Restraining Order Services


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Whether you need a restraining order or want to contest the charges, I can help. Everyone has a right to quality representation. My office will work with you to understand your needs and give you options that empower you. This may include filing criminal charges against the abuser or filing for custody or divorce.

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is a court order restricting someone who may threaten or directly harm another person from having contact with that person. It is designed to protect and prevent abuse. Restraining orders are only issued if the people involved are family, have a child in common, or are/were in a “substantial dating relationship.” Violations of a restraining order, no matter how small (such as sending a text message), are considered a felony. Restraining orders may be temporary or permanent. The court may order a temporary or “10 day” restraining orders issued by the court without a hearing in order to provide immediate protection until a hearing date can be scheduled and the other party notified. At that hearing, the Defendant has a right to challenge the basis of the order and explain to the Court why it should not be issued. If the Court decides to issue one, it may be issued for up to one year before needing to be renewed in Court.

How do I get a restraining order against someone?

You can file for a restraining order either at the courthouse covering your town or, in the event the Courts are closed, at the local police station.

How can having a lawyer help me get a restraining order?

It is a very hard thing to try to go before a judge on your own and ask for help after you have been abused. So much has happened and there is so much of a story to tell. You do not need to go at this alone. I am well versed in restraining order law and have experience working with the victims of domestic violence. I can be your voice. I can listen to your story and help tell it in a way that highlights the abuse the Judge needs to see so that those facts are not lost in the larger story. With me at your side, I can use my knowledge and experience to make sure you get the protection you need.

Why is it important to oppose a restraining order?

Although the point of a valid court order is to protect a person, restraining orders place many restrictions on a defendant with steep consequences. Whenever a restraining order is issued, the defendant must cease contact with the person who got it against them and stay away from them. When children are involved, this can significantly impact custody and visitation as the restraining order overrides any custody order. In addition, when a restraining order is issued, the defendant must surrender any guns he or she owns as well as the person’s gun license or license to carry. They may only possess firearms once the order is removed. The fact that an order was issued could be used to deny a restraining order when it is time for the gun owner to renew his or her license.

Any restraining order infraction, even unintentional, is grounds for being charged with a violation of the order, which is a felony. Infractions may include; failure to maintain a specific distance from a person, and communicating with the person, including in-person or phone conversations, emails, and online or text messaging. On top of all of this, often a temporary order has already been issued, meaning that a judge has heard the Plaintiff’s side and has found that the Plaintiff needs a restraining order. In these cases especially, it is important that you have an experienced attorney who is able to see the holes in the Plaintiff’s story and credibility so that an ugly, emotional situation is not mistaken for an abusive one.

What types of restraining orders are available in Massachusetts?

Abuse Prevention Orders

A person may ask the court for a restraining order, called an Abuse Prevention Order (209A) against a family member, someone with whom they have a child, or someone with whom they have had a substantial dating relationship. These orders are intended to prevent domestic violence and abuse. The order generally requires a defendant to:

Stop all contact

Cease all communications

Vacate a shared home

Stay away from to the person’s home or place of work

Surrender all firearms for the duration of the order

If children are involved, a judge may make a temporary custody order until

The parties can address the matter in the Family and Probate Court

Harassment Prevention Order

A person may ask the court for a restraining order, called an Abuse Prevention Order (209A) against a family member, someone with whom they have a child, or someone with whom they have had a substantial dating relationship. These orders are intended to prevent domestic violence and abuse. The order generally requires a defendant to:

Intimidation

Stalking

Damage to property

Physical violence

If granted the, the order provides all the protections of a conventional Restraining Order except that it does not require the defendant to surrender firearms.

 

Please contact me for your free consultation.
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* All requests are confidential and are handled on a per client basis.