|Please take note, that an Emergency Restraining Order can
be issued after hours by contacting the Medford police department
A representative of the Domestic Service Unit will assist you
in applying for a restraining order (either by advisement or if necessary by
accompanying you to court).
Restraining Order Steps:
1. All restraining orders are reviewed by a Judge between
the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. in a courtroom you will be instructed
to appear in.
2. When your name is called, go to the front of the
courtroom, up to the Judge's bench or where you are otherwise instructed
to stand. The microphone records your testimony for the court, it does not
make your voice louder.
3. For the Judge to issue a restraining order, the Judge
must determine that the person seeking the order is in fear of the
defendant. This fear can be based on the recent incident and/or the
history of abuse.
4. You can request that the defendant
leave the home and stay away; you can
request that the defendant refrain from abuse; you can request custody of
your children, support for your children; and restitution for damages
caused by the defendant.
5. The NO CONTACT
portion of the order means the defendant cannot come near you, cannot call
you, cannot write you letters or send you cards, cannot send you flowers
or leave you notes, and cannot send someone else to talk to or call you on
the defendant's behalf. It does not matter whether or not the contact
involves any threat. The defendant simply CANNOT contact you.
6. The Judge can order the Police to collect from the
defendant any guns, FID card and/or keys to your home, car, etc.. If you
want any of these taken away from the defendant when he is served with
papers by the Police, make sure you ask the Judge to order this.
7. If the Judge gives you custody of any children under
the age of eighteen, you have temporary legal custody. The decision is
YOURS as to whether or not visitation will occur. Many times individuals
arrange for a third party to communicate with the defendant regarding
visitation issues. A Probate Court order can overrule the District Court
209A order for custody or visitation.
8. The order that you first receive is called the
"temporary order" and is valid for up to ten days
(according to the court calendar). If you want your restraining
order extended beyond the ten day period, you MUST return to the
courthouse on the date on your order. On that day, you can request that
the order be extended for up to one year.
The defendant has the right to appear at this ten day
hearing. If you are still in fear of the defendant, explain this to the
Judge and request an extension of the order.
KEEP YOUR COPY OF THE ORDER WITH YOU AT ALL
9. Often, people requesting a 209A have been the victims
of crimes. You have the right to file criminal complaints. In domestic
violence situations, the complaints may include assault and battery,
assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, threats, malicious
destruction and stalking. Incidents should be reported to the Police
Department where the crime was committed. Applications for complaints are
filed with the Clerk's Office. If you have any questions about this
process, please call a Victim Advocate in the District Attorney's Office:
Somerville District Court:
Somerville District Court
Somerville, MA 02145
10. If at any time you decide to change or drop the 209A
order, you MUST return to the Clerk's office and have the order changed or
dropped (vacated) by the Judge. If the order is not vacated and the
defendant has contact with you, the defendant is subject to mandatory
11. As the plaintiff, you can not violate your own order.
The order is against the defendant, not you. The defendant must abide by
the conditions written on the order.
12. If there is any violation of this
order, contact the Police immediately. A violation of the order is a