Domestic Violence Office - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions of the Massachusetts Department of Correction Domestic Violence Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I need to file a restraining order against my partner/spouse does it mean that he/she will lose their job?
A: Not necessarily. Restraining orders are civil and not considered a criminal offense. Any violation of such an order is a criminal offense. The Department of Correction is required to comply with all restrictions listed on a restraining order. The employee will be not allowed to use weapons while at work. Employees under a weapons restriction will still be expected to come to work unless the circumstances of the case dictate otherwise. The Department does, however, reserve the right to impose discipline based on subsequent rule violations. Each case will be reviewed individually.


Q: My spouse/partner is the subject of a restraining order that has been modified by the Court to state that weapons will be allowed for the course of duty. Will the Department lift the weapons restriction?
A: No. An Act Relative to Gun Control in the Commonwealth, Chapter 180 of the Acts of 1998, enacted on October 21, 1998, made changes to existing firearms law. The change relative to FID Cards, Class A, or Class B LTC is that anyone who is the subject of a permanent or temporary restraining/protection order issued pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 209A, including suspension and surrender order, (or an order of protection issued by another jurisdiction) is now disqualified from holding any of the above licenses. This means that the licensing authority must continue the suspension of a permit even if a court modifies or vacates a suspension and surrender order, as long as the underlying order remains in effect.


Q: What if criminal charges are filed against my partner/spouse? How will this affect his/her job?
A: Each incident is looked at on a case-by-case basis. According to the Prohibition of Domestic Violence Policy, a judicial finding of cause must be found before termination can take place. This does not mean that some form of disciplinary action will not occur based on subsequent rule violations. The Department always reserves the right to terminate based on the facts of the case regardless of the judicial outcome.


Q: What if my partner/spouse is convicted of a domestic violence offense?
A: The Lautenberg Amendment was signed into federal law effective September 30, 1996. This law makes it unlawful for anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense (including misdemeanors) to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms and/or ammunition. This law does not make exceptions for law enforcement personnel or military personnel.


Q: What if, as a family member, I have specific questions but do not want to reveal any information that would allow the Department to identify my abusive partner/spouse?
A: If you choose not to reveal information that would allow us to identify your abusive partner, we will still assist with whatever questions or services you request. The safety and well being of our employees and their families is our biggest concern, refer to available services listed on this brochure.

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