Contents

Best Bet

Massachusetts Laws

Massachusetts Regulations

Massachusetts Guidelines

Forms

Selected Case Law

Organizations

Web Sources

Print Sources


Best Bet

Abuse and Harassment, Mass. Trial Court Self-Help Center
Explains the difference between MGL ch.209A and ch. 258E as well as how to request an order under each law.

Massachusetts Law

Primary Domestic Violence Law

MGL c. 209A Abuse Prevention. See also:
MGL c.209A, s.11 Protection and custody of pets
St. 2014, c.260 Act Relative to Domestic Violence
Significant changes to domestic violence law, including education for judges and prosecutors, new law and penalties for suffocation and strangulation, and much more.

Other Laws Related to Domestic Violence

MGL c.186, s.23-29 (as added by St.2012, c.402) Housing Rights for Victims of Domestic Violence
MGL c. 209C, s.15 Children Born Out of Wedlock--Domestic Violence Record Search
MGL c.258E Harassment Prevention Orders
MGL c. 265, s.43 Stalking; Punishment
MGL c. 277, s.62A Violations of Chapter 209A; Jurisdiction
MGL c. 277, s. 62B Stalking; Jurisdiction

Massachusetts Regulations

950 CMR 130 pdf format of 950 CMR 130
Address Confidentiality Program

Massachusetts Guidelines

Domestic Violence Law Enforcement Guidelines, Mass. Executive Office of Public Safety, January 2009
"These guidelines set forth appropriate and effective responses to domestic violence for police departments in Massachusetts."

Guidelines for Judicial Practice: Abuse Prevention Proceedings pdf format of Guidelines: Abuse Prevention Proceedings
file size 1MB , Mass. Trial Court, September 2011

Massachusetts Guide to Evidence, s.1106: Abuse Prevention and Harassment Prevention Proceedings , Mass. Supreme Judicial Court
"In all civil proceedings under the Abuse Prevention Act, G. L. c. 209A, the rules of evidence should be applied flexibly by taking into consideration the personal and emotional nature of the issues involved, whether one or both of the parties is self-represented, and the need for fairness to all parties."

Forms

Domestic Violence Court Forms

Selected Case Law

Bosse v. Bosse pdf format of Bosse v Bosse, SJC Single Justice 91-493, 1991
, SJC Single Justice 91-493, 1991
"[W]here in-hand service is not reasonably possible, post-facto notice by mail to last known address and by publication is consistent with § 7...Mandating personal service where the defendant has, by disappearing, made personal service impossible would enable defendants, the perpetrators of abuse, to deny their victims the protection of our courts under G. L. c. 209A."

Champagne v. Champagne , 429 Mass. 324, 708 NE2d 100 (1999)
Court held that "Probate and Family Court has statutory authority to issue permanent protective orders in divorce proceedings and to incorporate them into final judgments of divorce nisi."

Commonwealth v. Collier , 427 Mass. 385, 693 NE2d 673 (1998)
"Where third party is involved in act that results in violation of protective order...Commonwealth is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt an intentional act by defendant which led to violation."

Commonwealth v. Gonsalves , 445 Mass. 1 (2005)
Most statements given to police investigating a crime may not be used at trial unless the witness can be cross-examined

Commonwealth v. Housen , 83 Mass. App. Ct. 174 (2013)
Defendant who had permission by former girlfriend to enter her home, was still required to leave when each of her children came home because the children had the right to individual protection under the 209A order, and so could be charged with multiple offenses stemming from the same activity.

Commonwealth v. Jacobsen , 419 Mass. 269 (1995)
A warrantless arrest for abuse may be made under M.G.L. Ch. 209A, Sect. 6(7) if there is reason to believe a person is in fear of serious imminent physical harm

Commonwealth v. Shea , 467 Mass. 788 (2014)
"The question of which jurisdiction's law applies to a violation of a protection order appears to be one of first impression...we conclude that, where an out-of-State abuse protection order is allegedly violated in Massachusetts and prosecuted under c. 209A, the violation is governed by Massachusetts law and the jury should be instructed in accordance with Massachusetts law."

E.C.O. v. Compton , 464 Mass. 558 (2013)
Online dating counts. "Chapter 209A must be interpreted to protect all who are in a substantive dating relationship from abuse, regardless of whether the relationship was developed or conducted by the use of technology."

MacDonald v. Caruso , 467 Mass. 382 (2014)
To terminate an abuse protection order, "the significant change in circumstances must involve more than the mere passage of time, because a judge who issues a permanent order knows that time will pass. Compliance by the defendant with the order is also not sufficient alone to constitute a significant change in circumstances, because a judge who issues a permanent order is entitled to expect that the defendant will comply with the order."

Rauseo v. Rauseo , 50 Mass.App.Ct. 911 (2001) Court held that even the sending of flowers by defendant who was under abuse prevention order could be construed by wife as a hostile and threatening act in light of the existing order.

Szymkowski v. Szymkowski , 57 Mass.App.Ct. 284, 782 NE2d 1085 (2003)
"Court should not issue an M.G.L. Ch. 209A order simply because it seems to be a good idea or because it seems it will not cause the defendant any real inconvenience as a Ch. 209A order will infallibly cause inconvenience; in considering whether to issue a Ch. 209A order, the judge must focus on whether serious physical harm is imminent, and a generalized apprehension does not rise to the level of fear of imminent serious physical harm."

Organizations

DOVE, Inc.
PO Box 311
Milton, MA 02186

or

PO Box 690267
Quincy, MA 02269
1-888-314-DOVE (3683)

"DOVE, Inc. is committed to serving communities, families, and individuals impacted by domestic violence. We seek to empower our clients and the community by providing safety, shelter, education, and support services. By promoting an environment free from abuse, we strive to see - Domestic Violence Ended."


Jane Doe, Inc .
14 Beacon St., Suite 507
Boston, MA 02108
617-248-0922 ext. 212

Information and referrals for battered men and women; also has a statewide online resource guide. Website lists a toll-free "Safelink" hotline that is available 24 hours per day: 877-785-2020.


Mass. Office for Victim Assistance
One Ashburton Place, Room 1101
Boston, MA 02108
617-727-5200.

Coordinates victim assistance programs on a statewide basis

Web Sources

Print Sources


Last update: February 29, 2016

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