Plymouth Rock Legal

Massachusetts Restraining Orders

Restraining orders in Massachusetts are usually related to domestic violence situations and are most commonly issued in the Probate and District courts. A judge must determine if a domestic or dating relationship occurred between the two parties before he can move on to hearing the merits of such an order.

Restraining orders are synonymous with "209 a" orders owing its name to the chapter of the Mass General Laws that created them. The 209a order itself is civil in nature, but a violation of the order is criminal, calling for penalties up to jail time.

Restraining orders are issued in the following ways:

  1. An emergency order given over the phone by a judge after hearing one side
    of the story.
  2. An in court order where one party offers their account to the judge.
  3. An order after a full party hearing where both sides submit evidence to the judge.

All parties are given the opportunity to be heard in support or opposition to such an order and have the right to be represented by counsel. I strongly would advise either side to retain an attorney for these purposes and to show up at the hearing. At issue is whether there is reason to believe that the moving party is in fear of imminent bodily harm. If an order is issued it can provide for a variety of limitations including stay away orders confined to measurement, orders to stay away from places of employment, and even one's own children. Additionally, most orders will call for the surrender of any firearms that the defendant owns. Although 209a orders are not criminal, they do show up on a criminal records search of an individual. This means that even though a person has never been charged with a crime, a record is made of the existence of such an order.

It is important to contact an experienced and qualified attorney to represent your rights on either side of a 209a order. Attorney Christopher F. Murray has successfully represented clients both seeking and opposing restraining orders in various courts throughout Massachusetts.

Call Plymouth Rock Legal today for a free consultation on your issue
at 508-746-4144. Rock Solid Legal Representation.