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Affiliate Quincy
Law Office

Joseph M. Lally
Serving Norfolk,
Plymouth, and
Bristol Counties
1233 Hancock Street
Rear
Quincy, MA 02169
(617) 686-4784

Affiliate Melrose
Law Office

Michelle R. Moucharite
Serving Worcester County
1 West Foster Street
Suite 11
Melrose, MA 02176
Ph: (781) 665-0092

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Frequently Asked Questions
Restraining Order FAQs

Mass General Laws

Abusive Prevention Laws
Harassment Prevention Orders

Law Offices of
Robyn A. Briatico


Andover Law Office
Robyn A. Briatico
Serving Essex &
Middlesex County
300 Brickston Square
Suite 201
Andover,MA 01810
Ph: (617) 387-6800

Boston Law Office
Robyn A. Briatico
Serving Suffolk County
Serving Norfolk County

470 Atlantic Avenue
4th Floor
Boston, MA 02210
Ph: (617) 387-6800

Burlington Law Office
Robyn A. Briatico
Serving Middlesex County
15 New England Executive Park
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (617) 387-6800

Everett Law Office
Robyn A. Briatico
Serving Middlesex
Serving Suffolk County

1725 Revere Beach
Parkway
Everett, MA 02149
Ph: (617) 387-6800

Conveniently located
on RT16 just east of 93
approximately 3 miles
from Boston. Parking is always free!

Massachusetts Restraining Order Attorney

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In Massachusetts, victims of harassment, physical or emotional abuse, and those being verbally threatened have a number of options available to protect them from further harassment or abuse. If you, your family, children, loved ones, or any one else are victims of abuse, we urge you to immediately seek medical attention if you have been injured and contact your local police to file a complaint against the abuser or go to the nearest District Court, Probate and Family Court, Boston Municipal Court, or Superior Court (except for dating relationships) to obtain an an abuse prevention order (also referred to as a restraining order or 209a protective order).

For victims suffering from harassment, you can obtain a 258E harassment prevention order from District Court, Boston Municipal Court, Superior Court, and Juvenile Court (if both parties are under age of 17).

A restraining or harassment prevention order is one of many options available to you in order to try and protect you and our love ones from further harassment or abuse.

Have you been falsely accused of harassment, sexual, or physical abuse in Massachusetts?

During the course of marriage or during separation, a spouse or former spouse (ex-wife or husband) may falsely accuse you of harassment or abuse by taking out a restraining or harassment prevention order against you. The restraining or harassment prevention order should not be taken lightly. A violation of either order may result in imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years in the House of Correction (jail) or a very hefty financial penalty of up to $5,000 or both; plus an additional fine of $25. The court may also order the defendant in a harassment order to pay the plaintiff for all damages including, but not limited to, loss of earnings, losses for injuries sustained or property damaged, cost of replacement locks, medical expenses, cost to obtain an unlisted phone number, and reasonable attorney fees. The court may order as a condition of probation the completion of an appropriate treatment program paid for by the defendent and a $350 assessment.

Because of the possibility of imprisonment, severe financial penalty, or both, you should consider attorneys and lawyers with a proven track record in defending against restraining orders.
If you are a victim harassment, abuse, or have been falsely accused and need to defend against a restraining or harassment prevention order, Massachusetts restraining order and harassment prevention order lawyer Robyn A. Briatico can help.

We have offices located throughout Massachusetts including Andover, Burlington, Melrose, Everett, and Quincy to best serve our clients that reside in Middlesex County, Essex County, Norfolk County, and Suffolk County. For those that live in Plymouth County, Norfolk County, Bristol County, and Worcester County, our network of affiliates can provide you with legal representation.

We hope you give us an opportunity to be your restraining or 209A abuse prevention order lawyer. Call attorney Robyn A. Briatico at
617-387-6800 or complete and submit the Contact Form to schedule your free 20 minute phone consult. When you submit our contact form online, it will shortly appear on attorney Robyn A. Briatico's Black Berry cell phone. She will promptly return your call to set up an appointment as soon as she is available to do so.

Understanding 209A Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a court order that is intended to provide victims of domestic, physical, or sexual abuse with legal protection by providing criminal and/or monetary penalties for a violation of the order. In Mass, a restraining order is also referred to as a
209a protective order, or abuse prevention order. Restraining orders can be obtained from the District Court, Probate and Family Court, Boston Municipal Court, Superior Court (except for dating relationships).

When filing a abuse prevention or restraining order in court, the complaint itself is civil and the violation is criminal in nature. If you file a restraining order against your spouse, former spouse, family, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancee, fiance, or household member, they will not go to jail. However, any violation of the restraining order is considered a criminal offense in which they can face up to 2 1/2 years of jail time, fine of up to $5,000, or both, if convicted.

258E Harassment Prevention Order

On February 9, 2010, the Legislature passed a new law that allows victims of harassment the ability to obtain a harassment prevention order under M.G.L. Chapter 258E in the Boston Municipal Court, District Courts, Superior Courts, and Juvenile Courts (both parties are under the age of 17). A violation of a harassment prevention order may result in imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years in the House of Correction (jail) or a very hefty financial penalty of up to $5,000 or both. Harassment Prevention Orders can be applied for by going to your local court during routine business hours, or go to your local police department any other time.

The presence of any family or dating relationship is no longer required in order to obtain a harassment prevention order under M.G.L. Ch. 258E. Harassment under M.G.L. Ch. 258E is defined as "(i) 3 or more acts of willful and malicious conduct aimed at a specific person committed with the intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse, or damage to property and that does in fact cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property and that does in fact cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property; or (ii) an act that: (A) by force, threat or duress causes another to involuntarily engage in sexual relations; or (B) constitutes a violation of section 13B, 13F, 13H, 22, 22A, 23,24, 24B,26C,43, or 43A of chapter 265 or section 3 of chapter 272."

Under Chapter 258E, a Court can order a defendant to: "(i) refrain from abusing or harassing the plaintiff, whether the defendant is an adult or minor; (ii) refrain from contacting the plaintiff, unless authorized by the court, whether the defendant is an adult or minor; (iii) remain away from the plaintiff's household or workplace, whether the defendant is an adult or minor; and (iv) pay the plaintiff monetary compensation for the losses suffered as a direct result of the harassment; provided, however, that compensatory damages shall include, but shall not be limited to, loss of earnings, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained or property damaged, cost of replacement of locks, medical expenses, cost for obtaining an unlisted phone number and reasonable legal fees."

How do I obtain or get a Massachusetts protection or restraining order?
What is the process of getting or obtaining a restraining order or abuse prevention order in Massachusetts?


Between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday you can go to the District Court, the Boston Municipal Court, the Juvenile Court (if both parties are under 17 years old), Superior Court or the Probate and Family Court to obtain a restraining order. After 4:30 p.m. during the week, or holiday or the weekend, you can go to your local police station in your town to obtain a temporary or emergency 209A abuse prention or restraining order. You can do this on your own without the assistance of an attorney.

Following the issuance of this temporary restraining order through the local police department, you will need to go to the District Court, the Boston Municipal Court, the Juvenile Court (both parties under 17 years old), Superior Court, or Probate and Family Court to obtain an ex parte (without the abuser) 10 day order. If we are fortunate enough to be retained by you, we will zealously represent you in this hearing to help tell your side of the story and present evidence to the court as to why a temporary restraining order should be issued against the abuser.

During regular business hours, the court will hear the case on the same day that you request a temporary protective order. You must file an affidavit along with an application for a abuse prevention order (restraining order). If you state to the court that you have been physically abused or threatened or are concerned for your safety, the court will likely issue the temporary 209A protective order. Abuse is defined under M.G.L. c. 209A as one or more of the following; attempting to cause or causing physical harm; place another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; or using force, threat or duress causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations.

Once the Court issues a temporary restraining order, copies of the temporary 209A abuse prevention order must be served, usually by the local police, on the defendant. The next court date will be approximately 10 days later in order to give the defendant an opportunity to respond to the allegations and to contest the issuance of an order of the defendant chooses to do so.

What can I do if I have been falsely accused by my spouse (ex-husband or wife) of physical or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse, or any type of harassment or threats in a ex parte temporary restraining or protective order hearing?

You will have an opportunity to defend yourself or tell the court your side of the story at the Evidentiary Hearing. It is imperative that you obtain legal council, as a restraining order that is issued against you is a serious matter with severe consequences including financial penalties of up to $5,000 and/or incarceration in jail (prison) of up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections if the Court finds that order was violated.

Once a restraining or abuse prevention order is issued, you will be required to vacate from the marital home, child custody will be determined and your name will be listed in the Mass domestic violence registry which can affect your employment when seeking a job.

What is the penalty (or are the penalties) in Massachusetts for violating a 209A abuse prevention, protective, or ma restraining order?


The courts can order the abusive spouse to pay the abused spouse all damages including, but not limited to, cost for shelter or emergency housing, loss of earnings or support, out-of-pocket losses due to injuries sustained or property damaged, medical expenses, moving expenses, cost of obtaining an unlisted phone number, and reasonable legal fees.

Additional penalties for violating the order include a fine up to $5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years in a House of Correction (jail), or both.

We will aggressively pursue a restraining or 209A abuse prevention order for our clients and their families who are victims of domestic violence, spousal abuse, elder abuse, child abuse or any other forms of abuse by adults or emancipated minors.

Domestic violence and abuse of all types are very serious issues that should not be taken lightly.

How can a 209A abuse prevention or a restraining order protect you?

When the Court issues a abuse prevention order, it will provide legal protection
by having criminal and monetary penalties for the violation of the order. The Court order is very specific as to what the abuser can and can't do. A violation of the order is a criminal penalty which carries a fine of up to $5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years in a House of Correction (jail), or both.

What is considered abuse (M.G.L 209A) for a abuse prevention or restraining order?

Any action that taken to place you in imminent fear of physical body harm including:

* Your spouse (husband or ex-wife) attempted or tried to push you
* Your spouse (husband or ex-wife) attempted or tried to hit you
* Your spouse (husband or ex-wife) attempted or tried to physically threaten you
* Your spouse (husband or ex-wife) hit you
* Your spouse (husband or ex-wife) pushed you
* Any attempt to cause physical harm


What forms are typically filed with the courts when pursuing a 209A abuse prevention order, or a restraining order)?

* Affidavit disclosing care or custody proceedings
* Complaint for protection from abuse (MGL Ch. 209A; Page 1/2)
* Complaint for protection from abuse (MGL Ch. 209A; Page 2/2)
* Confidential information form (Statute 2000, Ch. 236, Section 24)
* Defendant information form in restraining or protective order cases (provided by Plaintiff)
* Plaintiff's motion to vacate restraining Order

If you are interested in learning more about restraining or abuse protective orders, you can read below the highlights of both M.G.L. Ch. 209A and MGL Ch. 258E.
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M.G.L. Ch. 209A Section 3 (Remedies; period of relief) allows for any person suffering from abuse from an adult or minor family or household member to file a complaint in the court requesting protection from such abuse. The following is a brief summary of some of the orders that can be issued by the court:

* Court can issue an order for the defendant whether an adult or minor to not abuse you

* Court can issue an order for the defendant whether an adult or minor to refrain from contacting you, unless authorized by the court.

* Court can issue an order for the defendant whether an adult or minor to vacate forthwith and remain away from the household, multiple family dwelling, and workplace generally for a period up to 1 year. We can file a motion with the court if necessary to extend the order after the expiration to further protect you from abuse.

* Court can issue an order that awards temporary or permanent custody of a minor child to the abused parent. In order to do so, the Mass Probate and Family court must find by a preponderance of the evidence that a pattern or serious abuse, as defined in Section 31A of Chapter 208 toward a parent or child has occurred and that it would be in the best interest of the child for the custody to be awarded to the abused parent.

* Court can issue an order that requires the abusive parent to pay temporary support to the abused spouse, those children in the abused spouses custody, or both, when the abusive parent has such legal obligation to do so. In determining the amount to be paid by the abusive parent, the court shall apply the standards established by the child support guidelines.

* Court can issue an order that requires the abusive spouse to provide monetary compensation for the losses suffered as a direct result of the abuse.

* Court can issue an order for the information in the case record to be impounded.

* Court can issue an order that requires the abusive spouse to refrain from abusing or contacting the abused spouses child, unless authorized by the court.

* Court can order the immediate suspension and surrender of any license to carry firearms and or firearm identification and which the defendant may hold and order the defendant to surrender all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, and ammunition which he then controls.

* The court may issue visitation rights to the abusive parent but in so doing they shall provide for the safety and well being of the minor child and the abused parent. The court may consider the following orders:

>> Court can order the exchange of the child to occur in a protective setting or in the presence of a third party.

>> Court can order supervised visits by an appropriate third party, visitation center, or agency.

* Court can order the abuse parent to attend and complete a certified batterers treatment program as a condition of visitation.

* Court can order for the abusive parent to abstain from the possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substance during visitation and up to 24 hours after the visitation.

* Court can order for the abusive parent to pay the costs of supervised visitation.

* Court can prohibit overnight visitation.

* Court can require a bond from the abusive parent for the return and safety of the child.

* Court can order an investigation or guardian ad litem or attorney for the child.

* Court can impose any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the well being of the child and the safety of the abused parent.
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In addition to restraining orders, we can provide legal representation in all matters involving family and divorce law. You can reach the law office of Robyn A. Briatico at 617-387-6800 or complete the restraining or protective order form so we can contact you by phone to schedule your free 20 minute phone consult to discuss your legal options.

In
Middlesex County, the law offices of Robyn A. Briatico or any one of her affiliates can provide you with legal representation if retained to obtain a restraining or prevention order against those individuals, family members, or spouses that have attempted or committed acts of harassment, assault, or abuse against you or your family. We can provide you with legal representation if you live in Acton MA, Arlington MA, Ashby MA, Ashland MA, Ayer MA, Bedford MA, Belmont MA, Billerica MA, Boxborough MA, Burlington MA, Cambridge MA, Carlisle MA, Chelmsford MA, Concord MA, Dracut MA, Everett MA, and Framingham MA. They can also help you obtain a restraining order in Groton MA, Holliston MA, Hopkinton MA, Hudson MA, Lexington MA, Lincoln MA, Littleton MA, Lowell MA, Malden MA, Marlborough MA, Maynard MA, Medford MA, Melrose MA, Natick MA, Newton MA, North Reading MA, Reading MA, Pepperell MA, and Reading MA. We can also work with you if you live in Sherborn MA, Shirley MA, Somerville MA, Stoneham MA, Stow MA, Sudbury MA, Tewksbury MA, Townsend MA, Tyngsborough MA, Wakefield MA, Waltham MA, Watertown MA, Wayland MA, Westford MA, Weston MA, Wilmington MA, Winchester MA, or Woburn MA.

In
Suffolk County, the law offices of Robyn A. Briatico or any one of her affiliates can provide you with legal representation if retained to obtain a prevention or restraining order against those individuals, family members, or spouses that have attempted or committed acts of harassment, assault, or abuse against you or your family. We can provide you with legal representation if you live in Boston MA, Back Bay MA, Beacon Hill MA, Revere MA, Cambridge MA, Winthrop MA, or Chelsea MA.

In
Essex County, any one of our attorneys and lawyers can provide you with legal representation if retained to obtain a 209A abuse prevention or restraining order against those individuals, family members, or spouses that have attempted or committed acts of harassment, assault, or abuse against you or your family. We can provide you with legal representation if you live in Amesbury MA, Andover MA, Beverly MA, Boxford MA, Danvers MA, Essex MA, Georgetown MA, Gloucester MA, Groveland MA, Hamilton MA, Haverhill MA, and Ipswich MA. They can also handle North Andover MA, Peabody MA, Rockport MA, Rowley MA, Salem MA, Salisbury MA, Saugus MA, Swampscott MA, Topsfield MA, Wenham MA, and West Newbury MA. We can also work with you if you live in Lawrence MA, Lynn MA, Lynnfield MA, Manchester by the Sea MA, Marblehead MA, Merrimac MA, Methuen MA, Middleton MA, Nahant MA, Newbury MA, and Newburyport MA.

In
Norfolk County, the law offices of Robyn A. Briatico or Joseph M. Lally can provide you with legal representation if retained to obtain a abuse prevention or restraining order against those individuals, family members, or spouses that have attempted or committed acts of harassment, assault, or abuse against you or your family. We can provide you with legal representation if you live in Avon MA, Bellingham MA, Braintree MA, Brookline MA, Canton MA, Chestnut Hill MA, Cohassett MA, Dedham MA, Dover MA, Foxborough MA, Franklin MA, Holbrook MA, Medfield MA, Medway MA, Millis MA, Milton MA, Needham MA, Norfolk MA, Norwood MA, Plainville MA, and Quincy MA. We can also work with you if you live in Randolph MA, Sharon MA, Stoughton MA, Walpole MA, Wellesley MA, Westwood MA, Weymouth MA, or Wrentham MA.

In
Plymouth County, the law office of Joseph M. Lally can provide you with legal representation if retained to obtain a restraining order against those individuals, family members, or spouses that have attempted or committed acts of harassment, assault, or abuse against you or your family. He can provide you with legal representation if you live in Abington MA, Bridgewater MA, Brockton MA, Carver MA, Duxbury MA, Halifax MA, Hanover MA, Hanson MA, Hingham MA, Hull MA, Kingston MA, Lakeville MA, Marion MA, Marshfield MA, Mattapoisett MA, Middleboro MA, Norwell MA, and Pembrooke MA. He can also work with you if you live in Plymouth MA, Plympton MA, Rochester MA, Rockland MA, Scituate MA, Wareham MA, West Bridgewater MA, Whitman MA, or Eastbridgewater MA.

In
Bristol County, the law offices of Joseph M. Lally can provide you with legal representation if retained to obtain a abuse prevention order order against those individuals, family members, or spouses that have attempted or committed acts of harassment, assault, or abuse against you or your family. He can provide you with legal representation if you live in Acushnet MA, Attleboro MA, Berkley MA, Dartmouth MA, Dighton MA, Easton MA, Fairhaven MA, Fall River MA, Freetown MA, Mansfield MA, North Attleborough MA, Norton MA, Rynham MA, Rehoboth MA, Seekonk MA, Somerset MA, Swansea MA, or Westport MA.

In Worcester County, the law offices of Michelle R. Moucharite can provide you with legal representation if retained to obtain a 209A prevention order against those individuals, family members, or spouses that have attempted or committed acts of harassment, assault, or abuse against you or your family. She can provide you with legal representation if you live in Ashburnham MA, Athol MA, Auburn MA, Barre MA, Berlin MA, Blackstone MA, Bolton MA, Boylston MA, Brookfield MA, Charlton MA, Clinton MA, Douglas MA, Dudley MA, East Brookfield MA, Fitchburg MA, Gardner MA, Grafton MA, Hardwick MA, Harvard MA, Holden MA, Hopedale MA, Hubbardston MA, Lancaster MA, Leicester MA, Leominster MA, Lunenburg MA, Mendon MA, Milford MA, Millbury MA, and Millville MA. The other cities we serve within Worcester County include New Braintree MA, North Brookfield MA, Northborough MA, Northbridge MA, Oakham MA, Oxford MA, Paxton MA, Petersham MA, Phillipston MA, Princeton MA, Royalston MA, Rutland MA, Shrewsbury MA, Southborough MA, Southbridge MA, Spencer MA, Sterling MA, Sturbridge MA, Sutton MA, Templeton MA, Upton MA, Uxbridge MA, Warren MA, Webster MA, West Boylston MA, West Brookfield MA, Westborough MA, Westminster MA, Winchendon MA, and Worcester MA.




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