City Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions

A DANCO may be issued by a judge at the offender’s first court appearance (arraignment) and is attached to the criminal case. This order would prohibit the offender from having any contact with the victim. If the offender violates the DANCO, he/she can be arrested and face additional criminal charges. The DANCO will remain in place throughout the duration of the criminal case.  Once there is a finding in the criminal case, the DANCO will be dismissed.

An Order for Protection (OFP) is not attached to any criminal case and can be obtained at any time. This order is handled through the civil court and can be in place for up to two years.  

Victims can make a request to the Judge to either modify or dismiss the DANCO; however, prior to requesting a modification or dismissal, the victim will need to work with Safe Haven to develop a safety plan. The judge will make a final decision regarding any modification or dismissal and will base their decision primarily on the safety of the victim.

The Duluth Police Department has a Domestic Violence Response Team in the Family Crimes unit. This is a coordinated community response program that includes representatives from many agencies in the community, including the City Attorney’s Office. For additional information about this program or local resources that are available, please talk with the Victim Services Coordinator or visit our Additional Resources page.

Once a crime has been committed against any person, the prosecutor has the responsibility to make a decision about prosecution, including whether or not to drop charges. While input from the victim is important and will be taken into consideration, the prosecutor will make the final decision regarding whether or not the case will be prosecuted, with or without the assistance of the victim. 

If a defendant does not appear in court for any scheduled hearing, the judge may issue a bench warrant for their arrest.

Tampering with a witness is a crime in Minnesota. Report the incident to local law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.

For information on how to obtain an Order for Protection or a Harassment Restraining Order, please contact Safe Haven at 218-623-1000.

A subpoena is a court order to appear in court and cannot be ignored. As a lawful court order, it requires that the recipient obey the instructions, so it is very important to read it carefully. Failure to comply with the subpoena constitutes contempt of court. If you receive a subpoena, it will give you the name of the prosecutor who you should call to obtain additional information and instructions regarding your participation in the hearing.

Minnesota VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), is an automated service that notifies victims by phone and/or email when an offender is released. Individuals must register for this service by visiting their website or by calling 877-664-8463. The VINE system includes Department of Corrections facilities and most county facilities.

Minnesota CHOICE is an online information system for offenders who are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections. You can search for an offender's information or request notification of an offender’s custody status, including release, transfer, escape, apprehension or death.