In North Dakota, sexual assault is non-consensual sexual contact as defined by North Dakota Century Code § 12.1-20-07, which states:
“A person who knowingly has sexual contact with another person, or who causes another person to have sexual contact with that person, is guilty of an offense if:
- That person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the contact is offensive to the other person;
- That person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders that other person incapable of understanding the nature of that other person's conduct;
- That person or someone with that person's knowledge has substantially impaired the victim's power to appraise or control the victim's conduct, by administering or employing without the victim's knowledge intoxicants, a controlled substance as defined in chapter 19-03.1, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance;
- The other person is in official custody or detained in a hospital, prison, or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over that other person;
- The other person is a minor, fifteen years of age or older, and the actor is the other person's parent, guardian, or is otherwise responsible for general supervision of the other person's welfare; or
- The other person is a minor, fifteen years of age or older, and the actor is an adult.”
A Sexual Assault Restraining Order, or SARO, is a civil order from a North Dakota state district court. A SARO requires the person committing sexual assault to stop and to leave the victim(s) listed on the order alone. A violation of a SARO is a criminal matter. A first violation is a class A misdemeanor, a second or subsequent violation is a class C felony.
A Sexual Assault Restraining Order, or SARO, may include any or all of the following:
- Stop the person committing sexual assault from harassing, stalking, or threatening the victim(s) listed in the order.
- Stop the person committing sexual assault from having contact with the victim(s) listed in the order, including calling, writing, or having messages delivered.
- Stop the person committing sexual assault from appearing at the victim’s residence, school, work, etc.
A Sexual Assault Restraining Order, or SARO, can’t last more than 2 years.
Sexual Assault Restraining Order Forms
Forms aren't available for every situation or circumstance. If you don't find a form that suits your circumstances on this website, the form isn't available through the North Dakota Legal Self Help Center.
You may need to create legal documents yourself. The General-Use forms on this website may be used as a starting point for creating your own legal documents.
Forms for Asking for a Sexual Assault Restraining Order
North Dakota Century Code § 12.1-31-01.2(11) allows a state’s attorney to advise and assist any person with preparing the documents to petition for a restraining order. You may wish to contact a state’s attorney for assistance.
You may wish to get help filling out the forms from a Certified Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Advocate. CAWS North Dakota has a statewide online directory of advocacy crisis intervention centers.
- Petition for Sexual Assault Restraining Order
- Sexual Assault Restraining Order Cover Sheet
No Forms for Responding to a Request for a Sexual Assault Restraining Order
No forms are available for responding to a petition for a Sexual Assault Restraining Order, or SARO. The court process required by N.D.C.C. Section 12.1-31-01.2 doesn’t include a written response by the person who is accused of sexual assault in the petition for a SARO.
If you’re served a Temporary Sexual Assault Restraining Order, the order will include a date, time, and location of the hearing to decide whether the order becomes permanent. Attend the hearing to respond to the sexual assault accusations and to present your evidence.
Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules
Following are legal research starting points related to Sexual Assault Restraining Orders. You may need to conduct additional legal research into your legal issue. See the Legal Research Section of this website.
- North Dakota Century Code Section 12.1-31-01.2
- Rule 34 of the North Dakota Court Administrative Rules and Orders
Following are other resources related to protection order and restraining order proceedings that may be of interest.
- Gathering and Presenting Evidence - Resources designed specifically for people representing themselves in protection or restraining order proceedings. Created by the RCDV:CPC and the NCJFCJ.
- Domestic Violence Protection Orders
- Disorderly Conduct Restraining Orders
- Register Out-of-State or Tribal Protection Orders
If you don’t understand any of this information, or if you have trouble filling out any of the forms located here, please see an attorney for help.
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If you have a question relating to a case that is already filed please contact the clerk of court for the county.