Newburyport Family Law - Restraining Orders (209a)

209A Restraining Orders

If you have been abused by someone with whom you reside, we can help. We have extensive experience in the field of domestic violence. 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. For those who reside beyond the jurisdiction of the Newburyport District Court, the local court for your city or town can enter such an order and if you reside in another county, the probate court for your county can enter a 209A for you. 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.

Harassment Prevention

If you have been repeatedly threatened by your spouse or partner, or by someone else in a manner that relates to your family, you may request that the District Court for the city or town in which you live issue a Harassment Prevention Order instead of a Restraining Order. These orders are also enforceable by local police. The effect will be the same as with a 209A Restraining Order 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 face criminal charges.

False Accusations

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. 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. These orders should not be taken lightly as a violation of either of them can result in imprisonment or a fine, or both. But there will be a second hearing within two weeks 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.

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