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Harassment Prevention Order in Massachusetts: A Short Guide


Is your ex-spouse verbally abusing you every chance they get? Has someone been stalking you or cyber-bullying you? Are you having a dispute with a neighbor or coworker that has risen to the level that you are in fear for your safety?

If anyone is threatening to harm you or your property in any way, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Davis Law Group. Your safety is extremely important and as we have seen in several cases, it could be a matter of life and death.

Experienced Massachusetts attorney Jay Davis, along with his team of highly skilled legal consultants, can assist you in seeking a harassment prevention order to protect you or a loved one.

Call us today at (617) 752-6216 or contact us online for a free consultation. Even if you don’t want to hire a lawyer just yet, but only need a bit of knowledgeable advice from an expert lawyer in Massachusetts, feel free to give us a call.

What is a Harassment Prevention Order?

Until a few years ago, there was only one type of restraining order in Massachusetts. And it protected only against harassment by family members, spouses, and dating “partners.”

In other words, if your ex-spouse, boss, neighbor, or a former friend was harassing or abusing you, then there was nothing anyone – including police – could do.

Fortunately, the powers that be recognized the harsh realities of life and a harassment prevention order (258E) was enacted in early 2010.

This Act to Prevent Harassment allows a judge to issue a restraining order against anyone who is stalking, harassing, or sexually abusing you, no matter what your relationship with them might be.

As we said, this law can be used to protect you against anyone, including an employer, coworker, neighbor, estranged friend, relative, or even a stranger. A harassment prevention order in Massachusetts is also known as a 258E order, protective order, or restraining order.

What Types of Protections are Available Under a Harassment Prevention Order?

Before we begin, let’s get one thing out of the way. In case you didn’t know, the plaintiff is someone who is getting harassed and seeking the prevention order. The defendant is the person the order is issued against.

If you are seeking a 258E order, you can request that the defendant:

  • Be ordered to keep his distance from your home, school, and/or workplace
  • Be ordered to have absolutely no kind of contact with you (via phone, email, letters, etc.)
  • Be ordered not to harass or abuse you
  • Be ordered to pay a certain sum of money (to reimburse for expenses related to the harassment, including lost wages, and medical bills)

In addition, you can also request that your school, work, and/or home address not appear on the harassment prevention order. This is obviously only useful if the defendant doesn’t already know your current school, work, or home address.

Is it Possible to Get a Harassment Prevention Order Without Informing the Defendant?

If there is a significant likelihood of immediate danger of harassment or abuse, the court may issue a 258E order without the defendant knowing. This is known as an “ex parte order.”

This is how it works: your Massachusetts attorney will obtain an order where a one-side only or ex-parte hearing will be held and you’ll get the prevention order right away. This ex-parte order issued by the court can last up to 10 business days.

What if I Want to Modify or End the Order?

If you’ve obtained a harassment prevention order against someone, the only way to change or end it is by going back to the court. Please note that even if you “make up” with the defendant (person harassing you) and allow them to contact you in any way, they will still be in violation of the harassment prevention order.

Only a judge can change the 258E order. So, if you want to change or terminate the order altogether, you’ll need to go to the same court that issued the order and ask the judge to change/end it.

What if the Defendant Violates the Harassment Prevention Order?

If the harasser or abuser violates a harassment prevention order, you must contact the local police department as soon as possible. If the law enforcement officers see or believe that your tormentor violated the court order, they will have to arrest them.

The harassment prevention order is indeed a civil order but violating it can be a criminal offense, depending on the circumstances.

So, if the harasser violates the no-harassment, no-abuse, no-contact terms of the order, you should call the cops immediately. Let them know that you have a 258E order against the abuser and how it was violated.

Contact Davis Law Group to Obtain an Effective Harassment Prevention Order in MA

I went to Jay Davis in turmoil and very upset feeling like I had no place to turn! I felt better just talking to him. He’s not afraid to stand up for you. I could see and feel that he truly cared for me, his client. So, if you’re looking for an honest, fair, compassionate bulldog to represent you, do not hesitate to contact Jay Davis!

– Mary Johnson

Are you constantly living in fear of being stalked, harassed, or sexually assaulted? Are you afraid that the cops will do nothing, and your tormentor will keep making your life a living hell?

Jay Davis has represented numerous people who were once in your shoes. Having a reliable and tenacious lawyer like Jay by your side will help you obtain a 258E order in the most hassle-free way possible. He has also represented parties who are defending harassment orders.

If you’ve already filed the order and would like additional help or advice, give us a call at (617) 752-6216 or write to us here. We’d love to assist you in any way we can.

The post Harassment Prevention Order in Massachusetts: A Short Guide first appeared on Davis Law Group.
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