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Restraining Order Hearings

A restraining order, also known as a “209A” order, is a court order that prohibits abuse and can restricts a person’s ability to have contact with one or more other people. A 209A order can prohibit all contact between the defendant and the person seeking the order or it can limit the nature of that contact. It can also prohibit contact with minor children. A defendant may also be ordered to stay away from the other person’s home and place of employment. Violation of a restraining order is a criminal offense that can result in arrest and prosecution.

There is no constitutional right to have a court-appointed lawyer in a restraining order proceeding. However, if you are seeking a restraining order or are the defendant in a restraining order proceeding, you can hire a lawyer to represent you in court. That attorney can cross-examine the other side’s witnesses and assist you in the presentation of evidence. The attorney will also argue your case to the judge.

Attorney Sam Zaganjori is an experienced courtroom attorney who will make sure that your rights are protected. He is a former prosecutor who has handled many cases involving domestic violence and 209A orders. He is a Woburn restraining order lawyer that represents clients all over eastern Massachusetts.

Who Can Obtain a Restraining Order?

A person suffering from abuse from a family or household member may seek a restraining order. A family or household member includes people who (a) are or were married to one another; (b) are or were residing together in the same household; (c) are or were related by blood or marriage; (d) have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; or (e) are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship.

The Restraining Order Process

A person seeking a restraining order, referred to as the plaintiff, can obtain an emergency restraining order if court is not in session or, when court reopens, can go into the courthouse to get the order. A judge that issues the order in court will typically issue it for no more than 10 business days. The initial 10-day order is frequently issued “ex parte”, which means that the person against whom the order is sought (the defendant) is not present.

The judge issuing an ex parte order will set a hearing date within roughly business 10 days. This is to allow for the 209A order to be served on the defendant. Service is very important because it gives the defendant notice of the restraining order and of the hearing date.

At the “10-day hearing”, the court will determine whether to extend the restraining order. Both sides can present evidence, including witness testimony. Each side can cross-examine any witnesses called to testify by the opposing party. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will decide whether to extend the restraining order. If the order is extended, it is most commonly for a period of one year.

Sam Zaganjori is a Woburn 209A lawyer that represents clients at all stages of the restraining order process.

What Happens If a Restraining Order Is Issued?

A judge can issue a restraining order imposing a number of conditions on the defendant, including the following:

  • (a) Not to abuse the plaintiff
  • (b) Not to contact the plaintiff
  • (c) To vacate and stay away from the plaintiff’s household and workplace
  • (d) Awarding the plaintiff temporary custody of a minor child;
  • (e) Ordering the defendant to pay temporary support for the plaintiff or any child in the plaintiff's custody or both, when the defendant has a legal obligation of support;
  • (f) To compensate the abused person for the losses suffered as a direct result of the abuse;
  • (g) Ordering information in the case record to be impounded in accordance with court rule;
  • (h) Not to abuse or contact the plaintiff's child, or child in plaintiff's care or custody, unless authorized by the court;
  • (i) Recommend to the defendant that he or she attend a batterer's intervention program that is certified by the department of public health.

If a restraining order issues, it is extremely important that the defendant strictly follow it. A violation of a 209A order is a criminal offense. It is punishable by up to 2.5 years in the house of correction and a $5,000 fine.

A defendant can appeal the issuance of a restraining order but must notify the court very quickly of the decision to seek an appeal. Sam Zaganjori is an experienced appeals lawyer and a Woburn 209A lawyer.

Aggressive Representation at Restraining Order Hearings

Sam Zaganjori is an aggressive courtroom attorney who represents clients at restraining order hearings. He has extensive experience prosecuting and defending cases of domestic violence. He is a Woburn restraining order lawyer that will protect your rights and fight for your cause. He offers a free consultation. Call today at 781-496-2848.