The date and time of the next court hearing is listed on the order. The name and location of the court that issued the order is listed at the top right hand corner of the order. It will usually be in about ten days, but sometimes it is sooner than ten days. It is very important that you do not do anything to violate the order during the time between when you get the order and your first hearing. You can hire an attorney during this time. You may also go to the court that issued your order and ask to get a copy of the court file.
It is very important that you go to the hearing. If you are not there, the order may be extended for up to one year. On the day of the hearing, get to court early, so that you can find the right courtroom. Ask the people in the Clerk’s office for help if you cannot find the right courtroom. You may need to wait in the courtroom for your case to be called.
During the hearing, the judge will listen to the evidence and decide if the order should continue in its present form, be amended in some way(s), or be terminated (ended). Both the plaintiff and the defendant have a right to be heard at the hearing and to present evidence that the judge finds is relevant.
If the judge grants the order, it will normally be good for one year, but it may be for a shorter time. The order will say how long it will last, and will tell you when you need to go back to court if the plaintiff wants to renew it. You need to pay careful attention to the next hearing date, because if you miss the next hearing it could be renewed for another year or even made permanent without you getting a chance to be heard on whether or not the order should be extended or changed.
Information for Defendants on Abuse Prevention Orders
- Abuse Prevention Orders: Information for Defendants
- I Just Received an Abuse Prevention Order: What Does this Mean?
- What Happens Next? Information for Defendants in Abuse Prevention Order Cases
- What Happens if I Do Something I am Ordered Not to Do?
- What if I Want to Change or End an Abuse Prevention Order Against Me?
- How Do I Appeal an Abuse Prevention Order Against Me?
- Abuse Prevention Orders: More Information for Defendants
People also viewed...
You recently viewed...
Personalization is OFF. Your personal browsing history at Mass.gov is not visible because your personalization is turned off. To view your history, turn your personalization on.
Learn more on our .
*Recommendations are based on site visitor traffic patterns and are not endorsements of that content.