Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 209A authorizes the Court to grant restraining orders in certain cases of domestic abuse. A 209A restraining order can be issued by the court, only when serious physical harm is imminent. It is not enough for a person to be generally afraid, but there must be specified fear of imminent harm. Domestic abuse is a serious threat to the safety and productivity of our communities. The statute gives a wide range of discretion to judge when determining the time period of any extension to an abuse prevention order. M.G.L.A. c.209A, s. 3. In order to understand your rights as provided by the statute, you will need a Boston Restraining Orders 209A Lawyer.
The Legislature’s purpose for creating M.G.L. c.209A, was to “preserv[e] … the fundamental human right to be protected from the devastating impact of family violence.” Massachusetts case-law demonstrates the factors that a judge should consider when determining whether to extend abuse prevention orders. These factors include, but are not limited to: defendant’s violations of protective orders; ongoing child custody or other litigation that engenders or is likely to engender hostility; the parties’ demeanor in court; the likelihood that parties will encounter one another in the course of their usual activities (e.g., residential or workplace proximity, attendance at the same place of worship); and significant changes in the circumstances of the parties. The judge will also consider the basis for the initial order when evaluating the risk of future abuse – should the seek an extension of an existing order.
Boston Restraining Orders 209A Lawyer: IF you are seeking a 209A restraining order to protect yourself from imminent harm, Attorney Nicholson will guide you through the process to protect yourself and loved ones from danger.
***Attorney Maura Melcher won the 2011 CALI Award for Excellence in the subject of Domestic Violence.
NEW – Effective October 31, 2012.
MGL c.209A, s.11, as added by St.2012, c.193, s.50 The court may order the possession of a pet to the plaintiff or petitioner and “may order the defendant to refrain from abusing, threatening, taking, interfering with, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming or otherwise disposing of such animal.”
Contact Attorney Maura Melcher today for a free consultation.