Areas of Practice


Restraining Orders

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 209A is the statute that allows a person to petition for a restraining order to protect him or herself from abuse by a family or household member. According to this law, a person who claims they have been abused by a family or household member can simply file a complaint and ask that a judge hand out a restraining order against another person. Relationships can include current or former spouses, house- or roommates, relatives by blood or marriage, parents of a child, or two people who are now or who have dated seriously or are or were engaged. Abuse is legally defined as physical abuse, an attempt to harm another, causing the fear of serious physical harm in another person, or forcing or threatening to have sexual relations with another person. After reviewing the request, a judge can decide whether or not to issue the restraining order. Once issued, the order bars the person named in the order from abusing, contacting, or remaining in the same house as the person who requested the order.

While the order is a civil order, any violations of the order are considered criminal violations and you can be charged. People often misconstrue what they can and cannot do under the order with dire consequences. It is important to defend yourself from the order issuing in the first place. Attorney Tripp has successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in 209A hearings.

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