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209a Restraining Orders

209a Restraining Orders in Taunton, MA

A 209A restraining order is a court order that protects individuals from being abused by current or former members of their household or family or by persons they have been dating. 209A restraining orders are also known as "protective orders" and "abuse prevention orders.” If a 209A restraining order is issued against a person, he or she will not be arrested or fined, but will be ordered by the court to perform or not perform certain actions, such as abuse, contact, or come within a certain distance of the person who requested the order.

Definition of Abuse in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Act, Chapter 209A, defines abuse among family or household members as (1) causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another; (2) placing another person in fear of impending serious physical harm; or (3) causing another person to engage in nonconsensual sexual relations by means of force, threat or coercion. Despite the existence of this definition, interpreting what precisely constitutes abuse is arguably subjective. This is why case law is constantly being created to interpret legal statutes. 

In determining whether to issue a 209A restraining order, courts typically rule on a case-by-case basis while considering factors such as the alleged facts, the prior history between the parties, current family dynamics, criminal records and tendency toward violence, and the reliability of the witnesses. It is important to remember that laws and legal definitions are always subject to interpretation, and judges can be both reasonable and unreasonable. After reviewing the request for a 209A restraining order, a judge can decide whether or not to issue the order. Once issued, the person named in the order is barred from abusing, contacting, or being in the same house or apartment as the person who made the request.  

Violating a 209A restraining order in any way is a criminal offense with severe penalties, including jail time and a stiff fine. So, if you or a loved one have been charged with a 209A restraining order violation, call the Law Office of Rachel M. Matos at 508-386-9094 today to go over the specifics of your case and learn how to best proceed.

A 209A restraining order is a court order that protects individuals from being abused by current or former members of their household or family or by persons they have been dating. 209A restraining orders are also known as "protective orders" and "abuse prevention orders.” If a 209A restraining order is issued against a person, he or she will not be arrested or fined, but will be ordered by the court to perform or not perform certain actions, such as abuse, contact, or come within a certain distance of the person who requested the order.

Definition of Abuse in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Act, Chapter 209A, defines abuse among family or household members as (1) causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another; (2) placing another person in fear of impending serious physical harm; or (3) causing another person to engage in nonconsensual sexual relations by means of force, threat or coercion. Despite the existence of this definition, interpreting what precisely constitutes abuse is arguably subjective. This is why case law is constantly being created to interpret legal statutes. 

In determining whether to issue a 209A restraining order, courts typically rule on a case-by-case basis while considering factors such as the alleged facts, the prior history between the parties, current family dynamics, criminal records and tendency toward violence, and the reliability of the witnesses. It is important to remember that laws and legal definitions are always subject to interpretation, and judges can be both reasonable and unreasonable. After reviewing the request for a 209A restraining order, a judge can decide whether or not to issue the order. Once issued, the person named in the order is barred from abusing, contacting, or being in the same house or apartment as the person who made the request.  

Violating a 209A restraining order in any way is a criminal offense with severe penalties, including jail time and a stiff fine. So, if you or a loved one have been charged with a 209A restraining order violation, call the Law Office of Rachel M. Matos at 508-386-9094 today to go over the specifics of your case and learn how to best proceed.