Obtaining a Restraining Order

Complaint for protection from abuse

In order to obtain a restraining order under mass general law 209a, you must meet the following criteria

The defendant and the plaintiff:

  • must be currently married to each other
  • must have been formerly married to each other
  • are not married but were related to each other by blood or marriage
  • must be the parents of one or more children
  • must be living in the same household
  • must have been formerly members of the same household
  • are or were in a dating or engagement relationship

Emergency Restraining Orders:

  • emergency restraining orders are obtained when court is not in session because of the time of day, or because it is a weekend or holiday.
  • the person who requests the restraining order should contact the umass police department at 508-856-3296, or x3296 from an internal phone.
  • an police officer will complete the forms with you, and page the judge on-call .
  • the officer will read the complaint & affidavit to the judge, and in a vast majority of cases, the temporary restraining order is granted.
  • this emergency restraining order is valid until the next court day.

Temporary Restraining Orders

If court is in session, the victim should go directly to court to apply for a temporary order, and bypass the emergency restraining order procedure. If the plaintiff obtained an emergency restraining order, he or she must go to one of the following courts, and complete the forms again to obtain the temporary restraining order.

  • boston municipal court
  • district court
  • probate & family court
  • superior court

The temporary order, if granted, will be valid until the hearing date set by the court.

Restraining Order Hearing

The plaintiff and defendant must appear in court for the hearing that was set by the court when the temporary restraining order was granted. The restraining order will be granted or denied as a result of the statements made by the plaintiff & defendant during the hearing. The restraining order, if granted, will be in effect for up to a year, and will be renewable for up to another year.