How To Get a Restraining Order in Massachusetts

You are no doubt scared if you have been abused or threatened.There is help available.You can get a restraining order to prevent your abuser from contacting you.If you need a restraining order in an emergency, you can get one at your local courthouse.If you need emotional support, ask a friend or coworker to accompany you to the courthouse.You can gain peace of mind by completing the necessary paperwork.

Step 1: Do you need an abuse prevention order?

You can get an abuse prevention order if someone has harmed or attempted to harm you, or caused you to engage in sex using force, threats or duress.If your spouse or ex-spouse is one of the following, you can get the order.

Step 2: Do you qualify for a harassment prevention order?

If you don’t qualify for an abuse prevention order, this is another type of order that is available.To get a harassment prevention order, you must meet at least one of the following requirements: the abuser has committed three or more willful and malicious acts against you which were intended to cause you fear, abuse, intimidation, or property damage.

Step 3: You can get the forms from the court clerk.

Either type of protective order can be obtained by stopping into the nearest court and asking for the forms.The clerk needs to give you everything you need.Instructions that walk you step-by-step through completing your forms can be downloaded.If you are in danger and court is closed, you should go to the police station.You can get an emergency protective order by contacting a judge over the phone.Only the close of the next business day is when this emergency order is good.If you are in immediate danger on Saturday, your emergency order is good until the close of business on Monday.

Step 4: The forms need to be completed.

You should go through each form and give the requested information.Black ink makes the information legible.Specific details about the abuse should be provided on the Affidavit.Don’t say things like, “He scares me.” Instead, explain what the abuse has done.The sheriff can serve notice of the restraining order if you describe the person.

Step 5: If necessary, ask for child support.

You can request child support when you apply for a restraining order.The forms for you to fill out should be given to you by the clerk.

Step 6: A hearing should be scheduled.

When you apply for a restraining order, you are actually applying for two: a temporary order and a final order.You need to schedule a hearing on your request for a final restraining order before the judge can grant the first.How to schedule a hearing is up to the court clerk.There is a chance that the final restraining order is not necessary.If they want to fight the restraining order, you have to give them notice of the hearing.

Step 7: The forms should be filed.

You should make several copies after you complete all of the forms.You will get a copy for your records.The original should be filed with the court clerk.There shouldn’t be a fee for applying for a restraining order.

Step 8: Appear before the judge.

You should be taken to court after completing your forms.You have to tell the truth and answer any questions the judge has.Don’t be afraid to answer the judge’s questions honestly.Don’t interrupt the judge when he or she is speaking.If the judge agrees to give you a temporary restraining order, you can pick it up in court.To make sure the information is correct, review it.You can still schedule a hearing even if the judge doesn’t grant you a temporary restraining order.

Step 9: The temporary restraining order needs to be served.

You need to tell the abuser that he or she has been restrained.If you can get a final restraining order, you need to notify them of the 10 day hearing.If you want the local sheriff to deliver notice, you can.Depending on the court, you can either take the information to the sheriff or the judge.Ask the clerk.The abuse service should be free.

Step 10: There is evidence of abuse.

There needs to be a hearing before the judge can make a final decision.You need to convince the judge that the restraining order is necessary.You should bring as much evidence of the abuse as you can: color photographs of injuries or property damage.Take color photographs if you have recently been attacked.There are photographs of attacks in the past.There are medical records.You should get copies of your medical records if you went to the hospital for treatment.Police reports.You can get copies of your police report if you call the police.There are witnesses.Do you want anyone who witnessed the abuse to go with you to the hearing?If they can’t, ask them to describe the abuse in an affidavit.There are examples of threats.Emails and voice mail messages contain threats from the abuser.

Step 11: You should think about hiring a lawyer.

During your hearing, you have the right to a lawyer.If you think that child custody will be challenged, you should consult with a lawyer.Contact your local or state bar association to get a referral to a lawyer.If you don’t have a lot of money, you might be able to get legal aid.Legal aid organizations in the state give free legal services to low-income people.There is a list on the website.

Step 12: Arrive on time

You don’t want to be late for your hearing, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there.Before entering court, turn off your cell phones and other electronic devices.

Step 13: Give your argument.

At the hearing, you can go first.Tell the judge why you need the restraining order.Tell the judge what evidence you brought with you to support your allegations.You could say thatDarren attacked me two weeks ago.Mrs. Caswell called the police when she saw him strike me.I have Mrs. Caswell here as a witness and a copy of the police report.

Step 14: Listen to the person who is abusing you.

The person you want restrained will be able to give their side of the story.You need to listen as they talk.This can be difficult.They can say mean things about you.You have a chance to respond.Don’t ask to speak or interrupt.Wait until the abuse is over and then ask, “may I respond, Your Honor?”

Step 15: Receive the restraining order.

The judge should sign the restraining order in court if he or she grants it.The court clerk can give you a copy.Try to get at least two copies.If you are responsible for arranging service of the restraining order, you should check that.You may have to arrange service with the sheriff or the court.

Step 16: You should keep a copy with you at all times.

You can show the police your copy of the restraining order if the abuser tries to get in touch with you.They will be able to understand the situation quicker.You can put a copy of the order in your wallet or purse.If you misplace your copy of the order, you should immediately contact the court clerk.Request another.

Step 17: Get copies of the restraining order.

Copies of the restraining order should be given to the following people: security guards at the front desk of your apartment, a close friend who looks out for you, your children’s school, or a neighbor.

Step 18: If the restraining order is violated, call the police.

There are training orders that need to be obeyed.They tell the abuser what he or she can’t do.If the restraining order is violated, you should call the police.The police will arrest the person if they have an abuse prevention order.

Step 19: A contempt proceeding should be brought.

The abuser can be punished by a judge if they fail to follow the restraining order.To bring a contempt proceeding, you will need to get a form from the court clerk.The abuser can be fined up to $5,000 for contempt.The abuser could be sentenced to two and a half years in prison.Substance abuse treatment programs can be ordered by the court.

Step 20: You should get an extension.

Unless the judge stated otherwise, a long-term restraining order only lasts up to one year.You can get an extension by contacting the court.You will most likely have to appear before the judge.If you want to get back into contact with the abusive person, you need to ask the court for the restraining order to be dissolved.