Criminal Defense Attorney Provides Clarity For Essex County Families Regarding Harassment Prevention Orders
Since 2010, a new law in Massachusetts has provided citizens more options for seeking a Harassment Prevention Order against someone. If a family member has taken out a restraining order against you, it is important to seek legal counsel from an experienced family lawyer as soon as possible so that you can understand your rights and come up with a strategy for how to address this obstacle.
Chapters 258E and 209A and Their Impact
Under 209A, the existing order before the signing of 258E into law, restraining orders could only be made against relatives or those involved in former or current romantic partnerships. Now, with the additional protections offered by 258E, you can file an order against anyone, even strangers. Also, Chapter 258E specifies that there needs to be an established pattern of harassment, including three or more acts that demonstrate willful and malicious actions intending to cause fear to someone, and that do in fact cause fear. Furthermore, a single episode of sexual abuse or stalking also is substantial enough for a plaintiff to file a charge under 258E.
More Ways For Someone to File a Harassment Prevention Order
Under 209A, a restraining order could only be granted by the Superior Court, unless the parties qualified as family or household members. With the passage of 258E, harassment prevention orders can be issued from other authorities, including Superior Courts, District Courts, the Boston Municipal Court, and Juvenile Court.
Be Aware of Your Rights
Remember, it is a crime to violate either a 209A or a 258E order. There are no filing fees for someone to seek either a 209A or 258E order against you, and either type of order can be entered without advanced notice. At the Law Office of Henry Lebensbaum, our priority is to help you understand your rights. Even if a family member has taken out an order against you, stop yourself from contacting them and turn to a lawyer immediately. Together, we will help you form a plan of action for dealing with this matter.