The Harassment Prevention Law, commonly called “Chapter 258E ”, is there to protect you against someone who is harassing, stalking or sexually assaulting you, no matter what your relationship with them might be. The domestic violence law, chapter 209A, only offers protection against people with whom you have a special relationship, such as family members or someone you live with or are dating. The harassment prevention law can be used to protect you against anyone. The law allows you to seek a court order, which is sometimes called a 258E order, a harassment prevention order, restraining order, or a protective order. The term “harassment prevention order” will be used in this document. In court, the plaintiff is the person who requests the court to issue the order. The defendant is the person the order is issued against.

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