Who Can Get a Restraining Order (209A) Against Me?

Restraining orders came about as a response to Domestic Violence.  Generally they are a court order to stay away from and not abuse the person who gets the Restraining Order.

When can someone apply for and possibly get a Restraining Order?

Massachusetts law allows someone who is “in imminent fear of bodily harm” to obtain a restraining order against the person that is allegedly placing them in fear.

Who can obtain a Restraining Order?

A Judge can issue a restraining order against anyone who qualifies as “family or household members”.  A person is considered a family or household member in the following circumstances:

  • are or were married to one another
  • are or were living together in the same household
  • are or were related by blood or marriage
  • have a child in common
  • have been dating or engaged (court looks at the following factors when qualifying: length of relationship, type of relationship, frequency of interaction during relationship and time passed since termination of relationship.

What if you get served with a Restraining Order?

If you get served with a Restraining Order, you will also be notified of a date that you may go to court and have a hearing, in front of a Judge, where you and the person that has a Restraining Order against you will have a hearing.  You are allowed to have an attorney represent you.

In the meantime, abide by the Restraining Order.  Although a Restraining Order is a Civil Order, any violation of it is a criminal charge.  All it takes is one phone call, one drive by or one text message to be charged with a violation.   The charges can pile up fast!  Even if you don’t think the order is valid, and even if you think you didn’t violate it.  When you get arrested for a violation, the police will hold you until the next court date (this mean if you get arrested on a Friday night you will sit in jail until Monday morning).  It might not seem fair, and it probably isn’t, but do yourself a favor and wait until the court date to sort it out.

If you have been served with a Restraining Order, click here to contact me.  You may also call my office at 866-981-7888 and ask to set up an appointment for a free consultation.

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