For Immediate Release - April 17, 2015

Translated Restraining Order Forms Now Available in Eight Languages

BOSTON, MA -- The Massachusetts Trial Court announced today that forms and instructions for filing an Abuse Prevention Order, known as a restraining order, are now available in eight languages.

In addition to English, the forms are now available in the following languages: Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Portuguese, Russian, and Vietnamese. These and other translated forms are available on the Trial Court’s online Language Access Portal.

“For individuals under stress, navigating the court system can be a challenge in any language,” said Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey. “The trauma that often accompanies a restraining order hearing can make it even more daunting to come to court. Translated restraining order forms will enable people with limited English proficiency to understand the forms related to their case and help them advocate for their own protection.”

The Trial Court issued its first Language Access Plan pdf format of Language Access Plan
 (also in Spanish pdf format of Plan de Acceso Lingüístico
) in December. The plan includes detailed action steps for improving the range of services the court offers for people with limited English proficiency. Providing translated forms, courtroom interpreters, and informing individuals about their language access rights are among the Trial Court’s efforts to expand court access to justice to all Massachusetts residents.  

According to 2013 U.S. census data, 15% of Massachusetts residents were foreign-born, and 22% of the state population aged five years and over spoke a language other than English at home. Approximately 43,000 restraining orders were filed in Massachusetts courts in FY 2014, up from 38,000 in FY 2010.