Restraining Orders – 209A
If you or a member of your family has been abused by your spouse, or your significant other, or someone you have been dating, we can help. Both Attorneys Galat and Quinn have extensive experience in the field of domestic violence, and Attorney Quinn’s background also includes membership on a domestic violence panel and counseling victims of domestic violence as part of a mobile crisis unit. For those who live in the Greater Newburyport Area, a Restraining Order, sometimes called a 209A Restraining Order or an Abuse Prevention Order, can be obtained either from the Newburyport District Court or from the Essex County Probate & Family Court. These orders are intended to provide victims of domestic abuse with legal protection by providing criminal and/or monetary penalties for a violation of the order. If you file a restraining order against your spouse, significant other or someone you have been dating, that person will not go to jail unless that person violates the order once it is issued. A violation of a restraining order is considered a criminal offense and can result in jail time for the offender.
Harrassment Prevention Orders
If you have been repeatedly harassed or threatened by your spouse or partner, you may request that the Newburyport District Court issue a Harassment Prevention Order instead of a Restraining Order, but the effect will be the same in that the court may prohibit the person who is harassing you from contacting you or coming to your home or your place of employment. Like a Restraining Order, anyone who violates a Harassment Prevention Order may be sent to jail or ordered to pay a fine or both.
Sometimes during a separation or divorce, one spouse may falsely accuse the other of abuse or harassment. If this has happened to you, we can help. These orders should not be taken lightly as a violation of either of them can result in imprisonment or a fine, or both. Restraining Orders and Harassment Prevention Orders are often issued with only one party present, so you may not learn of the order until after it has already been issued by a judge. But there will be a second hearing during which you will be able to tell your side of the story. We will prepare your defense and appear with you in an effort to have the order dismissed at this second hearing.