Kaufman scholarship from the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication and joined the Reformer as an intern. Gracie also studies theatre and Russian, and is an artist in her free time.