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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Urdahl bill to expand notification of orders for protection becomes law

Tuesday, May 28, 2024


ST. PAUL – Legislation Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, authored to improve notification requirements on orders for protection in the wake of a local tragedy has been signed into law.

Under previous state law, a person who is the family or household member of a person who has been abused can petition the court for an order for protection. Notice of any changes to the order must be provided to the petitioner and the respondent.

Urdahl’s measure, known as “Isaac’s Voice,” requires notice to also be provided to any custodian of the petitioner’s minor children.

Urdahl said his legislation is in response to a situation in Renville County, where 13-year-old Isaac Hoff – who was protecting his mother from being assaulted by her boyfriend – was stabbed by the boyfriend and died from his injuries.

Isaac’s grandmother was the custodian of Isaac and was never was never informed by Isaac’s mother that an order for protection had been filed against the murderer, or that it had been revoked. The grandmother claims if she knew that she would never have let her grandson visit his mother.

“Something needed to be done to ensure the scenario that played out in Renville County never happens again,” Urdahl said. “I hope expanded notifications will close gaps in communication that can lead to tragic consequences as we saw locally.”

Urdahl’s bill (HF 4101) increases the scope of notice of any order for protection, hearing on an order for protection, and cancellation or modification of an order for protection in that it is provided to a custodian of a petitioner's minor children.

This bill received bipartisan support in the House and the Senate, with Sen. Andrew Lang, R-Olivia, authoring the companion legislation. It passed as part of omnibus package H.F. 5216 late in the 2024 session and Gov. Tim Walz subsequently signed it into law.

“This was a good bill to address a very important issue and I’m pleased we were able to make this change in state law,” Urdahl said. “It won’t bring back Isaac, but might help us stop such a horrific loss from happening in the future.”