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Mass. General Laws c.12 § 11J

Violations of constitutional rights; temporary restraining orders and injunctions; violations; punishment; vacation of order

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Section 11J

In actions brought pursuant to subsection (a) of section 11H or section 11I, whenever the court issues a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction, ordering a defendant to refrain from certain conduct or activities, the order issued shall contain the following statement: VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

After any such order has been served upon the defendant, any violation of such order shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a house of correction, or both such fine and imprisonment; provided, however, that if bodily injury results from such violation, the violation shall be punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both.

The clerk shall transmit two certified copies of each such order issued under subsection (a) of section 11H or section 11I to each appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over locations where such defendant is alleged to have committed the act giving rise to the action, and such law enforcement agency shall serve one copy of the order upon such defendant. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, service shall be by delivering a copy in hand to the defendant. Law enforcement agencies shall establish procedures adequate to ensure that all officers responsible for the enforcement of the order are informed of the existence and terms of such order. Whenever any law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that such defendant has violated the provisions of this section, such officer shall have the authority to arrest said defendant.

Following the final disposition of a criminal contempt proceeding initiated by the attorney general for violation of an order issued in an action brought by the attorney general under subsection (a) of section 11H, the commonwealth shall move to dismiss any charges brought under this section against such defendant for such violation of the order.

Whenever the court vacates a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction issued under subsection (a) of section 11H or section 11I, the clerk shall promptly notify in writing each appropriate law enforcement agency which had been notified of the issuance of the order and shall direct each such agency to destroy all record of such vacated order, and such agency shall comply with such directive.

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Last updated: December 31, 2020
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