How to properly serve a restraining order

| Aug 24, 2020 | Domestic Violence

A Massachusetts resident can obtain a temporary restraining order against someone who is putting their emotional or physical security in jeopardy. The temporary order must be served within five days of a hearing, and a hearing date may be moved if service is not completed in a timely manner. A respondent can be served by either a peace or correctional officer.

If a respondent takes steps to evade being served, a notice may be published in a local newspaper. A copy of the order will also be mailed to his or her last known mailing address. Individuals can get served with a short version of any temporary restraining order that they are subject to. The short form is typically used when a person is taken into custody before they can be served with the actual petition.

What makes a restraining order valid?

To be valid, the document must contain the name, address and date of birth of the person being served. It must also specify where and when the request for protection was made as well as the date and time of the upcoming hearing. It might also need to list the name of the person who made the request as well as the conditions that the respondent must comply with. Finally, it must notify the recipient that the order is now in effect and be signed by a judge.

Duration of protection may vary

Someone may be able to request a temporary protection order on their own or with the help of their attorney. Legal counsel could help a victim of domestic violence gather medical records, threatening messages or other evidence that may be used at a hearing. This evidence might convince a judge that a temporary restraining order should become permanent.