Individuals who are married, living together, have a child together, or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship can request an a 209A Order in Massachusetts, also known as the abuse prevention law which allows victims to ask for a court order to protect them. This is sometimes also referred to as an abuse prevention order, restraining order, or protective order.
An individual seeking a restraining order must prove that the order is necessary to protect them from the likelihood of abuse. In Massachusetts, a restraining order is a civil order with criminal penalties. As a civil order, the person seeking a restraining order must show a greater than 50% chance that the claim is valid, unlike a criminal standard that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Restraining orders can be issued for up to one year and serve several purposes, such as requiring the defendant not to abuse the plaintiff or ordering the defendant to stay away from the plaintiff.
Additionally, restraining orders can be used to award the plaintiff temporary custody of a minor child, order the defendant to pay temporary child support, or require the defendant to pay compensation for losses from abuse. Firearm owners will be required to turn weapons over to their local police department.
Contact our office today for more information about filing a Massachusetts 209A restraining order. Our skilled legal team can walk you through the process, help you understand what to expect, and get your request started.