What are Grounds for a Restraining Order in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has fairly strict laws regarding the handling of restraining orders. You may have been served with a restraining order by a spouse, ex-spouse, or other people with whom you maintain regular contact. You must seek the assistance of a reputable, experienced Massachusetts attorney to defend you if you have been served with a restraining order in Massachusetts. Our expert attorneys at the Bellotti Law Group, P.C. explain what the grounds are for getting a restraining order in Massachusetts.

What are the Common Reasons for Getting a Restraining Order?

Person Pointing Someone A restraining order may be sought for a variety of reasons. For example, stopping someone from harassing, bothering, or stalking you is one of the most common reasons. In a divorce case, for example, you can apply for a restraining order to prevent your former spouse from contacting or getting near you and your children, particularly if there is a likelihood of immediate danger or serious physical harm or psychological abuse. Alternatively, you can also seek a restraining order to prevent the loss or damage of your property. However, it is important to remember that the kind and length of a restraining order might differ depending on the scenario and state.

Couple Fighting While Kid is Scared Types of Restraining Orders

Restraining orders are a civil complaint in Massachusetts, and they only become criminal if they are violated.

And there are two sorts of orders available from the state. One is a "No-Contact Order," which is exactly what it sounds like. Two, a "No-Abuse Order," which is issued when the parties concerned are still living together. District Court and Probate Court are the most common (Family Court). In some cases, you may be able to get a restraining order in Superior Court.

Grounds for Getting a Restraining Order in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Act (209A Protective Orders) makes it obvious that abuse is described as repeated violent acts or abuse amongst family or household members. The term abuse is described this way:

  • Forcing a member of the family or home to have involuntary sexual intercourse with another member of the family or household
  • Threatening bodily damage to another member of the family or household
  • The state refers to a household or a family member as:
  • Someone you've dated
  • Someone you used to live with
  • Your current or previous spouse
  • Your child's other parent
  • Someone you're connected to by marriage
  • Someone you're related to through blood

To obtain a restraining order in Massachusetts, you must prove that there has been a prior incident of violence.

Assault, harassment, stalking, terroristic threats, and other forms of harassment examples. You can allege several instances of domestic violence, but to get a restraining order, you must have at least one of the specified predicate acts of domestic violence. To be eligible for the emergency relief provided by a restraining order, the predicate act(s) must have happened recently. If these acts of domestic abuse happened, the plaintiff should petition for a restraining order immediately, not weeks or months later, according to the argument.

It's also important to have a history of domestic violence. Over and beyond the predicate act of domestic violence that happened above, most cases additionally need proof of a history of domestic violence. In some circumstances, if the predicate act of domestic violence is very heinous, a history of domestic violence will not be required to get a restraining order. The restraining order is required to safeguard the victim. You must be able to demonstrate to the judge that the restraining order is necessary to safeguard your safety and well-being. In your circumstances, a reasonable individual would be afraid of the defendant and would want the protection of the legal system to feel secure.

Restraining orders are always given to avoid harassment and violence, and they are only ever issued as a preventative measure. The following are some examples of when a restraining order may be necessary:

  • There is proof that the defendant has a personal grudge against the victim (for instance, criminal damage).
  • instances in which the defendant and victim are acquainted or have previously been involved in an intimate connection (such as domestic violence cases).
  • Both parties maintain regular communication (for example, where the victim and defendant run a local business).

Before a restraining order may be obtained in any of these situations, the victim must show that they have been the victim generally or show a fear of potential harm. Generalized fear, nervousness, irritation, or a sense of being harassed is simply not enough to fulfill the criteria, and an abuse prevention order is not required in those circumstances, according to case law. You must be able to show the court that your fear of the abuser using force to gravely bodily harm you is reasonable and necessary.

Some Important Considerations

On the application or complaint form for a restraining order, a sworn declaration (affidavit) describing the facts of a current or prior incident(s) of abuse is needed. It's also crucial to supply details about the abuser, such as his or her workplace, phone number, birth date, and social security number.

The abuser can be ordered by the court to:

  • Abuse must be stopped or avoided.
  • Have no contact with the victim, quit or leave a home or employment, and surrender any guns and firearm identification cards
  • The victim may also be awarded temporary support and custody of young children.

Police Officer Arresting a Person Violation of the conditions of a restraining order is a crime after it is issued, and law enforcement officers must arrest the individual if they suspect or observe that the terms of the Order have been violated. If the abuser disobeys the Order, call the cops right away. Carry the Order with you at all times and make sure your neighbors, employers, and child care providers are aware of its contents.

Contact a Restraining Order Attorney

Nobody should ever feel threatened or unsafe. Massachusetts has laws that protect people from being harassed and abused. Please contact the Bellotti Law Group P.C. for assistance with your restraining order matter.

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