Getting a Harassment Prevention Order in Massachusetts
Harassment prevention orders are governed by the Massachusetts harassment prevention law, M.G.L. c. 258E. Harassment Prevention Order offer protection against unwanted, harassing conduct. To successfully secure a Harassment Prevention Order, you will have to prove that you were in-fact harassed.
How Harassment Prevention Orders Work
- A harassment prevention order is available to individuals who do not have the necessary relationship required for an abuse prevention order and are requesting protection from someone who has committed 3 or more acts that were cruel and done intentionally to cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property and did in fact cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property. Alternatively, a harassment prevention order is available if the person requesting protection alleges that s/he was the victim of sexual assault, stalking, or criminal harassment.
Upon the filing of an application for a Harassment Prevention Order, the court may temporarily order that the defendant, that’s the person you are requesting the harassment prevention order against, can be ordered to stay away from you, avoid contacting you in any way, avoid abusing or harassing, or pay you money such as reimbursement for counsel fees. If the court determines that an emergency exists to issue the order on a temporary basis without notice to the defendant, a temporary order will issue for a period of up to 10-days. The court will schedule a second hearing allowing the defendant to appear and be heard in defense of the order. If the court determines that you have
You can also make your own specific requests about how you would like the case to be handled, for instance, you can request:
- That the defendant is ordered to cease all contact with you and stay a specified number of yards away from you, physically.
- That the defendant be prohibited from contacting you in any way such as sending you text messages, calling you, trying to reach you through neighbors, relatives, friends, social media platforms, or even by sending gifts.
- That the defendant stay away from your place of work, school/college, or any other place that you frequent whether you’re presently there or not.
- That the defendant be ordered to pay you a certain amount of money. This is usually to cover costs as a result of their harassment, including lost wages, medical bills, and counsel fees.
Seeking the advice of a qualified criminal attorney can provide further insight as to what type of order you should file.
If you are not sure how to request a Harassment Prevention Order in Massachusetts, call the Law Office of Melanie Soloman today at (508) 808-4944.