In Massachusetts, certain laws and regulations exist in order to provide protection to those who suffer harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. Some laws, such as “209A,” offer court-ordered protection against those with a “special relationship” to the victims (such as family or household members). Unfortunately, a 209A order, also referred as a protection abuse order, does not apply in situations where the victims and defendants do not have specially-defined relationships. Yet, many situations exist where victims suffer harassment and abuse at the hands of someone other than a family or household member. In these instances, a “258E” non-harassment order may be used to offer protection to victims against anyone.
How is a 258E non-harassment order obtained?
When a victim seeks a 258E order, he or she must request one from the court. The defendant need not be present at the time of this request (this is referred to as ex parte request). In order for a judge to issue a 258E order in this type of situation, the victim must demonstrate that there is a substantial likelihood that he or she is immediate danger of harassment by the accused defendant. If such an immediate danger exists, the judge may issue a 258E order that can last for up to ten business days. During this time, the court will schedule a hearing to determine if the order should be extended. The accused defendant must be sufficiently notified of this hearing; and he or she will have the opportunity to be heard in court.
A judge may decide not to issue an ex parte order upon request of the victim; and if this is the case, the court will schedule a hearing on the matter within ten business days. At this hearing, both parties have the opportunity to present their arguments as to why the 258E non-harassment order should be issued – or why not.
What does a 258E non-harassment order actually accomplish?
Chapter 258E provides judges with the authority to issue a variety of types of court orders. Basically, a judge may order the accused defendant to not abuse or harass a victim; to not contact the victim in any way (including by phone, text message, social media post, via relatives and friends, etc.); to stay away from a victim’s home and/or work; and to pay the victim certain sums of money.
If you need a 258E protective order, contact Attorney Rosanne Klovee today.
Attorney Rosanne Klovee handles all aspects of family law and domestic relations – including helping victims obtain emergency, temporary, and final 258E orders. We understand that our clients may find themselves in very difficult situations – sometimes in an instant. Attorney Rosanne Klovee has significant experience helping clients obtain 258E non-harassment orders in many different types of circumstances. She has practiced before virtually every county in Massachusetts and treats every client with respect and dignity.