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Estatutos Estatales Seleccionados: Massachusetts

Estatutos Seleccionados: Massachusetts

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Estatutos Seleccionados: Massachusetts

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Las leyes que se enumeran a continuación están al día con capítulos 227, y con secciones 19 y 21 del capítulo 228 de la segunda sesión anual del 2018 . En este momento no hay una versión oficial de las leyes de Massachusetts en español, pero puede encontrar estas y otras leyes en inglés en el sitio de web de la Legislatura de Massachusetts.

Part I. Administration of the Government

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Title XXI. Labor and Industries

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Chapter 149. Labor and Industries

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 52E. Leave from work when employee or family member of employee has been victim of abusive behavior

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) For purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Abuse”, (i) attempting to cause or causing physical harm; (ii) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; (iii) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress or engaging or threatening to engage in sexual activity with a dependent child; (iv) engaging in mental abuse, which includes threats, intimidation or acts designed to induce terror; (v) depriving another of medical care, housing, food or other necessities of life; or (vi) restraining the liberty of another.

“Abusive behavior”, (i) any behavior constituting domestic violence, (ii) stalking in violation of section 43 of chapter 265, (iii) sexual assault, which shall include a violation of sections 13B, 13B ½, 13B ¾, 13F, 13H, 22, 22A, 22B, 22C, 23, 23A, 23B, 24, 24B, 26D, 50 or 51 of chapter 265 or sections 3 or 35A of chapter 272 and (iv) kidnapping in violation of the third paragraph of section 26 of chapter 265.

“Domestic violence”, abuse against an employee or the employee’s family member by: (i) a current or former spouse of the employee or the employee’s family member; (ii) a person with whom the employee or the employee’s family member shares a child in common; (iii) a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the employee or the employee’s family member; (iv) a person who is related by blood or marriage to the employee; or (v) a person with whom the employee or employee’s family member has or had a dating or engagement relationship.

“Employees”, individuals who perform services for and under the control and direction of an employer for wages or other remuneration.

“Family member”, (i) persons who are married to one another; (ii) persons in a substantive dating or engagement relationship and who reside together; (iii) persons having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or resided together; (iv) a parent, step-parent, child, step-child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild; or (v) persons in a guardianship relationship.

(b) An employer shall permit an employee to take up to 15 days of leave from work in any 12 month period if:

(i) the employee, or a family member of the employee, is a victim of abusive behavior;

(ii) the employee is using the leave from work to: seek or obtain medical attention, counseling, victim services or legal assistance; secure housing; obtain a protective order from a court; appear in court or before a grand jury; meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official; or attend child custody proceedings or address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee; and

(iii) the employee is not the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against such employee’s family member.

The employer shall have sole discretion to determine whether any leave taken under this section shall be paid or unpaid.

(c) This section shall apply to employers who employ 50 or more employees.

(d) Except in cases of imminent danger to the health or safety of an employee, an employee seeking leave from work under this section shall provide appropriate advance notice of the leave to the employer as required by the employer’s leave policy.

If there is a threat of imminent danger to the health or safety of an employee or the employee’s family member, the employee shall not be required to provide advanced notice of leave; provided, however, that the employee shall notify the employer within 3 workdays that the leave was taken or is being taken under this section. Such notification may be communicated to the employer by the employee, a family member of the employee or the employee’s counselor, social worker, health care worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, legal advocate or other professional who has assisted the employee in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior on the employee or the employee’s family member.

If an unscheduled absence occurs, an employer shall not take any negative action against the employee if the employee, within 30 days from the unauthorized absence or within 30 days from the last unauthorized absence in the instance of consecutive days of unauthorized absences, provides any of the documentation described in paragraphs (1) to (7), inclusive, of subsection (e).

(e) An employer may require an employee to provide documentation evidencing that the employee or employee’s family member has been a victim of abusive behavior and that the leave taken is consistent with the conditions of clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, of subsection (b); provided, however, that an employer shall not require an employee to show evidence of an arrest, conviction or other law enforcement documentation for such abusive behavior. An employee shall provide such documentation to the employer within a reasonable period after the employer requests documentation relative to the employee’s absence. An employee shall satisfy this documentation requirement by providing any 1 of the following documents to the employer.

(1) A protective order, order of equitable relief or other documentation issued by a court of competent jurisdiction as a result of abusive behavior against the employee or employee’s family member.

(2) A document under the letterhead of the court, provider or public agency which the employee attended for the purposes of acquiring assistance as it relates to the abusive behavior against the employee or the employee’s family member.

(3) A police report or statement of a victim or witness provided to police, including a police incident report, documenting the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or the employee’s family member.

(4) Documentation that the perpetrator of the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee has: admitted to sufficient facts to support a finding of guilt of abusive behavior; or has been convicted of, or has been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent by reason of, any offense constituting abusive behavior and which is related to the abusive behavior that necessitated the leave under this section.

(5) Medical documentation of treatment as a result of the abusive behavior complained of by the employee or employee’s family member.

(6) A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, provided by a counselor, social worker, health care worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, legal advocate or other professional who has assisted the employee or the employee’s family member in addressing the effects of the abusive behavior.

(7) A sworn statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, from the employee attesting that the employee has been the victim of abusive behavior or is the family member of a victim of abusive behavior. Any documentation provided to an employer under this section may be maintained by the employer in the employee’s employment record but only for as long as required for the employer to make a determination as to whether the employee is eligible for leave under this section.

(f) All information related to the employee’s leave under this section shall be kept confidential by the employer and shall not be disclosed, except to the extent that disclosure is:

(i) requested or consented to, in writing, by the employee;

(ii) ordered to be released by a court of competent jurisdiction;

(iii) otherwise required by applicable federal or state law;

(iv) required in the course of an investigation authorized by law enforcement, including, but not limited to, an investigation by the attorney general; or

(v) necessary to protect the safety of the employee or others employed at the workplace.

(g) An employee seeking leave under this section shall exhaust all annual or vacation leave, personal leave and sick leave available to the employee, prior to requesting or taking leave under this section, unless the employer waives this requirement.

(h) No employer shall coerce, interfere with, restrain or deny the exercise of, or any attempt to exercise, any rights provided under this section or to make leave requested or taken hereunder contingent upon whether or not the victim maintains contact with the alleged abuser.

(i) No employer shall discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee for exercising the employee’s rights under this section. The taking of leave under this section shall not result in the loss of any employment benefit accrued prior to the date on which the leave taken under this section commenced. Upon the employee’s return from such leave, the employee shall be entitled to restoration to the employee’s original job or to an equivalent position.

(j) The attorney general shall enforce this section and may seek injunctive relief or other equitable relief to enforce this section.

(k) Employers with 50 or more employees shall notify each employee of the rights and responsibilities provided by this section including those related to notification requirements and confidentiality.

(l) This section shall not be construed to exempt an employer from complying with chapter 258B, section 14B of chapter 268 or any other general or special law or to limit the rights of any employee under said chapter 258B, said section 14B of chapter 268 or any other general or special law.

(m) Any benefit received from this section shall not be considered relevant in any criminal or civil proceeding as it relates to the alleged abuse unless, after a hearing, a justice of the district, superior or probate court determines that such benefit is relevant to the allegations.

Title XVII. Public Welfare

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Chapter 119. Protection and Care of Children, and Proceedings Against Them

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 39D. Visitation rights to certain grandparents of unmarried minor children; place to file petition

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

If the parents of an unmarried minor child are divorced, married but living apart, under a temporary order or judgment of separate support, or if either or both parents are deceased, or if said unmarried minor child was born out of wedlock whose paternity has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction or whose father has signed an acknowledgement of paternity, and the parents do not reside together, the grandparents of such minor child may be granted reasonable visitation rights to the minor child during his minority by the probate and family court department of the trial court upon a written finding that such visitation rights would be in the best interest of the said minor child; provided, however, that such adjudication of paternity or acknowledgment of paternity shall not be required in order to proceed under this section where maternal grandparents are seeking such visitation rights. No such visitation rights shall be granted if said minor child has been adopted by a person other than a stepparent of such child and any visitation rights granted pursuant to this section prior to such adoption of the said minor child shall be terminated upon such adoption without any further action of the court.

A petition for grandparents visitation authorized under this section shall, where applicable, be filed in the county within the commonwealth in which the divorce or separate support complaint or the complaint to establish paternity was filed. If the divorce, separate support or paternity judgment was entered without the commonwealth but the child presently resides within the commonwealth, said petition may be filed in the county where the child resides.

Title XX. Public Safety and Good Order

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Chapter 140. Licenses

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 121. Firearms sales; definitions; antique firearms; application of law; exceptions

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

As used in sections 122 to 131Y, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:–

“Ammunition”, cartridges or cartridge cases, primers (igniter), bullets or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm, rifle or shotgun. The term “ammunition” shall also mean tear gas cartridges.

“Assault weapon”, shall have the same meaning as a semiautomatic assault weapon as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(30) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994, and shall include, but not be limited to, any of the weapons, or copies or duplicates of the weapons, of any caliber, known as: (i) Avtomat Kalashnikov (AK) (all models); (ii) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil; (iii) Beretta Ar70 (SC-70); (iv) Colt AR-15; (v) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR and FNC; (vi) SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9 and M-12; (vi) Steyr AUG; (vii) INTRATEC TEC-9, TEC-DC9 and TEC-22; and (viii) revolving cylinder shotguns, such as, or similar to, the Street Sweeper and Striker 12; provided, however, that the term assault weapon shall not include: (i) any of the weapons, or replicas or duplicates of such weapons, specified in appendix A to 18 U.S.C. section 922 as appearing in such appendix on September 13, 1994, as such weapons were manufactured on October 1, 1993; (ii) any weapon that is operated by manual bolt, pump, lever or slide action; (iii) any weapon that has been rendered permanently inoperable or otherwise rendered permanently unable to be designated a semiautomatic assault weapon; (iv) any weapon that was manufactured prior to the year 1899; (v) any weapon that is an antique or relic, theatrical prop or other weapon that is not capable of firing a projectile and which is not intended for use as a functional weapon and cannot be readily modified through a combination of available parts into an operable assault weapon; (vi) any semiautomatic rifle that cannot accept a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds of ammunition; or (vii) any semiautomatic shotgun that cannot hold more than five rounds of ammunition in a fixed or detachable magazine.

“Bump stock”, any device for a weapon that increases the rate of fire achievable with such weapon by using energy from the recoil of the weapon to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger.

“Conviction”, a finding or verdict of guilt or a plea of guilty, whether or not final sentence is imposed.

“Court”, as used in sections 131R to 131Y, inclusive, the division of the district court department or the Boston municipal court department of the trial court having jurisdiction in the city or town in which the respondent resides.

“Deceptive weapon device”, any device that is intended to convey the presence of a rifle, shotgun or firearm that is used in the commission of a violent crime, as defined in this section, and which presents an objective threat of immediate death or serious bodily harm to a person of reasonable and average sensibility.

“Extreme risk protection order”, an order by the court ordering the immediate suspension and surrender of any license to carry firearms or firearm identification card which the respondent may hold and ordering the respondent to surrender all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition which the respondent then controls, owns or possesses; provided, however, that an extreme risk protection order shall be in effect for up to 1 year from the date of issuance and may be renewed upon petition.

“Family or household member”, a person who: (i) is or was married to the respondent; (ii) is or was residing with the respondent in the same household; (iii) is or was related by blood or marriage to the respondent; (iv) has or is having a child in common with the respondent, regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; (v) is or has been in a substantive dating relationship with the respondent; or (vi) is or has been engaged to the respondent.

“Firearm”, a stun gun or a pistol, revolver or other weapon of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged and of which the length of the barrel or barrels is less than 16 inches or 18 inches in the case of a shotgun as originally manufactured; provided, however, that the term firearm shall not include any weapon that is: (i) constructed in a shape that does not resemble a handgun, short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun including, but not limited to, covert weapons that resemble key-chains, pens, cigarette-lighters or cigarette-packages; or (ii) not detectable as a weapon or potential weapon by x-ray machines commonly used at airports or walk- through metal detectors.

“Gunsmith”, any person who engages in the business of repairing, altering, cleaning, polishing, engraving, blueing or performing any mechanical operation on any firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun.

“Imitation firearm”, any weapon which is designed, manufactured or altered in such a way as to render it incapable of discharging a shot or bullet.

“Large capacity feeding device”, (i) a fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip or similar device capable of accepting, or that can be readily converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition or more than five shotgun shells; or (ii) a large capacity ammunition feeding device as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(31) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994. The term “large capacity feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber ammunition.

“Large capacity weapon”, any firearm, rifle or shotgun: (i) that is semiautomatic with a fixed large capacity feeding device; (ii) that is semiautomatic and capable of accepting, or readily modifiable to accept, any detachable large capacity feeding device; (iii) that employs a rotating cylinder capable of accepting more than ten rounds of ammunition in a rifle or firearm and more than five shotgun shells in the case of a shotgun or firearm; or (iv) that is an assault weapon. The term “large capacity weapon” shall be a secondary designation and shall apply to a weapon in addition to its primary designation as a firearm, rifle or shotgun and shall not include: (i) any weapon that was manufactured in or prior to the year 1899; (ii) any weapon that operates by manual bolt, pump, lever or slide action; (iii) any weapon that is a single-shot weapon; (iv) any weapon that has been modified so as to render it permanently inoperable or otherwise rendered permanently unable to be designated a large capacity weapon; or (v) any weapon that is an antique or relic, theatrical prop or other weapon that is not capable of firing a projectile and which is not intended for use as a functional weapon and cannot be readily modified through a combination of available parts into an operable large capacity weapon.

“Length of barrel” or “barrel length”, that portion of a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun through which a shot or bullet is driven, guided or stabilized and shall include the chamber.

“Licensing authority”, the chief of police or the board or officer having control of the police in a city or town, or persons authorized by them.

“Machine gun”, a weapon of any description, by whatever name known, loaded or unloaded, from which a number of shots or bullets may be rapidly or automatically discharged by one continuous activation of the trigger, including a submachine gun; provided, however, that “machine gun” shall include bump stocks and trigger cranks.

“Petition”, a request filed with the court by a petitioner for the issuance or renewal of an extreme risk protection order.

“Petitioner”, the family or household member, or the licensing authority of the municipality where the respondent resides, filing a petition.

“Purchase” and “sale” shall include exchange; the word “purchaser” shall include exchanger; and the verbs “sell” and “purchase”, in their different forms and tenses, shall include the verb exchange in its appropriate form and tense.

“Respondent”, the person identified as the respondent in a petition against whom an extreme risk protection order is sought.

“Rifle”, a weapon having a rifled bore with a barrel length equal to or greater than 16 inches and capable of discharging a shot or bullet for each pull of the trigger.

“Sawed-off shotgun”, any weapon made from a shotgun, whether by alteration, modification or otherwise, if such weapon as modified has one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

“Semiautomatic”, capable of utilizing a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and requiring a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.

“Shotgun”, a weapon having a smooth bore with a barrel length equal to or greater than 18 inches with an overall length equal to or greater than 26 inches, and capable of discharging a shot or bullet for each pull of the trigger.

“Stun gun”, a portable device or weapon, regardless of whether it passes an electrical shock by means of a dart or projectile via a wire lead, from which an electrical current, impulse, wave or beam that is designed to incapacitate temporarily, injure or kill may be directed.

“Substantive dating relationship”, a relationship as determined by the court after consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of time of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; (iii) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and (iv) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship.

“Trigger crank”, any device to be attached to a weapon that repeatedly activates the trigger of the weapon through the use of a lever or other part that is turned in a circular motion; provided, however, that “trigger crank” shall not include any weapon initially designed and manufactured to fire through the use of a crank or lever.

“Violent crime”, shall mean any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, or any act of juvenile delinquency involving the use or possession of a deadly weapon that would be punishable by imprisonment for such term if committed by an adult, that: (i) has as an element the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force or a deadly weapon against the person of another; (ii) is burglary, extortion, arson or kidnapping; (iii) involves the use of explosives; or (iv) otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious risk of physical injury to another.

“Weapon”, any rifle, shotgun or firearm.

Where the local licensing authority has the power to issue licenses or cards under this chapter, but no such licensing authority exists, any resident or applicant may apply for such license or firearm identification card directly to the colonel of state police and said colonel shall for this purpose be the licensing authority.

The provisions of sections 122 to 129D, inclusive, and sections 131, 131A, 131B and 131E shall not apply to:

(A) any firearm, rifle or shotgun manufactured in or prior to the year 1899;

(B) any replica of any firearm, rifle or shotgun described in clause (A) if such replica: (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition; or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; and

(C) manufacturers or wholesalers of firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns.

§ 129D. Surrender of firearms and ammunition to licensing authority upon denial of application for, or revocation of, identification card or license; right to transfer; sale by colonel of state police; rules and regulations

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon revocation, suspension or denial of an application for a firearm identification card pursuant to section 129B or for any firearms license if the firearm identification card is not then in force or for any machine gun license, the person whose application was so revoked, suspended or denied shall without delay deliver or surrender to the licensing authority where the person resides all firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition which the person then possesses unless an appeal of the revocation or suspension is pending. The person or the person’s legal representative shall have the right, at any time up to 1 year after the delivery or surrender, to transfer the firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition to any licensed dealer or any other person legally permitted to purchase or take possession of the firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition and, upon notification in writing by the purchaser or transferee and the former owner, the licensing authority shall within 10 days deliver the firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition to the transferee or purchaser and the licensing authority shall observe due care in the receipt and holding of any such firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun and ammunition; provided, however, that the purchaser or transferee shall affirm in writing that the purchaser or transferee shall not in violation of section 129C transfer the firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns or ammunition to the former owner. The licensing authority shall at the time of delivery or surrender inform the person in writing of the authority’s ability, within 1 year after delivery or surrender, to transfer the firearms, rifles, shotguns and machine guns and ammunition to any licensed dealer or other person legally permitted to purchase or take possession.

The licensing authority, after taking possession of any firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or ammunition by any means, may transfer possession of such weapon for storage purposes to a federally and state licensed dealer of such weapons and ammunition who operates a bonded warehouse on the licensed premises that is equipped with a safe for the secure storage of firearms and a weapon box or similar container for the secure storage of other weapons and ammunition; provided, however, that the licensing authority shall not transfer to such dealer possession of any weapon that is or may be evidence in any current or pending criminal case concerning a violation of any general or special law, rule or regulation governing the use, possession or ownership of such weapon. Any such dealer that takes possession of a weapon under the provisions of this section shall: (i) inspect such weapon; (ii) issue to the owner a receipt indicating the make, model, caliber, serial number and condition of each weapon so received; and (iii) store and maintain all weapons so received in accordance with such regulations, rules or guidelines as the secretary of the executive office of public safety may establish under this section. The owner shall be liable to such dealer for reasonable storage charges and may dispose of any such weapon as provided under this section by transfer to a person lawfully permitted to purchase or take possession of such weapon.

Firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns and ammunition not disposed of after delivery or surrender according to the provisions of this section shall be sold at public auction by the colonel of the state police to the highest bidding person legally permitted to purchase and possess said firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns and ammunition and the proceeds shall be remitted to the state treasurer. Any such weapon that is stored and maintained by a licensed dealer as provided under this section may be so auctioned at the direction of: (i) the licensing authority at the expiration of one year following initial surrender or delivery to such licensing authority; or (ii) the dealer then in possession, if the storage charges for such weapon have been in arrears for 90 days; provided, however, that in either case, title shall pass to the licensed dealer for the purpose of transferring ownership to the auctioneer; and provided further, that in either case, after deduction and payment for storage charges and all necessary costs associated with such surrender and transfer, all surplus proceeds, if any, shall be immediately returned to the owner of such weapon; provided, however, that no firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun or ammunition classified as having been used to carry out a criminal act pursuant to section 131Q shall be sold at public auction pursuant to this section.

If the licensing authority cannot reasonably ascertain a lawful owner within 180 days of acquisition by the authority, the authority may, in its discretion, trade or dispose of surplus, donated, abandoned or junk firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns or ammunition to properly licensed distributors or firearms dealers. The proceeds of the sale or transfer shall be remitted or credited to the municipality in which the authority presides to purchase weapons, equipment or supplies or for violence reduction or suicide prevention; provided, however, that no firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun or ammunition classified as having been used to carry out a criminal act pursuant to section 131Q shall be considered surplus, donated, abandoned or junk for the purposes of this section.

The secretary of the executive office of public safety may make and promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

§ 131. Licenses to carry firearms; conditions and restrictions

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

All licenses to carry firearms shall be designated Class A or Class B, and the issuance and possession of any such license shall be subject to the following conditions and restrictions:

<[ Introductory paragraph as amended by 2014, 284, Sec. 46 effective January 1, 2021. See 2014, 284, Sec. 112. For text effective until January 1, 2021, see above.]>

The issuance and possession of a license to carry firearms shall be subject to the following conditions and restrictions:

<[ Paragraphs (a) to (c) effective until January 1, 2021. For text effective January 1, 2021, see below.]>

(a) A Class A license shall entitle a holder thereof to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry: (i) firearms, including large capacity firearms, and feeding devices and ammunition therefor, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of firearms as the licensing authority deems proper; and (ii) rifles and shotguns, including large capacity weapons, and feeding devices and ammunition therefor, for all lawful purposes; provided, however, that the licensing authority may impose such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of large capacity rifles and shotguns as it deems proper. A violation of a restriction imposed by the licensing authority under the provisions of this paragraph shall be cause for suspension or revocation and shall, unless otherwise provided, be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000; provided, however, that the provisions of section 10 of chapter 269 shall not apply to such violation.

The colonel of state police may, after an investigation, grant a Class A license to a club or facility with an on-site shooting range or gallery, which club is incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth for the possession, storage and use of large capacity weapons, ammunition therefor and large capacity feeding devices for use with such weapons on the premises of such club; provided, however, that not less than one shareholder of such club shall be qualified and suitable to be issued such license; and provided further, that such large capacity weapons and ammunition feeding devices may be used under such Class A club license only by such members that possess a valid firearm identification card issued under section 129B or a valid Class A or Class B license to carry firearms, or by such other persons that the club permits while under the direct supervision of a certified firearms safety instructor or club member who, in the case of a large capacity firearm, possesses a valid Class A license to carry firearms or, in the case of a large capacity rifle or shotgun, possesses a valid Class A or Class B license to carry firearms. Such club shall not permit shooting at targets that depict human figures, human effigies, human silhouettes or any human images thereof, except by public safety personnel performing in line with their official duties.

No large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device shall be removed from the premises except for the purposes of: (i) transferring such firearm or feeding device to a licensed dealer; (ii) transporting such firearm or feeding device to a licensed gunsmith for repair; (iii) target, trap or skeet shooting on the premises of another club incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth and for transporting thereto; (iv) attending an exhibition or educational project or event that is sponsored by, conducted under the supervision of or approved by a public law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that promotes proficiency in or education about semiautomatic weapons and for transporting thereto and therefrom; (v) hunting in accordance with the provisions of chapter 131; or (vi) surrendering such firearm or feeding device under the provisions of section 129D. Any large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device kept on the premises of a lawfully incorporated shooting club shall, when not in use, be secured in a locked container, and shall be unloaded during any lawful transport. The clerk or other corporate officer of such club shall annually file a report with the colonel of state police and the commissioner of the department of criminal justice information services listing all large capacity weapons and large capacity feeding devices owned or possessed under such license. The colonel of state police or his designee, shall have the right to inspect all firearms owned or possessed by such club upon request during regular business hours and said colonel may revoke or suspend a club license for a violation of any provision of this chapter or chapter 269 relative to the ownership, use or possession of large capacity weapons or large capacity feeding devices.

(b) A Class B license shall entitle a holder thereof to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry: (i) non-large capacity firearms and feeding devices and ammunition therefor, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of such firearm as the licensing authority deems proper; provided, however, that a Class B license shall not entitle the holder thereof to carry or possess a loaded firearm in a concealed manner in any public way or place; and provided further, that a Class B license shall not entitle the holder thereof to possess a large capacity firearm, except under a Class A club license issued under this section or under the direct supervision of a holder of a valid Class A license at an incorporated shooting club or licensed shooting range; and (ii) rifles and shotguns, including large capacity rifles and shotguns, and feeding devices and ammunition therefor, for all lawful purposes; provided, however, that the licensing authority may impose such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of large capacity rifles and shotguns as he deems proper. A violation of a restriction provided under this paragraph, or a restriction imposed by the licensing authority under the provisions of this paragraph, shall be cause for suspension or revocation and shall, unless otherwise provided, be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000; provided, however, that the provisions of section 10 of chapter 269 shall not apply to such violation.

A Class B license shall not be a valid license for the purpose of complying with any provision under this chaptergoverning the purchase, sale, lease, rental or transfer of any weapon or ammunition feeding device if such weapon is a large capacity firearm or if such ammunition feeding device is a large capacity feeding device for use with a large capacity firearm, both as defined in section 121.

(c) Either a Class A or Class B license shall be valid for the purpose of owning, possessing, purchasing and transferring non-large capacity rifles and shotguns, and for purchasing and possessing chemical mace, pepper spray or other similarly propelled liquid, gas or powder designed to temporarily incapacitate, consistent with the entitlements conferred by a firearm identification card issued under section 129B.

<[ Paragraphs (a) to (c) as amended by 2014, 284, Sec. 47 effective January 1, 2021. See 2014, 284, Sec. 112. For text effective until January 1, 2021, see above.]>

(a) A license shall entitle a holder thereof of a license to purchase, rent, lease, borrow, possess and carry: (i) firearms, including large capacity firearms, and feeding devices and ammunition therefor, for all lawful purposes, subject to such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of firearms as the licensing authority considers proper; and (ii) rifles and shotguns, including large capacity weapons, and feeding devices and ammunition therefor, for all lawful purposes; provided, however, that the licensing authority may impose such restrictions relative to the possession, use or carrying of large capacity rifles and shotguns as it considers proper. A violation of a restriction imposed by the licensing authority under this paragraph shall be cause for suspension or revocation and shall, unless otherwise provided, be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000; provided, however, that section 10 of chapter 269 shall not apply to a violation of this paragraph.

(b) The colonel of state police may, after an investigation, grant a license to a club or facility with an on-site shooting range or gallery, which club is incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth for the possession, storage and use of large capacity weapons, ammunition therefor and large capacity feeding devices for use with such weapons on the premises of the club; provided, however, that not less than 1 shareholder of the club shall be qualified and suitable to be issued a license; and provided further, that such large capacity weapons and ammunition feeding devices may be used under the club license only by a member that possesses a valid firearm identification card issued pursuant to section 129B or a valid license to carry firearms, or by such other person that the club permits while under the direct supervision of a certified firearms safety instructor or club member who, in the case of a large capacity firearm, possesses a valid license to carry firearms or, in the case of a large capacity rifle or shotgun, possesses a valid license to carry firearms. The club shall not permit shooting at targets that depict human figures, human effigies, human silhouettes or any human images thereof, except by public safety personnel performing in line with their official duties.

No large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device shall be removed from the premises except to: (i) transfer the firearm or feeding device to a licensed dealer; (ii) transport the firearm or feeding device to a licensed gunsmith for repair; (iii) target, trap or skeet shoot on the premises of another club incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth and to transport thereto; (iv) attend an exhibition or educational project or event that is sponsored by, conducted under the supervision of or approved by a public law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that promotes proficiency in or education about semiautomatic weapons and to transport thereto and therefrom; (v) hunt pursuant to chapter 131; or (vi) surrender the firearm or feeding device pursuant to section 129D. Any large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device kept on the premises of a lawfully incorporated shooting club shall, when not in use, be secured in a locked container and shall be unloaded during any lawful transport. The clerk or other corporate officer of the club shall annually file a report with the colonel of state police and the commissioner of criminal justice information services listing all large capacity weapons and large capacity feeding devices owned or possessed under the license. The colonel or a designee may inspect all firearms owned or possessed by the club upon request during regular business hours and the colonel may revoke or suspend a club license for a violation of this chapter or chapter 269 relative to the ownership, use or possession of large capacity weapons or large capacity feeding devices.

(c) A license to carry firearms shall be valid to own, possess, purchase and transfer non-large capacity rifles and shotguns, consistent with the entitlements conferred by a firearm identification card issued under section 129B.

<[ First paragraph of paragraph (d) effective until January 1, 2021. For text effective January 1, 2021, see below.]>

(d) Any person residing or having a place of business within the jurisdiction of the licensing authority or any law enforcement officer employed by the licensing authority or any person residing in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction located within a city or town may submit to the licensing authority or the colonel of state police, an application for a Class A license to carry firearms, or renewal of the same, which the licensing authority or the colonel may issue if it appears that the applicant is not a prohibited person, as set forth in this section, to be issued a license and has good reason to fear injury to the applicant or the applicant’s property or for any other reason, including the carrying of firearms for use in sport or target practice only, subject to the restrictions expressed or authorized under this section.

<[ First paragraph of paragraph (d) as amended by 2014, 284, Sec. 49 effective January 1, 2021. See 2014, 284, Sec. 112. For text effective until January 1, 2021, see above.]>

(d) A person residing or having a place of business within the jurisdiction of the licensing authority or any law enforcement officer employed by the licensing authority or any person residing in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction located within a city or town may submit to the licensing authority or the colonel of state police an application for a license to carry firearms, or renewal of the same, which the licensing authority or the colonel may issue if it appears that the applicant is not a prohibited person as set forth in this section to be issued a license and that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to the applicant or the applicant’s property or for any other reason, including the carrying of firearms for use in sport or target practice only, subject to the restrictions expressed or authorized under this section.

A prohibited person shall be a person who:

(i) has, in a court of the commonwealth, been convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child, both as defined in section 52 of chapter 119, for the commission of (A) a felony; (B) a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for more than 2 years; (C) a violent crime as defined in section 121; (D) a violation of any law regulating the use, possession, ownership, transfer, purchase, sale, lease, rental, receipt or transportation of weapons or ammunition for which a term of imprisonment may be imposed; (E) a violation of any law regulating the use, possession or sale of a controlled substance as defined in section 1 of chapter 94C including, but not limited to, a violation of said chapter 94C; or (F) a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(33);

(ii) has, in any other state or federal jurisdiction, been convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender or delinquent child for the commission of (A) a felony; (B) a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for more than 2 years; (C) a violent crime as defined in section 121; (D) a violation of any law regulating the use, possession, ownership, transfer, purchase, sale, lease, rental, receipt or transportation of weapons or ammunition for which a term of imprisonment may be imposed; (E) a violation of any law regulating the use, possession or sale of a controlled substance as defined in said section 1 of said chapter 94C including, but not limited to, a violation of said chapter 94C; or (F) a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(33);

(iii) is or has been (A) committed to a hospital or institution for mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse, except a commitment pursuant to sections 35 or 36C of chapter 123, unless after 5 years from the date of the confinement, the applicant submits with the application an affidavit of a licensed physician or clinical psychologist attesting that such physician or psychologist is familiar with the applicant’s mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse and that in the physician’s or psychologist’s opinion, the applicant is not disabled by a mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse in a manner that shall prevent the applicant from possessing a firearm, rifle or shotgun; (B) committed by a court order to a hospital or institution for mental illness, unless the applicant was granted a petition for relief of the court order pursuant to said section 36C of said chapter 123 and submits a copy of the court order with the application; (C) subject to an order of the probate court appointing a guardian or conservator for a incapacitated person on the grounds that the applicant lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage the applicant’s affairs, unless the applicant was granted a petition for relief of the order of the probate court pursuant to section 56C of chapter 215 and submits a copy of the order of the probate court with the application; or (D) found to be a person with an alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder or both and committed pursuant to said section 35 of said chapter 123, unless the applicant was granted a petition for relief of the court order pursuant to said section 35 and submits a copy of the court order with the application;

(iv) is younger than 21 years of age at the time of the application;

(v) is an alien who does not maintain lawful permanent residency;

<[ Clause (vi) of second paragraph of paragraph (d) effective until August 17, 2018. For text effective August 17, 2018, see below.]>

(vi) is currently subject to: (A) an order for suspension or surrender issued pursuant to sections 3B or 3C of chapter209A or a similar order issued by another jurisdiction; or (B) a permanent or temporary protection order issued pursuant to said chapter 209A or a similar order issued by another jurisdiction, including any order described in 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8);

<[ Clause (vi) of second paragraph of paragraph (d) as amended by 2018, 123, Secs. 11 and 12 effective August 17, 2018. See 2018, 123, Sec. 18. For text effective until August 17, 2018, see above.]>

(vi) is currently subject to: (A) an order for suspension or surrender issued pursuant to sections 3B or 3C of chapter209A or a similar order issued by another jurisdiction; (B) a permanent or temporary protection order issued pursuant to said chapter 209A or a similar order issued by another jurisdiction, including any order described in 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8); or (C) an extreme risk protection order issued pursuant to sections 131R to 131X, inclusive, or a similar order issued by another jurisdiction;

(vii) is currently the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant in any state or federal jurisdiction;

(viii) has been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions;

(ix) is a fugitive from justice; or

(x) having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced that citizenship.

The licensing authority may deny the application or renewal of a license to carry, or suspend or revoke a license issued under this section if, in a reasonable exercise of discretion, the licensing authority determines that the applicant or licensee is unsuitable to be issued or to continue to hold a license to carry. A determination of unsuitability shall be based on: (i) reliable and credible information that the applicant or licensee has exhibited or engaged in behavior that suggests that, if issued a license, the applicant or licensee may create a risk to public safety; or (ii) existing factors that suggest that, if issued a license, the applicant or licensee may create a risk to public safety. Upon denial of an application or renewal of a license based on a determination of unsuitability, the licensing authority shall notify the applicant in writing setting forth the specific reasons for the determination in accordance with paragraph (e). Upon revoking or suspending a license based on a determination of unsuitability, the licensing authority shall notify the holder of a license in writing setting forth the specific reasons for the determination in accordance with paragraph (f). The determination of unsuitability shall be subject to judicial review under said paragraph (f).

(e) Within seven days of the receipt of a completed application for a license to carry or possess firearms, or renewal of same, the licensing authority shall forward one copy of the application and one copy of the applicant’s fingerprints to the colonel of state police, who shall within 30 days advise the licensing authority, in writing, of any disqualifying criminal record of the applicant arising from within or without the commonwealth and whether there is reason to believe that the applicant is disqualified for any of the foregoing reasons from possessing a license to carry or possess firearms. In searching for any disqualifying history of the applicant, the colonel shall utilize, or cause to be utilized, files maintained by the department of probation and statewide and nationwide criminal justice, warrant and protection order information systems and files including, but not limited to, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The colonel shall inquire of the commissioner of the department of mental health relative to whether the applicant is disqualified from being so licensed. If the information available to the colonel does not indicate that the possession of a firearm or large capacity firearm by the applicant would be in violation of state or federal law, he shall certify such fact, in writing, to the licensing authority within said 30 day period.

The licensing authority may also make inquiries concerning the applicant to: (i) the commissioner of the department of criminal justice information services relative to any disqualifying condition and records of purchases, sales, rentals, leases and transfers of weapons or ammunition concerning the applicant; (ii) the commissioner of probation relative to any record contained within the department of probation or the statewide domestic violence record keeping system concerning the applicant; and (iii) the commissioner of the department of mental health relative to whether the applicant is a suitable person to possess firearms or is not a suitable person to possess firearms. The director or commissioner to whom the licensing authority makes such inquiry shall provide prompt and full cooperation for that purpose in any investigation of the applicant.

The licensing authority shall, within 40 days from the date of application, either approve the application and issue the license or deny the application and notify the applicant of the reason for such denial in writing; provided, however, that no such license shall be issued unless the colonel has certified, in writing, that the information available to him does not indicate that the possession of a firearm or large capacity firearm by the applicant would be in violation of state or federal law.

The licensing authority shall provide to the applicant a receipt indicating that it received the application. The receipt shall be provided to the applicant within 7 days by mail if the application was received by mail or immediately if the application was made in person; provided, however, that the receipt shall include the applicant’s name and address; current license number and license expiration date, if any; the date the licensing authority received the application; the name, address and telephone number of the licensing authority; the agent of the licensing authority that received the application; the type of application; and whether the application is for a new license or a renewal of an existing license. The licensing authority shall keep a copy of the receipt for not less than 1 year and shall furnish a copy to the applicant if requested by the applicant.

(f) A license issued under this section shall be revoked or suspended by the licensing authority, or his designee, upon the occurrence of any event that would have disqualified the holder from being issued such license or from having such license renewed. A license may be revoked or suspended by the licensing authority if it appears that the holder is no longer a suitable person to possess such license. Any revocation or suspension of a license shall be in writing and shall state the reasons therefor. Upon revocation or suspension, the licensing authority shall take possession of such license and the person whose license is so revoked or suspended shall take all actions required under the provisions of section 129D. No appeal or post-judgment motion shall operate to stay such revocation or suspension. Notices of revocation and suspension shall be forwarded to the commissioner of the department of criminal justice information services and the commissioner of probation and shall be included in the criminal justice information system. A revoked or suspended license may be reinstated only upon the termination of all disqualifying conditions, if any.

Any applicant or holder aggrieved by a denial, revocation, suspension or restriction placed on a license, unless a hearing has previously been held pursuant to chapter 209A, may, within either 90 days after receiving notice of the denial, revocation or suspension or within 90 days after the expiration of the time limit during which the licensing authority shall respond to the applicant or, in the case of a restriction, any time after a restriction is placed on the license pursuant to this section, file a petition to obtain judicial review in the district court having jurisdiction in the city or town in which the applicant filed the application or in which the license was issued. If after a hearing a justice of the court finds that there was no reasonable ground for denying, suspending, revoking or restricting the license and that the petitioner is not prohibited by law from possessing a license, the justice may order a license to be issued or reinstated to the petitioner or may order the licensing authority to remove certain restrictions placed on the license.

<[ Paragraph (g) effective until January 1, 2021. For text effective January 1, 2021, see below.]>

(g) A license shall be in a standard form provided by the executive director of the criminal history systems board in a size and shape equivalent to that of a license to operate motor vehicles issued by the registry of motor vehicles pursuant to section 8 of chapter 90 and shall contain a license number which shall clearly indicate whether such number identifies a Class A or Class B license, the name, address, photograph, fingerprint, place and date of birth, height, weight, hair color, eye color and signature of the licensee. Such license shall be marked “License to Carry Firearms” and shall clearly indicate whether the license is Class A or Class B. The application for such license shall be made in a standard form provided by the executive director of the criminal history systems board, which form shall require the applicant to affirmatively state under the pains and penalties of perjury that such applicant is not disqualified on any of the grounds enumerated above from being issued such license.

<[ Paragraph (g) as amended by 2014, 284, Sec. 52 effective January 1, 2021. See 2014, 284, Sec. 112. For text effective until January 1, 2021, see above.]>

(g) A license shall be in a standard form provided by the commissioner of criminal justice information services in a size and shape equivalent to that of a license to operate motor vehicles issued by the registry of motor vehicles pursuant to section 8 of chapter 90 and shall contain a license number which shall clearly indicate the name, address, photograph, fingerprint, place and date of birth, height, weight, hair color, eye color and signature of the licensee. The license shall be clearly marked “License to Carry Firearms”. The license shall provide in a legible font size and style the phone numbers for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Samaritans Statewide Helpline. The application for such license shall be made in a standard form provided by the executive director of the criminal history systems board, which form shall require the applicant to affirmatively state under the pains and penalties of perjury that such applicant is not disqualified on any of the grounds enumerated above from being issued such license.

(h) Any person who knowingly files an application containing false information shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than two years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

<[ First paragraph of paragraph (i) effective until January 1, 2021. For text effective January 1, 2021, see below.]>

(i) A license to carry or possess firearms shall be valid, unless revoked or suspended, for a period of not more than 6 years from the date of issue and shall expire on the anniversary of the licensee’s date of birth occurring not less than 5 years nor more than 6 years from the date of issue; provided, however, that, if the licensee applied for renewal before the license expired, the license shall remain valid after its expiration date for all lawful purposes until the application for renewal is approved or denied. If a licensee is on active duty with the armed forces of the United States on the expiration date of the license, the license shall remain valid until the licensee is released from active duty and for a period not less than 180 days following the release; provided, however, that, if the licensee applied for renewal prior to the end of that period, the license shall remain valid after its expiration date for all lawful purposes until the application for renewal is approved or denied. An application for renewal of a Class B license filed before the license has expired shall not extend the license beyond the stated expiration date; provided, that the Class B license shall expire on the anniversary of the licensee’s date of birth occurring not less than 5 years nor more than 6 years from the date of issue. Any renewal thereof shall expire on the anniversary of the licensee’s date of birth occurring not less than 5 years but not more than 6 years from the effective date of such license. Any license issued to an applicant born on February 29 shall expire on March 1. The fee for the application shall be $100, which shall be payable to the licensing authority and shall not be prorated or refunded in case of revocation or denial. The licensing authority shall retain $25 of the fee; $50 of the fee shall be deposited into the general fund of the commonwealth and not less than $50,000 of the funds deposited into the General Fund shall be allocated to the Firearm Licensing Review Board, established in section 130B, for its operations and that any funds not expended by said board for its operations shall revert back to the General Fund; and $25 of the fee shall be deposited in the Firearms Fingerprint Identity Verification Trust Fund. For active and retired law enforcement officials, or local, state, or federal government entities acting on their behalf, the fee for the application shall be set at $25, which shall be payable to the licensing authority and shall not be prorated or refunded in case of revocation or denial. The licensing authority shall retain $12.50 of the fee, and $12.50 of the fee shall be deposited into the general fund of the commonwealth. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, licensing authorities shall deposit such portion of the license application fee into the Firearms Record Keeping Fund quarterly, not later than January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 of each year. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, licensing authorities shall deposit quarterly such portion of the license application fee as is to be deposited into the General Fund, not later than January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 of each year. For the purposes of section 10 of chapter 269, an expired license to carry firearms shall be deemed to be valid for a period not to exceed 90 days beyond the stated date of expiration, unless such license to carry firearms has been revoked.

<[ First paragraph of paragraph (i) as amended by 2014, 284, Sec. 54 effective January 1, 2021. See 2014, 284, Sec. 112. For text effective until January 1, 2021, see above.]>

(i) A license to carry or possess firearms shall be valid, unless revoked or suspended, for a period of not more than 6 years from the date of issue and shall expire on the anniversary of the licensee’s date of birth occurring not less than 5 years nor more than 6 years from the date of issue; provided, however, that, if the licensee applied for renewal before the license expired, the license shall remain valid after its expiration date for all lawful purposes until the application for renewal is approved or denied. If a licensee is on active duty with the armed forces of the United States on the expiration date of the license, the license shall remain valid until the licensee is released from active duty and for a period not less than 180 days following the release; provided, however, that, if the licensee applied for renewal prior to the end of that period, the license shall remain valid after its expiration date for all lawful purposes until the application for renewal is approved or denied. Any renewal thereof shall expire on the anniversary of the licensee’s date of birth occurring not less than 5 years but not more than 6 years from the effective date of such license. Any license issued to an applicant born on February 29 shall expire on March 1. The fee for the application shall be $100, which shall be payable to the licensing authority and shall not be prorated or refunded in case of revocation or denial. The licensing authority shall retain $25 of the fee; $50 of the fee shall be deposited into the general fund of the commonwealth and not less than $50,000 of the funds deposited into the General Fund shall be allocated to the Firearm Licensing Review Board, established in section 130B, for its operations and that any funds not expended by said board for its operations shall revert back to the General Fund; and $25 of the fee shall be deposited in the Firearms Fingerprint Identity Verification Trust Fund. For active and retired law enforcement officials, or local, state, or federal government entities acting on their behalf, the fee for the application shall be set at $25, which shall be payable to the licensing authority and shall not be prorated or refunded in case of revocation or denial. The licensing authority shall retain $12.50 of the fee, and $12.50 of the fee shall be deposited into the general fund of the commonwealth. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, licensing authorities shall deposit such portion of the license application fee into the Firearms Record Keeping Fund quarterly, not later than January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 of each year. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, licensing authorities shall deposit quarterly such portion of the license application fee as is to be deposited into the General Fund, not later than January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 of each year. For the purposes of section 10 of chapter 269, an expired license to carry firearms shall be deemed to be valid for a period not to exceed 90 days beyond the stated date of expiration, unless such license to carry firearms has been revoked.

Any person over the age of 70 and any law enforcement officer applying for a license to carry firearms through his employing agency shall be exempt from the requirement of paying a renewal fee for a Class A or Class B license to carry.

(j)(1) No license shall be required for the carrying or possession of a firearm known as a detonator and commonly used on vehicles as a signaling and marking device, when carried or possessed for such signaling or marking purposes.

(2) No license to carry shall be required for the possession of an unloaded large capacity rifle or shotgun or an unloaded feeding device therefor by a veteran’s organization chartered by the Congress of the United States, chartered by the commonwealth or recognized as a nonprofit tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service, or by the members of any such organization when on official parade duty or during ceremonial occasions. For purposes of this subparagraph, an “unloaded large capacity rifle or shotgun” and an “unloaded feeding device therefor” shall include any large capacity rifle, shotgun or feeding device therefor loaded with a blank cartridge or blank cartridges, so-called, which contain no projectile within such blank or blanks or within the bore or chamber of such large capacity rifle or shotgun.

(k) Whoever knowingly issues a license in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than two years in a jail or house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(l) The executive director of the criminal history systems board shall send electronically or by first class mail to the holder of each such license to carry firearms, a notice of the expiration of such license not less than 90 days prior to such expiration and shall enclose therein a form for the renewal of such license. The form for renewal shall include an affidavit in which the applicant shall verify that the applicant has not lost any firearms or had any firearms stolen from the applicant since the date of the applicant’s last renewal or issuance. The taking of fingerprints shall not be required in issuing the renewal of a license if the renewal applicant’s fingerprints are on file with the department of the state police. Any licensee shall notify, in writing, the licensing authority who issued said license, the chief of police into whose jurisdiction the licensee moves and the executive director of the criminal history systems board of any change of address. Such notification shall be made by certified mail within 30 days of its occurrence. Failure to so notify shall be cause for revocation or suspension of said license. The commissioner of criminal justice information services shall provide electronic notice of expiration only upon the request of a cardholder. A request for electronic notice of expiration shall be forwarded to the department on a form furnished by the commissioner. Any electronic address maintained by the department for the purpose of providing electronic notice of expiration shall be considered a firearms record and shall not be disclosed except as provided in section 10 of chapter 66.

(m) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10 of chapter 269, any person in possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun whose license issued under this section is invalid for the sole reason that it has expired, not including licenses that remain valid under paragraph (i) because the licensee applied for renewal before the license expired, but who shall not be disqualified from renewal upon application therefor pursuant to this section, shall be subject to a civil fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 and the provisions of section 10 of chapter 269 shall not apply; provided, however, that the exemption from the provisions of said section 10 of said chapter 269 provided herein shall not apply if: (i) such license has been revoked or suspended, unless such revocation or suspension was caused by failure to give notice of a change of address as required under this section; (ii) revocation or suspension of such license is pending, unless such revocation or suspension was caused by failure to give notice of a change of address as required under this section; or (iii) an application for renewal of such license has been denied. Any law enforcement officer who discovers a person to be in possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun after such person’s license has expired, meaning after 90 days beyond the stated expiration date on the license, has been revoked or suspended, solely for failure to give notice of a change of address, shall confiscate such firearm, rifle or shotgun and the expired or suspended license then in possession and such officer, shall forward such license to the licensing authority by whom it was issued as soon as practicable. The officer shall, at the time of confiscation, provide to the person whose firearm, rifle or shotgun has been confiscated, a written inventory and receipt for all firearms, rifles or shotguns confiscated and the officer and his employer shall exercise due care in the handling, holding and storage of these items. Any confiscated weapon shall be returned to the owner upon the renewal or reinstatement of such expired or suspended license within one year of such confiscation or may be otherwise disposed of in accordance with the provisions of section 129D. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply if such person has a valid license to carry firearms issued under section 131F.

(n) Upon issuance of a license to carry or possess firearms under this section, the licensing authority shall forward a copy of such approved application and license to the executive director of the criminal history systems board, who shall inform the licensing authority forthwith of the existence of any disqualifying condition discovered or occurring subsequent to the issuance of a license under this section.

(o) No person shall be issued a license to carry or possess a machine gun in the commonwealth, except that a licensing authority or the colonel of state police may issue a machine gun license to:

(i) a firearm instructor certified by the municipal police training committee for the sole purpose of firearm instruction to police personnel;

(ii) a bona fide collector of firearms upon application or upon application for renewal of such license.

<[ Second sentence of paragraph (o) applicable as provided by 2017, 110, Sec. 53.]>

Clauses (i) and (ii) of this paragraph shall not apply to bump stocks and trigger cranks.

(p) The executive director of the criminal history systems board shall promulgate regulations in accordance with chapter 30A to establish criteria for persons who shall be classified as bona fide collectors of firearms.

(q) Nothing in this section shall authorize the purchase, possession or transfer of any weapon, ammunition or feeding device that is, or in such manner that is, prohibited by state or federal law.

(r) The secretary of the executive office of public safety or his designee may promulgate regulations to carry out the purposes of this section.

§ 131R. Extreme risk protection orders; petitions

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) A petitioner who believes that a person holding a license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card may pose a risk of causing bodily injury to self or others may, on a form furnished by the court and signed under the pains and penalties of perjury, file a petition in court.

(b) A petition filed pursuant to this section shall:

(i) state any relevant facts supporting the petition;

(ii) identify the reasons why the petitioner believes that the respondent poses a risk of causing bodily injury to self or others by having in the respondent’s control, ownership or possession a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, weapon or ammunition;

(iii) identify the number, types and locations of any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition the petitioner believes to be in the respondent’s current control, ownership or possession;

(iv) identify whether there is an abuse prevention order pursuant to chapter 209A, a harassment prevention order pursuant to chapter 258E or an order similar to an abuse prevention or harassment prevention order issued by another jurisdiction in effect against the respondent; and

(v) identify whether there is a pending lawsuit, complaint, petition or other legal action between the parties to the petition.

(c) No fees for filing or service of process may be charged by a court or any public agency to a petitioner filing a petition pursuant to this section.

(d) The petitioner’s residential address, residential telephone number and workplace name, address and telephone number, contained within the records of the court related to a petition shall be confidential and withheld from public inspection, except by order of the court; provided, however, that the petitioner’s residential address and workplace address shall appear on the court order and shall be accessible to the respondent and the respondent’s attorney unless the petitioner specifically requests, and the court orders, that this information be withheld from the order. All confidential portions of the records shall be accessible at all reasonable times to the petitioner and the petitioner’s attorney, the licensing authority of the municipality where the respondent resides and to law enforcement officers, if such access is necessary in the performance of their official duties. Such confidential portions of the court records shall not be deemed to be public records under the provisions of clause twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4.

(e) The court may order that any information in the petition or case record be impounded in accordance with court rule.

(f) Upon receipt of a petition under this section and if the petitioner is a family or household member as defined in section 121, the clerk of the court shall provide to the petitioner and respondent informational resources about: (i) crisis intervention; (ii) mental health; (iii) substance use disorders; (iv) counseling services; and (v) the process to apply for a temporary commitment under section 12 of chapter 123.

§ 131S. Extreme risk protection orders; hearing; issuance of order; surrender of license, identification card and firearms

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) The court shall, within 10 days of receipt of a petition pursuant to section 131R, conduct a hearing on the petition. Upon receipt of the petition, the court shall issue a summons with the date, time and location of the hearing. The court shall direct a law enforcement officer to personally serve a copy of the petition and the summons on the respondent or, if personal service by a law enforcement officer is not possible, the court may, after a hearing, order that service be made by some other identified means reasonably calculated to reach the respondent. Service shall be made not less than 7 days prior to the hearing.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the court shall, within 2 days of receipt of a petition made pursuant to section 131R, conduct a hearing on the petition if the respondent files an affidavit that a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, weapon or ammunition is required in the performance of the respondent’s employment.

(c) If after the hearing pursuant to subsection (a) or subsection (b), the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent poses a risk of causing bodily injury to self or others by having in the respondent’s control, ownership or possession a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, weapon or ammunition, the court shall grant the petition. If the respondent does not appear at the hearing pursuant to subsection (a) or subsection (b), the court shall grant the petition upon a determination that the petitioner has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent poses such a risk.

(d) Upon granting a petition, the court shall issue an extreme risk protection order and shall order the respondent to surrender any licenses to carry firearms, firearms identification cards and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons and ammunition which the respondent then controls, owns or possesses, to the licensing authority of the municipality where the respondent resides. The court shall enter written findings as to the basis of its order within 24 hours of granting the order. The court may modify, suspend or terminate its order at any subsequent time upon motion by either party; provided, however, that due notice shall be given to the respondent and petitioner, and the court shall hold a hearing on said motion. When the petitioner’s address is confidential to the respondent as provided in subsection (d) of section 131R and the respondent has filed a motion to modify the court’s order, the court shall be responsible for notifying the petitioner. In no event shall the court disclose any such confidential address.

Not less than 30 calendar days prior to the expiration of an extreme risk protection order, the court shall notify the petitioner at the best known address of the scheduled expiration of the order and that the petitioner may file a petition to renew the order pursuant to section 131R.

(e) Upon issuing an extreme risk protection order the clerk-magistrate of the court shall transmit 2 certified copies of the order and 1 copy of the petition and summons forthwith to the licensing authority of the municipality where the respondent resides which, unless otherwise ordered by the court, shall serve a copy of the order and petition upon the respondent. Licensing authorities shall establish adequate procedures to ensure that, when effecting service upon a respondent, a law enforcement officer shall, to the extent practicable: (i) fully inform the respondent of the contents and terms of the order and the available penalties for any violation of an order; and (ii) provide the respondent with informational resources, including, but not limited to, a list of services relating to crisis intervention, mental health, substance use disorders and counseling, and a list of interpreters, as necessary, located within or near the court’s jurisdiction. The chief justice of the trial court, in consultation with the executive office of public safety and security, and the department of mental health, shall annually update the informational resource guides required under this section.

Each extreme risk protection order issued by the court shall contain the following statement: VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

(f) Upon receipt of service of an extreme risk protection order, the licensing authority of the municipality where the respondent resides shall immediately suspend the respondent’s license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card and shall immediately notify the respondent of said suspension.

Upon receipt of service of an extreme risk protection order the respondent shall immediately surrender their license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition in their control, ownership or possession to the local licensing authority serving the order, in accordance with section 129D; provided, however, that nothing in this section or in said section 129D shall allow the respondent to: (i) transfer any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition required to be surrendered, or surrendered, by the respondent to anyone other than a licensed dealer; or (ii) maintain control, ownership or possession of any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition during the pendency of any appeal of an extreme risk protection order; provided, however, that while the surrender of ownership pursuant to an extreme risk protection order shall require the immediate surrender of any license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition in the respondent’s control or possession, it shall not require the surrender of permanent ownership rights; and provided further that, notwithstanding section 129D, if the licensing authority cannot reasonably ascertain a lawful owner of firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition surrendered pursuant to extreme risk protection order within 180 days of the expiration or termination of the extreme risk protection order, the licensing authority may, in its discretion, trade or dispose of surplus, donated, abandoned or junk firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition to properly licensed distributors or firearms dealers and the proceeds of such sale or transfer shall be remitted or credited to the municipality in which the licensing authority presides to be used for violence reduction or suicide prevention. A violation of this subsection shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 2 ½ years in a house of correction or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(g) Upon receipt of a license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card and any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition surrendered by a respondent pursuant to subsection (f), the licensing authority taking possession of the license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card and firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition shall issue a receipt identifying any license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition surrendered by the respondent and shall provide a copy of the receipt to the respondent. The licensing authority to which the respondent surrendered a license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition shall, within 48 hours of the surrender, file the receipt with the court.

(h) If a person other than the respondent claims title to any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition required to be surrendered or surrendered, pursuant to this section, and is determined by the licensing authority to be the lawful owner of the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition, the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition shall be returned to the person; provided, however, that: (i) the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition are removed from the respondent’s control, ownership or possession and the lawful owner agrees to store the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition in a manner such that the respondent does not have access to, or control of, the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition; and (ii) the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition are not otherwise unlawfully possessed by the owner. A violation of this subsection shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 2 ½ years in a house of correction or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(i) Upon the expiration or termination of an extreme risk protection order, a licensing authority holding any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition that have been surrendered pursuant to this section shall return any license to carry firearms or firearm identification card and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition requested by a respondent only after the licensing authority of the municipality in which the respondent resides confirms that the respondent is suitable for a license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card and to control, own or possess firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition under federal and state law.

Not less than 7 days prior to expiration of an extreme risk protection order, a licensing authority holding any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition that have been surrendered pursuant to this section shall notify the petitioner of the expiration of the extreme risk protection order and the return of a license to carry firearms or firearm identification card and the return of any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition to the respondent.

As soon as reasonably practicable after receiving notice of the termination of an extreme risk protection order by the court, a licensing authority holding any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition that have been surrendered pursuant to this section shall notify the petitioner of the termination of the extreme risk protection order and the return of a license to carry firearms or firearm identification card and the return of any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition to the respondent.

(j) A respondent who has surrendered a license to carry firearms or firearm identification card and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition to a licensing authority and who does not wish to have the license to carry firearms or firearm identification card or firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition returned or who is no longer eligible to control, own or possess firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition pursuant to this chapter or federal law, may sell or transfer title of the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer; provided, however, that the respondent shall not take physical possession of the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition. The licensing authority may transfer possession of the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition to a licensed dealer upon the dealer providing the licensing authority with written proof of the sale or transfer of title of the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition from the respondent to the dealer.

(k) If the licensing authority cannot reasonably ascertain the lawful owner of any firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition surrendered pursuant to this section within 180 days of the expiration or termination of the order to surrender the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition the licensing authority may dispose of the firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition pursuant to section 129D.

§ 131T. Extreme risk protection orders; emergency orders

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(a) Upon the filing of a petition pursuant to section 131R, the court may issue an emergency extreme risk protectionorder without notice to the respondent and prior to the hearing required pursuant to subsection (a) of section 131S if the court finds reasonable cause to conclude that the respondent poses a risk of causing bodily injury to the respondent’s self or others by being in possession of a license to carry firearms or a firearm identification card or having in the respondent’s control, ownership or possession a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, weapon or ammunition.

Upon issuance of an emergency extreme risk protection order pursuant to this section, the clerk magistrate of the court shall notify the respondent pursuant to subsection (e) of section 131S. An order issued under this subsection shall expire 10 days after its issuance unless a hearing is scheduled pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of said section 131S or at the conclusion of a hearing held pursuant to said subsection (a) or (b) of said section 131S unless a permanent order is issued by the court pursuant to subsection (d) of said section 131S.

(b) When the court is closed for business, a justice of the court may grant an emergency extreme risk protectionorder if the court finds reasonable cause to conclude that the respondent poses a risk of causing bodily injury to the respondent’s self or others by being in possession of a license to carry firearms or firearm identification card or by having in the respondent’s control, ownership or possession of a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, weapon or ammunition. In the discretion of the justice, such relief may be granted and communicated by telephone to the licensing authority of the municipality where the respondent resides, which shall record such order on a form of order promulgated for such use by the chief justice of the trial court and shall deliver a copy of such order on the next court business day to the clerk-magistrate of the court. If relief has been granted without the filing of a petition pursuant to section 131R, the petitioner shall appear in court on the next available court business day to file a petition. An order issued under this subsection shall expire at the conclusion of the next court business day after the order was issued unless a petitioner has filed a petition with the court pursuant to said section 131R and the court has issued an emergency extreme risk protection order pursuant to subsection (a).

(c) Upon receipt of service of an extreme risk protection order pursuant to this section, the respondent shall immediately surrender the respondent’s license to carry firearms or firearm identification card and all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, weapons or ammunition to the local licensing authority serving the order as provided in subsection (f) of section 131S.

Part II. Real and Personal Property and Domestic Relations

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Title I. Title to Real Property

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Chapter 186. Estates for Years and at Will

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§ 23. Definitions applicable to Secs. 23 to 29

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(a) As used in sections 23 to 29, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:–

“Co-tenant”, a person who shares the legal obligation to pay rent or use and occupancy for the premises with a tenant and who occupies the premises.

“Domestic violence”, the occurrence of 1 or more of the following acts between family or member of a household:

(i) attempting to cause or causing physical harm;

(ii) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;

(iii) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.

“Housing subsidy provider”, a local housing authority, agency or other entity providing or administering a federal or state rental subsidy within the commonwealth under applicable law.

“Member of the household”, a person residing with a tenant or co-tenant as an authorized occupant of the premises. In the case of an application for housing, such term shall include a person identified by the applicant as a proposed household member who would be living with the applicant in the premises.

“Owner”, as defined in 105 C.M.R. 410.020.

“Qualified third party”, a police officer, as defined by section 1 of chapter 90C, law enforcement professional including, but not limited to, a district attorney, assistant district attorney, a victim-witness advocate, probation or parole officer; an employee of the Victims Services Unit of the department of criminal justice information services; an application assistant in the address confidentiality program of the state secretary under section 2 of chapter 9A; a licensed medical care provider; an employee of the department of children and families or the department of transitional assistance charged with providing direct service to clients, or a manager or designated domestic violence or abuse advocate within either department; an active licensed social worker; a licensed mental health professional; a sexual assault counselor as defined in section 20J of chapter 233; or a domestic violence victims’ counselor as defined in section 20K of said chapter 233.

“Quitting date”, the date that a tenant or co-tenant surrenders such person’s interest in the premises; provided further, that such date shall be determined as: (i) if the tenant or co-tenant has vacated the premises, the date notice is given to the owner of the intent to abandon the premises and not to return; or (ii) if the tenant or co-tenant has not vacated the premises, either (A) the date the tenant or co-tenant intends to vacate the premises or (B) the actual date that the tenant or co-tenant has vacated after providing such notice.

“Rape”, as set forth in sections 22, 22A, 22B, 22C, 23, 23A, 23B, 24 or 24B of chapter 265 or sections 2, 3 or 17 of chapter 272.

“Sexual assault”, as set forth in sections 13B, 13B 1/2 , 13B 3/4 , 13F, 13H or 13K of chapter 265 or section 35A of chapter 272.

“Stalking”, stalking as set forth in section 43 of chapter 265 or criminal harassment as set forth in sections 43 or 43A of chapter 265.

“Tenant”, (i) a person who has entered into an oral or written lease or rental agreement with the owner or (ii) a person who remains on the premises after such person’s tenancy has terminated or after the expiration of such person’s lease.

§ 24. Termination of rental agreement or tenancy by victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking

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11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) A tenant or co-tenant may terminate a rental agreement or tenancy and quit the premises upon written notification to the owner that a member of the household is a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking, if such notification is made within 3 months of the most recent act of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking; or if a member of a tenant’s household is reasonably in fear of imminent serious physical harm from domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking. An owner shall have the right to request proof of the status as a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking, including the name of the perpetrator, if known, as provided in subsection (e).

(b) Within 3 months of written notification to the owner to terminate a rental agreement or tenancy under subsection (a), a tenant, co-tenant or any household member who is not the perpetrator of the domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking shall quit the premises. If the tenant or co-tenant fails to quit the premises within 3 months, the notice to terminate the rental agreement or tenancy shall be void.

(c) A tenant or co-tenant to whom this section applies shall be discharged from liability for rent or use and occupancy for 30 days or 1 full rental period after the quitting date, whichever last occurs, to the extent that a rental agreement and applicable law may otherwise impose such liability beyond the quitting date. Such tenant or co-tenant shall be entitled to a refund of any prepaid rent for any period thereafter. The tenant or co-tenant shall receive a full and specific statement of the basis for retaining any of the security deposit together with any refund due in compliance with section 15B within 30 days of the conclusion of the tenancy and the delivery of full possession of the leased premises by all occupants to the landlord.

(d) No other tenant or co-tenant who is a party to the rental agreement shall be released from such tenant’s or co-tenant’s obligations under the rental agreement or other obligations under this chapter. If the tenant or co-tenant to whom this section applies vacates but leaves belongings, such belongings shall be deemed abandoned and may be disposed of under applicable law, unless the tenant or co-tenant indicates in writing the responsibility for such belongings and the action to be taken with respect to such belongings. If the tenant or co-tenant to whom this section applies vacates, but another person remains in the premises other than another tenant or co-tenant, nothing in this section shall affect the owner’s rights and obligations with regard to such remaining person. A landlord who in good faith initiates an action against a remaining tenant, co-tenant or household member, or a housing subsidy provider who terminates or denies a rental subsidy to a remaining tenant, co-tenant or household member, or takes any other action under this section, shall not be subject to a claim of retaliation or any other claim under this chapter.

(e) If relief is sought because of recent or ongoing domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking, an owner may request that proof be provided to show that a protective order or third-party verification is in effect or was obtained within the prior 3 months, or a tenant or co-tenant is reasonably in fear of imminent serious physical harm. Proof of status as a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking shall be satisfied by production of any 1 of the following documents:

(1) a copy of a valid protection order under chapter 209A or 258E obtained by the tenant, co-tenant or member of the household;

(2) a record from a federal, state or local court or law enforcement of an act of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking and the name of the perpetrator if known; or

(3) a written verification from any other qualified third party to whom the tenant, co-tenant or member of the tenant or co-tenant’s household reported the domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking; provided, however, that the verification shall include the name of the organization, agency, clinic or professional service provider and include the date of the domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking, and the name of the perpetrator if known; and provided, further, that any adult victim who has the capacity to do so shall provide a statement, under the penalty of perjury, that the incident described in such verification is true and correct.

(f) An owner or housing subsidy provider who obtains written proof of status as a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking shall keep such documentation and the information contained in the documentation confidential, and shall not provide or allow access to such documentation in any way to any other person or agency, unless the victim provides written authorization for the release of such information or unless required by court order, government regulation or governmental audit requirements.

§ 25. Refusal of rental agreement or assistance based on termination of rental agreement under Sec. 24 or request for change of lock under Sec. 26 prohibited

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

An owner shall not refuse to enter into a rental agreement, nor shall a housing subsidy provider deny assistance, based on an applicant having terminated a rental agreement under section 24 or based upon an applicant having requested a change of locks under section 26.

§ 26. Change of locks upon request of tenant, co-tenant or household member believed to be under imminent threat of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) For purposes of this section, the term “household member” shall mean a person residing with the tenant or co-tenant as an authorized occupant of the premises, and who is 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor.

(b) An owner shall, upon the request of a tenant, co-tenant or a household member, change the locks of the individual dwelling unit in which the tenant, co-tenant or household member lives if the tenant, co-tenant or household member reasonably believes that the tenant, co-tenant or household member is under an imminent threat of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking at the premises. An owner shall have the right to request, in good faith, proof of the status as a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking, including the name of the perpetrator, if known, as provided in subsection (e) of section 24.

(c) If the threat of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking is posed by a person who is a tenant, co-tenant or household member, the owner may change the locks and deny a key to the alleged perpetrator upon receipt of a request to change the locks; provided, however, that such request shall be accompanied by: (i) a copy of a valid protective order issued under chapter 209A or chapter 258E issued against a tenant, co-tenant or household member; or (ii) a record from a federal, state or local court or law enforcement, indicating that a tenant, co-tenant or household member thereof poses an imminent threat of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking.

(d) An owner who has received notice of a request for change of locks under this section shall, within 2 business days, make a good faith effort to change the locks or give the tenant, co-tenant or household member permission to change the locks. If the owner changes the locks, the owner shall make a good faith effort to give a key to the new locks to the tenant, co-tenant or household member requesting the lock change as soon as possible, but within the same 2 business day period. An owner may charge a fee for the expense of changing the locks. The fee shall not exceed the reasonable price customarily charged for changing such locks in that community.

(e) If an owner fails to change the locks after receipt of a request under this section within 2 business days, the tenant, co-tenant or household member may change the locks without the owner’s permission. If the rental agreement requires that the owner retain a key to the leased residential premises and if a tenant, co-tenant or household member changes the locks, the tenant, co-tenant or household member shall make a good faith effort to provide a key to the new locks to the owner within 2 business days of the locks being changed. If a tenant, co-tenant or household member changes the locks without the owner’s permission, such person shall change the locks in a workmanlike manner with locks of similar or better quality than the original locks. An owner may replace a lock installed by the tenant, co-tenant or household member, or seek reimbursement for additional costs incurred, if the owner believes that the locks were not of equal or better quality or were not installed properly, and such action shall be deemed not to be in retaliation.

(f) If the locks are changed under this section, a tenant, co-tenant or household member shall not voluntarily give the new key to the perpetrator. An owner who refuses to provide a key to any person based on the reasonable belief that such person is the perpetrator of alleged domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking, shall not be liable for such refusal.

(g) An owner who takes action to prevent the tenant, co-tenant or household member who has complied with subsection (b) from changing the locks, or any owner who changes the locks but fails to make a good faith effort to provide a key to the tenant, co-tenant or household member requesting the lock change as provided in subsection (d), shall be liable for actual and consequential damages or 3 months’ rent, whichever is greater, and the costs of the action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, all of which may be applied in setoff or recoupment against any claim for rent owed or owing for use and occupancy. Damages shall not be imposed if the court determines that the owner acted in good faith.

§ 27. Jurisdiction of courts to restrain violation of Secs. 23 to 26; applicability of other laws to requests to change locks

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

The superior court, housing court, district court and Boston municipal court shall have jurisdiction in equity to restrain violations of sections 23 to 26, inclusive. Section 18 of this chapter and section 2A of chapter 239 shall apply to an act taken in reprisal against a person for requesting that locks be changed under section 26.

Notwithstanding sections 23 to 26, inclusive, if a court has issued a protective order under chapter 209A, or any other law, ordering a tenant, co-tenant or member of the household to vacate the dwelling unit, the owner shall not interfere with the order and upon a request to change the locks as described in section 26, shall comply with such request.

§ 28. Waivers of Secs. 23 to 27 void and unenforceable

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11 de diciembre de 2019

A waiver of sections 23 to 27, inclusive, in any lease or other rental agreement, except as otherwise provided by law or by federal, state or local regulation shall be void and unenforceable.

§ 29. Owner immunity from liability

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11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) An owner complying with sections 23 to 28, inclusive, or with the requirements of an order under chapter 209A or any other law, shall be relieved of any liability to the vacated tenant, co-tenant or member of the tenant’s household, or to any other third party on account of the owner’s good faith compliance with a court order or changing the locks as provided in section 26 including, but not limited to, withholding a key from the alleged perpetrator, as provided in subsection (c) of section 26. Damages shall not be imposed if the court determines that the matter was of a good faith dispute between the owner and tenants.

(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any owner who demonstrates that such owner’s conduct constituted a good faith effort to comply with sections 23 to 29, inclusive, shall not be liable for multiple damages or for attorney’s fees.

Title III. Domestic Relations

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Chapter 208. Divorce

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11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 1. Causes for divorce; general provisions

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11 de diciembre de 2019

A divorce from the bond of matrimony may be adjudged for adultery, impotency, utter desertion continued for one year next prior to the filing of the complaint, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication caused by voluntary and excessive use of intoxicating liquor, opium, or other drugs, cruel and abusive treatment, or, if a spouse being of sufficient ability, grossly or wantonly and cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable support and maintenance for the other spouse, or for an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as provided in sections one A and B; provided, however, that a divorce shall be adjudged although both parties have cause, and no defense upon recrimination shall be entertained by the court.

§ 2. Causes for divorce; confinement for crime

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

A divorce may also be adjudged if either party has been sentenced to confinement for life or for five years or more in a federal penal institution or in a penal or reformatory institution in this or any other state; and, after a divorce for such cause, no pardon granted to the party so sentenced shall restore such party to his or her conjugal rights.

§ 4. Causes for divorce; domicile of parties

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11 de diciembre de 2019

A divorce shall not, except as provided in the following section, be adjudged if the parties have never lived together as husband and wife in this commonwealth; nor for a cause which occurred in another jurisdiction, unless before such cause occurred the parties had lived together as husband and wife in this commonwealth, and one of them lived in this commonwealth at the time when the cause occurred.

§ 5. Causes for divorce; exceptions to Sec. 4

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

If the plaintiff has lived in this commonwealth for one year last preceding the commencement of the action if the cause occurred without the commonwealth, or if the plaintiff is domiciled within the commonwealth at the time of the commencement of the action and the cause occurred within the commonwealth, a divorce may be adjudged for any cause allowed by law, unless it appears that the plaintiff has removed into this commonwealth for the purpose of obtaining a divorce.

§ 22. Libels for divorce; desertion; proof

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

In order to establish grounds for divorce for desertion, the plaintiff shall establish that the defendant left voluntarily and without justification and with intent not to return, that at the time such defendant left, the plaintiff did not consent thereto, and that the defendant failed to cohabit with the plaintiff for at least one year next prior to the date of the filing of the action. An action for divorce for desertion shall not be defeated by a temporary return or other act of the defendant if the court finds that such return or other act was not made or done in good faith, but with intent to defeat such action. The prior filing of an action for divorce or separate support shall not be deemed to raise a conclusive presumption to defeat an action for divorce for desertion.

§ 28. Children; care, custody and maintenance; child support obligations; provisions for education and health insurance; parents convicted of first degree murder

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon a judgment for divorce, the court may make such judgment as it considers expedient relative to the care, custody and maintenance of the minor children of the parties and may determine with which of the parents the children or any of them shall remain or may award their custody to some third person if it seems expedient or for the benefit of the children. In determining the amount of the child support obligation or in approving the agreement of the parties, the court shall apply the child support guidelines promulgated by the chief justice of the trial court, and there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the order which would result from the application of the guidelines is the appropriate amount of child support to be ordered. If, after taking into consideration the best interests of the child, the court determines that a party has overcome such presumption, the court shall make specific written findings indicating the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines; that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances; the specific facts of the case which justify departure from the guidelines; and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child. Upon a complaint after a divorce, filed by either parent or by a next friend on behalf of the children after notice to both parents, the court may make a judgment modifying its earlier judgment as to the care and custody of the minor children of the parties provided that the court finds that a material and substantial change in the circumstances of the parties has occurred and the judgment of modification is necessary in the best interests of the children. In furtherance of the public policy that dependent children shall be maintained as completely as possible from the resources of their parents and upon a complaint filed after a judgment of divorce, orders of maintenance and for support of minor children shall be modified if there is an inconsistency between the amount of the existing order and the amount that would result from application of the child support guidelines promulgated by the chief justice of the trial court or if there is a need to provide for the health care coverage of the child. A modification to provide for the health care coverage of the child shall be entered whether or not a modification in the amount of child support is necessary. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the order which would result from the application of the guidelines is the appropriate amount of child support to be ordered. If, after taking into consideration the best interests of the child, the court determines that a party has overcome such presumption, the court shall make specific written findings indicating the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines; that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances; the specific facts of the case which justify departure from the guidelines; and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child. The order shall be modified accordingly unless the inconsistency between the amount of the existing order and the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines is due to the fact that the amount of the existing order resulted from a rebuttal of the guidelines and that there has been no change in the circumstances which resulted in such rebuttal; provided, however, that even if the specific facts that justified departure from the guidelines upon entry of the existing order remain in effect, the order shall be modified in accordance with the guidelines unless the court finds that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances and that the existing order is consistent with the best interests of the child. A modification of child support may enter notwithstanding an agreement of the parents that has independent legal significance. If the IV-D agency as set forth in chapter 119A is responsible for enforcing a case, an order may also be modified in accordance with the procedures set out in section 3B of said chapter 119A. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education of any child who has attained age eighteen but who has not attained age twenty-one and who is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education for any child who has attained age twenty-one but who has not attained age twenty-three, if such child is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance due to the enrollment of such child in an educational program, excluding educational costs beyond an undergraduate degree.

If the court makes an order for maintenance or support of a child, the court shall require either parent to provide health care coverage for the child if such coverage is available at reasonable cost and accessible to the child. The court may require the obligor to pay an amount toward the obligee’s cost of health care coverage or toward uninsured medical expenses on behalf of the child. If the court determines that an order for health care coverage is not in the best interest of the child or creates an undue hardship for either parent, the court shall enter written findings.

If the child is enrolled in MassHealth, an equivalent program in another state pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1397aa et seq. or 42 U.S.C. 1396a et seq. or an equivalent program in another state that is substantially similar to the program established in chapter 118E, the court shall order the obligee to maintain coverage as long as the child remains eligible; provided, however, that court may also order the obligor to enroll the child in private health insurance if: (i) private health insurance is available to the obligor at reasonable cost and accessible to the child; (ii) enrollment in the insurance is in the best interest of the child; and (iii) enrollment in the insurance will not create an undue hardship for the obligor or the obligee.

If the IV-D agency under chapter 119A is responsible for enforcing the order, the court shall order the parents to notify the IV-D agency of any changes in the availability and terms of health care coverage. For the purposes of this section: (i) health care coverage shall be deemed reasonable in cost if the cost to the party ordered to provide health care coverage does not exceed 5 per cent of the gross income of the party; (ii) health care coverage shall be deemed accessible to the child if covered services are available within 15 miles of the child’s primary residence; (iii) health care coverage includes private health insurance available through employment, union affiliation or otherwise, and public health coverage administered by the Title XIX agency; and (iv) private health insurance shall be deemed not available at reasonable cost to an obligor or obligee whose gross income does not exceed 150 per cent of the federal poverty guidelines for the family size or who receives MassHealth on behalf of the obligor, the obligee or the child.

When a court makes an order for maintenance or support, the court shall determine whether the obligor under such order is responsible for the maintenance or support of any other children of the obligor, even if a court order for such maintenance or support does not exist, or whether the obligor under such order is under a preexisting order for the maintenance or support of any other children from a previous marriage, or whether the obligor under such order is under a preexisting order for the maintenance or support of any other children born out of wedlock. If the court determines that such responsibility does, in fact, exist and that such obligor is fulfilling such responsibility such court shall take into consideration such responsibility in setting the amount to paid1 under the current order for maintenance or support.

No court shall make an order providing visitation rights to a parent who has been convicted of murder in the first degree of the other parent of the child who is the subject of the order, unless such child is of suitable age to signify his assent and assents to such order; provided, further, that until such order is issued, no person shall visit, with the child present, a parent who has been convicted of murder in the first degree of the other parent of the child without the consent of the child’s custodian or legal guardian.

§ 28A. Temporary care; custody and maintenance of minor children

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

During the pendency of an action seeking a modification of a judgment for divorce, upon motion of either party or of a next friend on behalf of the minor children of the parties and notice to the other party or parties, the court may make temporary orders relative to the care, custody and maintenance of such children. Every order entered relative to care and custody shall include specific findings of fact made by the court which clearly demonstrate the injury, harm or damage that might reasonably be expected to occur if relief pending a judgment of modification is not granted. An order entered relative to care and custody, pursuant to this section, may only be entered without advance notice if the court finds that an emergency exists, the nature of which requires the court to act before the opposing party or parties can be heard in opposition. In all such cases, such order shall be for a period not to exceed five days and written notice of the issuance of any such order and the reasons therefor shall be given to the opposing party or parties together with notice of the date, time and place that a hearing on the continuation of such order will be held.

§ 29. Minor children; foreign divorces, care and custody

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

If, after a divorce has been adjudged in another jurisdiction, minor children of the marriage are inhabitants of, or residents in this commonwealth, the probate court for the county in which said minors or any of them are inhabitants or residents, upon an action of either parent or of a next friend in behalf of the children, after notice to both parents, shall have the same power to make judgments relative to their care, custody, education and maintenance, and to revise and alter such judgments or make new judgments, as if the divorce had been adjudged in this commonwealth.

§ 30. Minor children; removal from commonwealth; prohibition

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

A minor child of divorced parents who is a native of or has resided five years within this commonwealth and over whose custody and maintenance a probate court has jurisdiction shall not, if of suitable age to signify his consent, be removed out of this commonwealth without such consent, or, if under that age, without the consent of both parents, unless the court upon cause shown otherwise orders. The court, upon application of any person in behalf of such child, may require security and issue writs and processes to effect the purposes of this and the two preceding sections.

§ 31. Custody of children; shared custody plans

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meaning unless the context requires otherwise:

“Sole legal custody”, one parent shall have the right and responsibility to make major decisions regarding the child’s welfare including matters of education, medical care and emotional, moral and religious development.

“Shared legal custody”, continued mutual responsibility and involvement by both parents in major decisions regarding the child’s welfare including matters of education, medical care and emotional, moral and religious development.

“Sole physical custody”, a child shall reside with and be under the supervision of one parent, subject to reasonable visitation by the other parent, unless the court determines that such visitation would not be in the best interest of the child.

“Shared physical custody”, a child shall have periods of residing with and being under the supervision of each parent; provided, however, that physical custody shall be shared by the parents in such a way as to assure a child frequent and continued contact with both parents.

In making an order or judgment relative to the custody of children, the rights of the parents shall, in the absence of misconduct, be held to be equal, and the happiness and welfare of the children shall determine their custody. When considering the happiness and welfare of the child, the court shall consider whether or not the child’s present or past living conditions adversely affect his physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

Upon the filing of an action in accordance with the provisions of this section, section twenty-eight of this chapter, or section thirty-two of chapter two hundred and nine and until a judgment on the merits is rendered, absent emergency conditions, abuse or neglect, the parents shall have temporary shared legal custody of any minor child of the marriage; provided, however, that the judge may enter an order for temporary sole legal custody for one parent if written findings are made that such shared custody would not be in the best interest of the child. Nothing herein shall be construed to create any presumption of temporary shared physical custody.

In determining whether temporary shared legal custody would not be in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider all relevant facts including, but not limited to, whether any member of the family abuses alcohol or other drugs or has deserted the child and whether the parties have a history of being able and willing to cooperate in matters concerning the child.

If, despite the prior or current issuance of a restraining order against one parent pursuant to chapter two hundred and nine A, the court orders shared legal or physical custody either as a temporary order or at a trial on the merits, the court shall provide written findings to support such shared custody order.

There shall be no presumption either in favor of or against shared legal or physical custody at the time of the trial on the merits, except as provided for in section 31A.

At the trial on the merits, if the issue of custody is contested and either party seeks shared legal or physical custody, the parties, jointly or individually, shall submit to the court at the trial a shared custody implementation plan setting forth the details of shared custody including, but not limited to, the child’s education; the child’s health care; procedures for resolving disputes between the parties with respect to child-raising decisions and duties; and the periods of time during which each party will have the child reside or visit with him, including holidays and vacations, or the procedure by which such periods of time shall be determined.

At the trial on the merits, the court shall consider the shared custody implementation plans submitted by the parties. The court may issue a shared legal and physical custody order and, in conjunction therewith, may accept the shared custody implementation plan submitted by either party or by the parties jointly or may issue a plan modifying the plan or plans submitted by the parties. The court may also reject the plan and issue a sole legal and physical custody award to either parent. A shared custody implementation plan issued or accepted by the court shall become part of the judgment in the action, together with any other appropriate custody orders and orders regarding the responsibility of the parties for the support of the child.

Provisions regarding shared custody contained in an agreement executed by the parties and submitted to the court for its approval that addresses the details of shared custody shall be deemed to constitute a shared custody implementation plan for purposes of this section.

An award of shared legal or physical custody shall not affect a parent’s responsibility for child support. An order of shared custody shall not constitute grounds for modifying a support order absent demonstrated economic impact that is an otherwise sufficient basis warranting modification.

The entry of an order or judgment relative to the custody of minor children shall not negate or impede the ability of the non-custodial parent to have access to the academic, medical, hospital or other health records of the child, as he would have had if the custody order or judgment had not been entered; provided, however, that if a court has issued an order to vacate against the non-custodial parent or an order prohibiting the non-custodial parent from imposing any restraint upon the personal liberty of the other parent or if nondisclosure of the present or prior address of the child or a party is necessary to ensure the health, safety or welfare of such child or party, the court may order that any part of such record pertaining to such address shall not be disclosed to such non-custodial parent.

Where the parents have reached an agreement providing for the custody of the children, the court may enter an order in accordance with such agreement, unless specific findings are made by the court indicating that such an order would not be in the best interests of the children.

§ 31A. Visitation and custody orders; consideration of abuse toward parent or child; best interest of child

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

In issuing any temporary or permanent custody order, the probate and family court shall consider evidence of past or present abuse toward a parent or child as a factor contrary to the best interest of the child. For the purposes of this section, “abuse” shall mean the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between a parent and the other parent or between a parent and child: (a) attempting to cause or causing bodily injury; or (b) placing another in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury. “Serious incident of abuse” shall mean the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between a parent and the other parent or between a parent and child: (a) attempting to cause or causing serious bodily injury; (b) placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or (c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress. For purposes of this section, “bodily injury” and “serious bodily injury” shall have the same meanings as provided in section 13K of chapter 265.

A probate and family court’s finding, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a pattern or serious incident of abuse has occurred shall create a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interests of the child to be placed in sole custody, shared legal custody or shared physical custody with the abusive parent. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that such custody award is in the best interests of the child. For the purposes of this section, “an abusive parent” shall mean a parent who has committed a pattern of abuse or a serious incident of abuse.

For the purposes of this section, the issuance of an order or orders under chapter 209A shall not in and of itself constitute a pattern or serious incident of abuse; nor shall an order or orders entered ex parte under said chapter 209A be admissible to show whether a pattern or serious incident of abuse has in fact occurred; provided, however, that an order or orders entered ex parte under said chapter 209A may be admissible for other purposes as the court may determine, other than showing whether a pattern or serious incident of abuse has in fact occurred; provided further, that the underlying facts upon which an order or orders under said chapter 209A was based may also form the basis for a finding by the probate and family court that a pattern or serious incident of abuse has occurred.

If the court finds that a pattern or serious incident of abuse has occurred and issues a temporary or permanent custody order, the court shall within 90 days enter written findings of fact as to the effects of the abuse on the child, which findings demonstrate that such order is in the furtherance of the child’s best interests and provides for the safety and well-being of the child.

If ordering visitation to the abusive parent, the court shall provide for the safety and well-being of the child and the safety of the abused parent. The court may consider:

(a) ordering an exchange of the child to occur in a protected setting or in the presence of an appropriate third party;

(b) ordering visitation supervised by an appropriate third party, visitation center or agency;

(c) ordering the abusive parent to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the court, a certified batterer’s treatment program as a condition of visitation;

(d) ordering the abusive parent to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances during the visitation and for 24 hours preceding visitation;

(e) ordering the abusive parent to pay the costs of supervised visitation;

(f) prohibiting overnight visitation;

(g) requiring a bond from the abusive parent for the return and safety of the child;

(h) ordering an investigation or appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney for the child; and

(i) imposing any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety and well-being of the child and the safety of the abused parent.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the right of the parties to a hearing under the rules of domestic relations procedure or to affect the discretion of the probate and family court in the conduct of such hearings.

§ 32. Child; bringing before court; writ of habeas corpus

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Any court having jurisdiction of actions for divorce or nullity of marriage, separate support, or maintenance, or of any other proceeding in which the care and custody of any child is drawn in question, may issue a writ of habeas corpus to bring before it such child. The writ may be made returnable forthwith before the court by which it is issued, and, upon its return, said court may make any appropriate order or judgment relative to the child who may thus be brought before it.

§ 33. Jurisdiction; procedure

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

The court may, if the course of proceeding is not specially prescribed, hear and determine all matters coming within the purview of this chapter according to the course of proceedings in ecclesiastical courts or in courts of equity, and may issue process of attachment and execution and all other proper and necessary processes. In such proceedings the court shall have jurisdiction in equity of all causes cognizable under the general principles of equity jurisprudence, arising between husband and wife, such jurisdiction to be exercised in accordance with the usual course of practice in equity proceedings.

§ 34. Alimony or assignment of estate; determination of amount; health insurance

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon divorce or upon a complaint in an action brought at any time after a divorce, whether such a divorce has been adjudged in this commonwealth or another jurisdiction, the court of the commonwealth, provided there is personal jurisdiction over both parties, may make a judgment for either of the parties to pay alimony to the other under sections 48 to 55, inclusive. In addition to or in lieu of a judgment to pay alimony, the court may assign to either husband or wife all or any part of the estate of the other, including but not limited to, all vested and nonvested benefits, rights and funds accrued during the marriage and which shall include, but not be limited to, retirement benefits, military retirement benefits if qualified under and to the extent provided by federal law, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation and insurance. In fixing the nature and value of the property, if any, to be so assigned, the court, after hearing the witnesses, if any, of each of the parties, shall consider the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties, the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income, and the amount and duration of alimony, if any, awarded under sections 48 to 55, inclusive. In fixing the nature and value of the property to be so assigned, the court shall also consider the present and future needs of the dependent children of the marriage. The court may also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit. When the court makes an order for alimony on behalf of a spouse, said court shall determine whether the obligor under such order has health insurance or other health coverage available to him through an employer or organization or has health insurance or other health coverage available to him at reasonable cost that may be extended to cover the spouse for whom support is ordered. When said court has determined that the obligor has such insurance or coverage available to him, said court shall include in the support order a requirement that the obligor do one of the following: exercise the option of additional coverage in favor of the spouse, obtain coverage for the spouse, or reimburse the spouse for the cost of health insurance. In no event shall the order for alimony be reduced as a result of the obligor’s cost for health insurance coverage for the spouse.

§ 49. Termination, suspension or modification of general term alimony

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) General term alimony shall terminate upon the remarriage of the recipient or the death of either spouse; provided, however, that the court may require the payor spouse to provide life insurance or another form of reasonable security for payment of sums due to the recipient in the event of the payor’s death during the alimony term.

(b) Except upon a written finding by the court that deviation beyond the time limits of this section are required in the interests of justice, if the length of the marriage is 20 years or less, general term alimony shall terminate no later than a date certain under the following durational limits:

(1) If the length of the marriage is 5 years or less, general term alimony shall continue for not longer than one-half the number of months of the marriage.

(2) If the length of the marriage is 10 years or less, but more than 5 years, general term alimony shall continue for not longer than 60 per cent of the number of months of the marriage.

(3) If the length of the marriage is 15 years or less, but more than 10 years, general term alimony shall continue for not longer than 70 per cent of the number of months of the marriage.

(4) If the length of the marriage is 20 years or less, but more than 15 years, general term alimony shall continue for not longer than 80 per cent of the number of months of the marriage.

(c) The court may order alimony for an indefinite length of time for marriages for which the length of the marriage was longer than 20 years.

(d) General term alimony shall be suspended, reduced or terminated upon the cohabitation of the recipient spouse when the payor shows that the recipient spouse has maintained a common household, as defined in this subsection, with another person for a continuous period of at least 3 months.

(1) Persons are deemed to maintain a common household when they share a primary residence together with or without others. In determining whether the recipient is maintaining a common household, the court may consider any of the following factors:

(i) oral or written statements or representations made to third parties regarding the relationship of the persons;

(ii) the economic interdependence of the couple or economic dependence of 1 person on the other;

(iii) the persons engaging in conduct and collaborative roles in furtherance of their life together;

(iv) the benefit in the life of either or both of the persons from their relationship;

(v) the community reputation of the persons as a couple; or

(vi) other relevant and material factors.

(2) An alimony obligation suspended, reduced or terminated under this subsection may be reinstated upon termination of the recipient’s common household relationship; but, if reinstated, it shall not extend beyond the termination date of the original order.

(e) Unless the payor and recipient agree otherwise, general term alimony may be modified in duration or amount upon a material change of circumstances warranting modification. Modification may be permanent, indefinite or for a finite duration, as may be appropriate. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit alimony reinstatement after the recipient’s remarriage, except by the parties’ express written agreement.

(f) Once issued, general term alimony orders shall terminate upon the payor attaining the full retirement age. The payor’s ability to work beyond the full retirement age shall not be a reason to extend alimony, provided that:

(1) When the court enters an initial alimony judgment, the court may set a different alimony termination date for good cause shown; provided, however, that in granting deviation, the court shall enter written findings of the reasons for deviation.

(2) The court may grant a recipient an extension of an existing alimony order for good cause shown; provided, however, that in granting an extension, the court shall enter written findings of:

(i) a material change of circumstance that occurred after entry of the alimony judgment; and

(ii) reasons for the extension that are supported by clear and convincing evidence.

§ 50. Termination, extension or modification of rehabilitative alimony

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Rehabilitative alimony shall terminate upon the remarriage of the recipient, the occurrence of a specific event in the future or the death of either spouse; provided, however, that the court may require the payor to provide reasonable security for payment of sums due to the recipient in the event of the payor’s death during the alimony term.

(b) The alimony term for rehabilitative alimony shall be not more than 5 years. Unless the recipient has remarried, the rehabilitative alimony may be extended on a complaint for modification upon a showing of compelling circumstances in the event that:

(1) unforeseen events prevent the recipient spouse from being self-supporting at the end of the term with due consideration to the length of the marriage;

(2) the court finds that the recipient tried to become self-supporting; and

(3) the payor is able to pay without undue burden.

(c) The court may modify the amount of periodic rehabilitative alimony based upon material change of circumstance within the rehabilitative period.

§ 52. Termination of transitional alimony; modification or extension

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Transitional alimony shall terminate upon the death of the recipient or a date certain that is not longer than 3 years from the date of the parties’ divorce; provided, however, that the court may require the payor to provide reasonable security for payment of sums due to the recipient in the event of the payor’s death during the alimony term.

(b) No court shall modify or extend transitional alimony or replace transitional alimony with another form of alimony.

§ 53. Determination of form, amount and duration of alimony; maximum amount; income calculation; deviations; concurrent child support orders

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) In determining the appropriate form of alimony and in setting the amount and duration of support, a court shall consider: the length of the marriage; age of the parties; health of the parties; income, employment and employability of both parties, including employability through reasonable diligence and additional training, if necessary; economic and non-economic contribution of both parties to the marriage; marital lifestyle; ability of each party to maintain the marital lifestyle; lost economic opportunity as a result of the marriage; and such other factors as the court considers relevant and material.

(b) Except for reimbursement alimony or circumstances warranting deviation for other forms of alimony, the amount of alimony should generally not exceed the recipient’s need or 30 to 35 per cent of the difference between the parties’ gross incomes established at the time of the order being issued. Subject to subsection (c), income shall be defined as set forth in the Massachusetts child support guidelines.

(c) When issuing an order for alimony, the court shall exclude from its income calculation:

(1) capital gains income and dividend and interest income which derive from assets equitably divided between the parties under section 34; and

(2) gross income which the court has already considered for setting a child support order.

(d) Nothing in this section shall limit the court’s discretion to cast a presumptive child support order under the child support guidelines in terms of unallocated or undifferentiated alimony and child support.

(e) In setting an initial alimony order, or in modifying an existing order, the court may deviate from duration and amount limits for general term alimony and rehabilitative alimony upon written findings that deviation is necessary. Grounds for deviation may include:

(1) advanced age; chronic illness; or unusual health circumstances of either party;

(2) tax considerations applicable to the parties;

(3) whether the payor spouse is providing health insurance and the cost of health insurance for the recipient spouse;

(4) whether the payor spouse has been ordered to secure life insurance for the benefit of the recipient spouse and the cost of such insurance;

(5) sources and amounts of unearned income, including capital gains, interest and dividends, annuity and investment income from assets that were not allocated in the parties divorce;

(6) significant premarital cohabitation that included economic partnership or marital separation of significant duration, each of which the court may consider in determining the length of the marriage;

(7) a party’s inability to provide for that party’s own support by reason of physical or mental abuse by the payor;

(8) a party’s inability to provide for that party’s own support by reason of that party’s deficiency of property, maintenance or employment opportunity; and

(9) upon written findings, any other factor that the court deems relevant and material.

(f) In determining the incomes of parties with respect to the issue of alimony, the court may attribute income to a party who is unemployed or underemployed.

(g) If a court orders alimony concurrent with or subsequent to a child support order, the combined duration of alimony and child support shall not exceed the longer of: (i) the alimony or child support duration available at the time of divorce; or (ii) rehabilitative alimony beginning upon the termination of child support.

Chapter 209. Husband and Wife

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 37. Support orders for children of separated parents; child support guidelines; modification of orders; provisions for education and health insurance; parents convicted of first degree murder

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

If the parents of minor children live apart from each other, not being divorced, the probate court for the county in which said minors or any of them are residents or inhabitants, upon complaint of either parent, or of a next friend in behalf of the children after notice to both parents, shall have the same power to make judgments relative to their care, custody, education and maintenance, and to revise and alter such judgments or make new judgments. In determining the amount of the child support obligation or in approving the agreement of the parties, the court shall apply the child support guidelines promulgated by the chief justice of the trial court, and there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the order which would result from the application of the guidelines is the appropriate amount of child support to be ordered. If, after taking into consideration the best interests of the child, the court determines that a party has overcome such presumption, the court shall make specific written findings indicating the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines; that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances; the specific facts of the case which justify departure from the guidelines; and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child. In furtherance of the public policy that dependent children shall be maintained as completely as possible from the resources of their parents and upon a complaint filed after a judgment of support, orders of maintenance and for support of minor children shall be modified if there is an inconsistency between the amount of the existing order and the amount that would result from application of the child support guidelines promulgated by the chief justice of the trial court or if there is a need to provide for the health care coverage of the child. A modification to provide for the health care coverage of the child shall be entered whether or not a modification in the amount of child support is necessary. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the order which would result from the application of the guidelines is the appropriate amount of child support to be ordered. If, after taking into consideration the best interests of the child, the court determines that a party has overcome the presumption, the court shall make specific written findings indicating the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines; that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances; the specific facts of the case which justify departure from the guidelines; and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child. The order shall be modified accordingly unless the inconsistency between the amount of the existing order and the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines is due to the fact that the amount of the existing order resulted from a rebuttal of the guidelines and that there has been no change in the circumstances which resulted in such rebuttal; provided, however, that even if the specific facts that justified departure from the guidelines upon entry of the original order remain in effect, the order shall be modified in accordance with the guidelines unless the court finds that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances and that the existing order is consistent with the best interests of the child. A modification of child support may enter notwithstanding an agreement of the parents that has independent legal significance. If the IV-D agency is responsible for enforcing the case, an order may also be modified in accordance with the procedures set out in section 3B of chapter 119A. The probate court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education of any child who has attained age eighteen but who has not attained age twenty-one and who is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education for any child who has attained age twenty-one but who has not attained age twenty-three if such child is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance due to the enrollment of such child in an educational program, excluding educational costs beyond an undergraduate degree.

If the court makes an order for support or maintenance on behalf of a child, the court shall require either parent to provide health care coverage for the child if such coverage is available at reasonable cost and accessible to the child. The court may require the obligor to pay an amount toward the obligee’s cost of health care coverage or toward uninsured medical expenses on behalf of the child. If the court determines that an order for health care coverage is not in the best interest of the child or creates an undue hardship for either parent, the court shall enter written findings.

If the child is enrolled in MassHealth, an equivalent program in another state pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1397aa et seq. or 42 U.S.C. 1396a et seq. or an equivalent program in another state that is substantially similar to the program established in chapter 118E, the court shall order the obligee to maintain coverage as long as the child remains eligible; provided, however, that the court may also order the obligor to enroll the child in private health insurance if: (i) private health insurance is available to the obligor at reasonable cost and accessible to the child; (ii) enrollment in the insurance is in the best interest of the child; and (iii) enrollment in the insurance will not create an undue hardship for the obligor or the obligee.

If the IV-D agency under chapter 119A is responsible for enforcing the order, the court shall order the parents to notify the IV-D agency of any changes in the availability and terms of health care coverage. For the purposes of this section: (i) health care coverage shall be deemed reasonable in cost if the cost to the party ordered to provide health care coverage does not exceed 5 per cent of the gross income of the party; (ii) health care coverage shall be deemed accessible to the child if covered services are available within 15 miles of the child’s primary residence; (iii) health care coverage includes private health insurance available through employment, union affiliation or otherwise, and public health coverage administered by the Title XIX agency; and (iv) private health insurance shall be deemed not available at reasonable cost to an obligor or obligee whose gross income does not exceed 150 per cent of the federal poverty guidelines for the family size or who receives MassHealth on behalf of the obligor, the obligee or the child.

When a court makes an order for maintenance or support, the court shall determine whether the obligor under such order is responsible for the maintenance or support for any other children of the obligor, even if a court order for such maintenance or support does not exist, or for any preexisting order for the maintenance or support of any other children from a previous marriage, or for any preexisting order for the maintenance or support of any other children born out of wedlock. If the court determines that such responsibility does, in fact, exist and that such obligor is fulfilling such responsibility such court shall take into consideration such responsibility in setting the amount to be paid under the current order for maintenance or support.

No court shall make an order providing visitation rights to a parent who has been convicted of murder in the first degree of the other parent of the child who is the subject of the order, unless such child is of suitable age to signify his assent and assents to such order; provided, further, that until such order is issued, no person shall visit, with the child present, a parent who has been convicted of murder in the first degree of the other parent of the child without the consent of the child’s custodian or legal guardian.

Chapter 209A. Abuse Prevention

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 1. Definitions

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

As used in this chapter the following words shall have the following meanings:

“Abuse”, the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:

(a) attempting to cause or causing physical harm;

(b) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;

(c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.

“Court”, the superior, probate and family, district or Boston municipal court departments of the trial court, except when the petitioner is in a dating relationship when “”Court” shall mean district, probate, or Boston municipal courts.

“Family or household members”, persons 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) having 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, which shall be adjudged by district, probate or Boston municipal courts consideration of the following factors:

(1) the length of time of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; (3) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and (4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship.

“Law officer”, any officer authorized to serve criminal process.

“”Protection order issued by another jurisdiction”, any injunction or other order issued by a court of another state, territory or possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia, or tribal court that is issued for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against, or contact or communication with or physical proximity to another person, including temporary and final orders issued by civil and criminal courts filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection.

“Vacate order”, court order to leave and remain away from a premises and surrendering forthwith any keys to said premises to the plaintiff. The defendant shall not damage any of the plaintiff’s belongings or those of any other occupant and shall not shut off or cause to be shut off any utilities or mail delivery to the plaintiff. In the case where the premises designated in the vacate order is a residence, so long as the plaintiff is living at said residence, the defendant shall not interfere in any way with the plaintiff’s right to possess such residence, except by order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to appropriate civil eviction proceedings, a petition to partition real estate, or a proceeding to divide marital property. A vacate order may include in its scope a household, a multiple family dwelling and the plaintiff’s workplace. When issuing an order to vacate the plaintiff’s workplace, the presiding justice must consider whether the plaintiff and defendant work in the same location or for the same employer.

§ 2. Abuse prevention proceedings; venue

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Proceedings under this chapter shall be filed, heard and determined in the superior court department or the Boston municipal court department or respective divisions of the probate and family or district court departments having venue over the plaintiff’s residence. If the plaintiff has left a residence or household to avoid abuse, such plaintiff shall have the option of commencing an action in the court having venue over such prior residence or household, or in the court having venue over the present residence or household.

§ 3. Remedies; period of relief

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

A person suffering from abuse from an adult or minor family or household member may file a complaint in the court requesting protection from such abuse, including, but not limited to, the following orders:

(a) ordering the defendant to refrain from abusing the plaintiff, whether the defendant is an adult or minor;

(b) ordering the defendant to refrain from contacting the plaintiff, unless authorized by the court, whether the defendant is an adult or minor;

(c) ordering the defendant to vacate forthwith and remain away from the household, multiple family dwelling, and workplace. Notwithstanding the provisions of section thirty-four B of chapter two hundred and eight, an order to vacate shall be for a fixed period of time, not to exceed one year, at the expiration of which time the court may extend any such order upon motion of the plaintiff, with notice to the defendant, for such additional time as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse;

(d) awarding the plaintiff temporary custody of a minor child; provided, however, that in any case brought in the probate and family court a finding by such court by a preponderance of the evidence that a pattern or serious incident of abuse, as defined in section 31A of chapter 208, toward a parent or child has occurred shall create a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interests of the child to be placed in sole custody, shared legal custody or shared physical custody with the abusive parent. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that such custody award is in the best interests of the child. For the purposes of this section, an “abusive parent” shall mean a parent who has committed a pattern of abuse or a serious incident of abuse;

For the purposes of this section, the issuance of an order or orders under chapter 209A shall not in and of itself constitute a pattern or serious incident of abuse; nor shall an order or orders entered ex parte under said chapter 209A be admissible to show whether a pattern or serious incident of abuse has in fact occurred; provided, however, that an order or orders entered ex parte under said chapter 209A may be admissible for other purposes as the court may determine, other than showing whether a pattern or serious incident of abuse has in fact occurred; provided further, that the underlying facts upon which an order or orders under said chapter 209A was based may also form the basis for a finding by the probate and family court that a pattern or serious incident of abuse has occurred.

If the court finds that a pattern or serious incident of abuse has occurred and issues a temporary or permanent custody order, the court shall within 90 days enter written findings of fact as to the effects of the abuse on the child, which findings demonstrate that such order is in the furtherance of the child’s best interests and provides for the safety and well-being of the child.

If ordering visitation to the abusive parent, the court shall provide for the safety and well-being of the child and the safety of the abused parent. The court may consider:

(a) ordering an exchange of the child to occur in a protected setting or in the presence of an appropriate third party;

(b) ordering visitation supervised by an appropriate third party, visitation center or agency;

(c) ordering the abusive parent to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the court, a certified batterer’s treatment program as a condition of visitation;

(d) ordering the abusive parent to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances during the visitation and for 24 hours preceding visitation;

(e) ordering the abusive parent to pay the costs of supervised visitation;

(f) prohibiting overnight visitation;

(g) requiring a bond from the abusive parent for the return and safety of the child;

(h) ordering an investigation or appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney for the child; and

(i) imposing any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety and well-being of the child and the safety of the abused parent.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the right of the parties to a hearing under the rules of domestic relations procedure or to affect the discretion of the probate and family court in the conduct of such hearing.

(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 to support such a person. In determining the amount to be paid, the court shall apply the standards established in the child support guidelines. Each judgment or order of support which is issued, reviewed or modified pursuant to this chapter shall conform to and shall be enforced in accordance with the provisions of section 12 of chapter 119A;

(f) ordering the defendant to pay the person abused monetary compensation for the losses suffered as a direct result of such abuse. Compensatory losses shall include, but not be limited to, loss of earnings or support, costs for restoring utilities, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained, replacement costs for locks or personal property removed or destroyed, medical and moving expenses and reasonable attorney’s fees;

(g) ordering information in the case record to be impounded in accordance with court rule;

(h) ordering the defendant to refrain from abusing or contacting the plaintiff’s child, or child in plaintiff’s care or custody, unless authorized by the court;

(i) the judge may recommend to the defendant that the defendant attend a batterer’s intervention program that is certified by the department of public health.

No filing fee shall be charged for the filing of the complaint. Neither the plaintiff nor the plaintiff’s attorney shall be charged for certified copies of any orders entered by the court, or any copies of the file reasonably required for future court action or as a result of the loss or destruction of plaintiff’s copies.

Any relief granted by the court shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year. Every order shall on its face state the time and date the order is to expire and shall include the date and time that the matter will again be heard. If the plaintiff appears at the court at the date and time the order is to expire, the court shall determine whether or not to extend the order for any additional time reasonably necessary to protect the plaintiff or to enter a permanent order. When the expiration date stated on the order is on a weekend day or holiday, or a date when the court is closed to business, the order shall not expire until the next date that the court is open to business. The plaintiff may appear on such next court business day at the time designated by the order to request that the order be extended. The court may also extend the order upon motion of the plaintiff, for such additional time as it deems necessary to protect from abuse the plaintiff or any child in the plaintiff’s care or custody. The fact that abuse has not occurred during the pendency of an order shall not, in itself, constitute sufficient ground for denying or failing to extend the order, of allowing an order to expire or be vacated, or for refusing to issue a new order.

The court may modify its order at any subsequent time upon motion by either party. When the plaintiff’s address is inaccessible to the defendant as provided in section 8 of this chapter and the defendant has filed a motion to modify the court’s order, the court shall be responsible for notifying the plaintiff. In no event shall the court disclose any such inaccessible address.

No order under this chapter shall in any manner affect title to real property.

No court shall compel parties to mediate any aspect of their case. Although the court may refer the case to the family service office of the probation department or victim/witness advocates for information gathering purposes, the court shall not compel the parties to meet together in such information gathering sessions.

A court shall not deny any complaint filed under this chapter solely because it was not filed within a particular time period after the last alleged incident of abuse.

A court may issue a mutual restraining order or mutual no-contact order pursuant to any abuse prevention action only if the court has made specific written findings of fact. The court shall then provide a detailed order, sufficiently specific to apprise any law officer as to which party has violated the order, if the parties are in or appear to be in violation of the order.

Any action commenced under the provisions of this chapter shall not preclude any other civil or criminal remedies. A party filing a complaint under this chapter shall be required to disclose any prior or pending actions involving the parties for divorce, annulment, paternity, custody or support, guardianship, separate support or legal separation, or abuse prevention.

If there is a prior or pending custody support order from the probate and family court department of the trial court, an order issued in the superior, district or Boston municipal court departments of the trial court pursuant to this chapter may include any relief available pursuant to this chapter including orders for custody or support; provided, however, that upon issuing an order for custody or support, the superior, district or Boston municipal court shall provide a copy of the order to the probate and family court department of the trial court that issued the prior or pending custody or support order immediately; provided further, that such order for custody or support shall be for a fixed period of time, not to exceed 30 days; and provided further, that such order may be superseded by a subsequent custody or support order issued by the probate and family court department, which shall retain final jurisdiction over any custody or support order. This section shall not be interpreted to mean that superior, district or Boston municipal court judges are prohibited or discouraged from ordering all other necessary relief or issuing the custody and support provisions of orders pursuant to this chapter for the full duration permitted under subsection (c).

If the parties to a proceeding under this chapter are parties in a subsequent proceeding in the probate and family court department for divorce, annulment, paternity, custody or support, guardianship or separate support, any custody or support order or judgment issued in the subsequent proceeding shall supersede any prior custody or support order under this chapter.

§ 3A. Nature of proceedings and availability of other criminal proceedings; information required to be given to complainant upon filing

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon the filing of a complaint under this chapter, a complainant shall be informed that the proceedings hereunder are civil in nature and that violations of orders issued hereunder are criminal in nature. Further, a complainant shall be given information prepared by the appropriate district attorney’s office that other criminal proceedings may be available and such complainant shall be instructed by such district attorney’s office relative to the procedures required to initiate criminal proceedings including, but not limited to, a complaint for a violation of section forty-three of chapter two hundred and sixty-five. Whenever possible, a complainant shall be provided with such information in the complainant’s native language.

§ 3B. Order for suspension and surrender of firearms license; surrender of firearms; petition for review; hearing

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Section 3B. Upon issuance of a temporary or emergency order under section four or five of this chapter, the court shall, if the plaintiff demonstrates a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse, order the immediate suspension and surrender of any license to carry firearms and or firearms identification card which the defendant may hold and order the defendant to surrender all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns and ammunition which he then controls, owns or possesses in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and any license to carry firearms or firearms identification cards which the defendant may hold shall be surrendered to the appropriate law enforcement officials in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and, said law enforcement official may store, transfer or otherwise dispose of any such weapon in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of chapter 140; provided however, that nothing herein shall authorize the transfer of any weapons surrendered by the defendant to anyone other than a licensed dealer. Notice of such suspension and ordered surrender shall be appended to the copy of abuse prevention order served on the defendant pursuant to section seven. Law enforcement officials, upon the service of said orders, shall immediately take possession of all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, ammunition, any license to carry firearms and any firearms identification cards in the control, ownership, or possession of said defendant. Any violation of such orders shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Any defendant aggrieved by an order of surrender or suspension as described in the first sentence of this section may petition the court which issued such suspension or surrender order for a review of such action and such petition shall be heard no later than ten court business days after the receipt of the notice of the petition by the court. If said license to carry firearms or firearms identification card has been suspended upon the issuance of an order issued pursuant to section four or five, said petition may be heard contemporaneously with the hearing specified in the second sentence of the second paragraph of section four. Upon the filing of an affidavit by the defendant that a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or ammunition is required in the performance of the defendant’s employment, and upon a request for an expedited hearing, the court shall order said hearing within two business days of receipt of such affidavit and request but only on the issue of surrender and suspension pursuant to this section.

§ 3C. Continuation or modification of order for surrender or suspension

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon the continuation or modification of an order issued pursuant to section 4 or upon petition for review as described in section 3B, the court shall also order or continue to order the immediate suspension and surrender of a defendant’s license to carry firearms, including a Class A or Class B license, and firearms identification card and the surrender of all firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns or ammunition which such defendant then controls, owns or possesses if the court makes a determination that the return of such license to carry firearms, including a Class A or Class B license, and firearm identification card or firearms, rifles, shotguns, machine guns or ammunition presents a likelihood of abuse to the plaintiff. A suspension and surrender order issued pursuant to this section shall continue so long as the restraining order to which it relates is in effect; and, any law enforcement official to whom such weapon is surrendered may store, transfer or otherwise dispose of any such weapon in accordance with the provisions of section 129D of chapter 140; provided, however, that nothing herein shall authorize the transfer of any weapons surrendered by the defendant to anyone other than a licensed dealer. Any violation of such order shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a house of correction or by both such fine and imprisonment.

§ 4. Temporary orders; notice; hearing

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon the filing of a complaint under this chapter, the court may enter such temporary orders as it deems necessary to protect a plaintiff from abuse, including relief as provided in section three. Such relief shall not be contingent upon the filing of a complaint for divorce, separate support, or paternity action.

If the plaintiff demonstrates a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse, the court may enter such temporary relief orders without notice as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from abuse and shall immediately thereafter notify the defendant that the temporary orders have been issued. The court shall give the defendant an opportunity to be heard on the question of continuing the temporary order and of granting other relief as requested by the plaintiff no later than ten court business days after such orders are entered.

Notice shall be made by the appropriate law enforcement agency as provided in section seven.

If the defendant does not appear at such subsequent hearing, the temporary orders shall continue in effect without further order of the court.

§ 5. Granting of relief when court closed; relief granted by telephone; certification.

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

When the court is closed for business or the plaintiff is unable to appear in court because of severe hardship due to the plaintiff’s physical condition, any justice of the superior, probate and family, district or Boston municipal court departments may grant relief to the plaintiff as provided under section four if the plaintiff demonstrates a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse. In the discretion of the justice, such relief may be granted and communicated by telephone to an officer or employee of an appropriate law enforcement agency, who shall record such order on a form of order promulgated for such use by the chief justice of the trial court and shall deliver a copy of such order on the next court day to the clerk-magistrate of the court having venue and jurisdiction over the matter. If relief has been granted without the filing of a complaint pursuant to this section of this chapter, then the plaintiff shall appear in court on the next available business day to file said complaint. If the plaintiff in such a case is unable to appear in court without severe hardship due to the plaintiff’s physical condition, then a representative may appear in court on the plaintiff’s behalf and file the requisite complaint with an affidavit setting forth the circumstances preventing the plaintiff from appearing personally. Notice to the plaintiff and defendant and an opportunity for the defendant to be heard shall be given as provided in said section four.

Any order issued under this section and any documentation in support thereof shall be certified on the next court day by the clerk-magistrate or register of the court issuing such order to the court having venue and jurisdiction over the matter. Such certification to the court shall have the effect of commencing proceedings under this chapter and invoking the other provisions of this chapter but shall not be deemed necessary for an emergency order issued under this section to take effect.

§ 5A. Protection order issued by another jurisdiction; enforcement; filing; presumption of validity

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Any protection order issued by another jurisdiction, as defined in section one, shall be given full faith and credit throughout the commonwealth and enforced as if it were issued in the commonwealth for as long as the order is in effect in the issuing jurisdiction.

A person entitled to protection under a protection order issued by another jurisdiction may file such order in the superior court department or the Boston municipal court department or any division of the probate and family or district court departments by filing with the court a certified copy of such order which shall be entered into the statewide domestic violence record keeping system established pursuant to the provisions of section seven of chapter one hundred and eighty-eight of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-two and maintained by the office of the commissioner of probation. Such person shall swear under oath in an affidavit, to the best of such person’s knowledge, that such order is presently in effect as written. Upon request by a law enforcement agency, the register or clerk of such court shall provide a certified copy of the protection order issued by the other jurisdiction.

A law enforcement officer may presume the validity of, and enforce in accordance with section six, a copy of a protection order issued by another jurisdiction which has been provided to the law enforcement officer by any source; provided, however, that the officer is also provided with a statement by the person protected by the order that such order remains in effect. Law enforcement officers may rely on such statement by the person protected by such order.

§ 6. Powers of police.

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whenever any law officer has reason to believe that a family or household member has been abused or is in danger of being abused, such officer shall use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse. The officer shall take, but not be limited to the following action: (1) remain on the scene of where said abuse occurred or was in danger of occurring as long as the officer has reason to believe that at least one of the parties involved would be in immediate physical danger without the presence of a law officer. This shall include, but not be limited to remaining in the dwelling for a reasonable period of time; (2) assist the abused person in obtaining medical treatment necessitated by an assault, which may include driving the victim to the emergency room of the nearest hospital, or arranging for appropriate transportation to a health care facility, notwithstanding any law to the contrary; (3) assist the abused person in locating and getting to a safe place; including but not limited to a designated meeting place for a shelter or a family member’s or friend’s residence. The officer shall consider the victim’s preference in this regard and what is reasonable under all the circumstances; (4) give such person immediate and adequate notice of his or her rights. Such notice shall consist of handing said person a copy of the statement which follows below and reading the same to said person. Where said person’s native language is not English, the statement shall be then provided in said person’s native language whenever possible. “You have the right to appear at the Superior, Probate and Family, District or Boston Municipal Court, if you reside within the appropriate jurisdiction, and file a complaint requesting any of the following applicable orders: (a) an order restraining your attacker from abusing you; (b) an order directing your attacker to leave your household, building or workplace; (c) an order awarding you custody of a minor child; (d) an order directing your attacker to pay support for you or any minor child in your custody, if the attacker has a legal obligation of support; and (e) an order directing your attacker to pay you for losses suffered as a result of abuse, including medical and moving expenses, loss of earnings or support, costs for restoring utilities and replacing locks, reasonable attorney’s fees and other out-of-pocket losses for injuries and property damage sustained. For an emergency on weekends, holidays, or weeknights the police will refer you to a justice of the superior, probate and family, district, or Boston municipal court departments. You have the right to go to the appropriate district court or the Boston municipal court and seek a criminal complaint for threats, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to kill or other related offenses. If you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that an officer present drive you to the nearest hospital or otherwise assist you in obtaining medical treatment. If you believe that police protection is needed for your physical safety, you have the right to request that the officer present remain at the scene until you and your children can leave or until your safety is otherwise ensured. You may also request that the officer assist you in locating and taking you to a safe place, including but not limited to a designated meeting place for a shelter or a family member’s or a friend’s residence, or a similar place of safety. You may request a copy of the police incident report at no cost from the police department.” The officer shall leave a copy of the foregoing statement with such person before leaving the scene or premises. (5) assist such person by activating the emergency judicial system when the court is closed for business; (6) inform the victim that the abuser will be eligible for bail and may be promptly released; and (7) arrest any person a law officer witnesses or has probable cause to believe has violated a temporary or permanent vacate, restraining, or no-contact order or judgment issued pursuant to section eighteen, thirty-four B or thirty-four C of chapter two hundred and eight, section thirty-two of chapter two hundred and nine, section three, three B, three C, four or five of this chapter, or sections fifteen or twenty of chapter two hundred and nine C or similar protection order issued by another jurisdiction. When there are no vacate, restraining, or no-contact orders or judgments in effect, arrest shall be the preferred response whenever an officer witnesses or has probable cause to believe that a person: (a) has committed a felony; (b) has committed a misdemeanor involving abuse as defined in section one of this chapter; (c) has committed an assault and battery in violation of section thirteen A of chapter two hundred and sixty-five. The safety of the victim and any involved children shall be paramount in any decision to arrest. Any officer arresting both parties must submit a detailed, written report in addition to an incident report, setting forth the grounds for dual arrest. No law officer investigating an incident of domestic violence shall threaten, suggest, or otherwise indicate the arrest of all parties for the purpose of discouraging requests for law enforcement intervention by any party. No law officer shall be held liable in any civil action regarding personal injury or injury to property brought by any party to a domestic violence incident for an arrest based on probable cause when such officer acted reasonably and in good faith and in compliance with this chapter and the statewide policy as established by the secretary of public safety. Whenever any law officer investigates an incident of domestic violence, the officer shall immediately file a written incident report in accordance with the standards of the officer’s law enforcement agency and, wherever possible, in the form of the National Incident-Based Reporting System, as defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The latter information may be submitted voluntarily by the local police on a monthly basis to the crime reporting unit of the department of criminal justice information services. The victim shall be provided a copy of the full incident report at no cost upon request to the appropriate law enforcement department. When a judge or other person authorized to take bail bails any person arrested under the provisions of this chapter, he shall make reasonable efforts to inform the victim of such release prior to or at the time of said release. When any person charged with or arrested for a crime involving abuse under this chapter is released from custody, the court or the emergency response judge shall issue, upon the request of the victim, a written no-contact order prohibiting the person charged or arrested from having any contact with the victim and shall use all reasonable means to notify the victim immediately of release from custody. The victim shall be given at no cost a certified copy of the no-contact order.

§ 7. Abuse prevention orders; domestic violence record search; service of order; enforcement; violations

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

When considering a complaint filed under this chapter, a judge shall cause a search to be made of the records contained within the statewide domestic violence record keeping system maintained by the office of the commissioner of probation and shall review the resulting data to determine whether the named defendant has a civil or criminal record involving domestic or other violence. Upon receipt of information that an outstanding warrant exists against the named defendant, a judge shall order that the appropriate law enforcement officials be notified and shall order that any information regarding the defendant’s most recent whereabouts shall be forwarded to such officials. In all instances where an outstanding warrant exists, a judge shall make a finding, based upon all of the circumstances, as to whether an imminent threat of bodily injury exists to the petitioner. In all instances where such an imminent threat of bodily injury is found to exist, the judge shall notify the appropriate law enforcement officials of such finding and such officials shall take all necessary actions to execute any such outstanding warrant as soon as is practicable.

Whenever the court orders under sections eighteen, thirty-four B, and thirty-four C of chapter two hundred and eight, section thirty-two of chapter two hundred and nine, sections three, four and five of this chapter, or sections fifteen and twenty of chapter two hundred and nine C, the defendant to vacate, refrain from abusing the plaintiff or to have no contact with the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s minor child, the register or clerk-magistrate shall transmit two certified copies of each such order and one copy of the complaint and summons forthwith to the appropriate law enforcement agency which, unless otherwise ordered by the court, shall serve one copy of each order upon the defendant, together with a copy of the complaint, order and summons and notice of any suspension or surrender ordered pursuant to section three B of this chapter. Law enforcement agencies shall establish adequate procedures to ensure that, when effecting service upon a defendant pursuant to this paragraph, a law enforcement officer shall, to the extent practicable: (i) fully inform the defendant of the contents of the order and the available penalties for any violation of an order or terms thereof and (ii) provide the defendant with informational resources, including, but not limited to, a list of certified batterer intervention programs, substance abuse counseling, alcohol abuse counseling and financial counseling programs located within or near the court’s jurisdiction. The law enforcement agency shall promptly make its return of service to the court.

Law enforcement officers shall use every reasonable means to enforce such abuse prevention orders. Law enforcement agencies shall establish procedures adequate to insure that an officer on the scene of an alleged violation of such order may be informed of the existence and terms of such order. The court shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency in writing whenever any such order is vacated and shall direct the agency to destroy all record of such vacated order and such agency shall comply with that directive.

Each abuse prevention order issued shall contain the following statement: VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

Any violation of such order or a protection order issued by another jurisdiction shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment. In addition to, but not in lieu of, the forgoing penalties and any other sentence, fee or assessment, including the victim witness assessment in section 8 of chapter 258B, the court shall order persons convicted of a crime under this statute to pay a fine of $25 that shall be transmitted to the treasurer for deposit into the General Fund. For any violation of such order, or as a condition of a continuance without a finding, the court shall order the defendant to complete a certified batterer’s intervention program unless, upon good cause shown, the court issues specific written findings describing the reasons that batterer’s intervention should not be ordered or unless the batterer’s intervention program determines that the defendant is not suitable for intervention. The court shall not order substance abuse or anger management treatment or any other form of treatment as a substitute for certified batterer’s intervention. If a defendant ordered to undergo treatment has received a suspended sentence, the original sentence shall be reimposed if the defendant fails to participate in said program as required by the terms of his probation. If the court determines that the violation was in retaliation for the defendant being reported by the plaintiff to the department of revenue for failure to pay child support payments or for the establishment of paternity, the defendant shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars and not more than ten thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not less than sixty days; provided, however, that the sentence shall not be suspended, nor shall any such person be eligible for probation, parole, or furlough or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served sixty days of such sentence.

When a defendant has been ordered to participate in a treatment program pursuant to this section, the defendant shall be required to regularly attend a certified or provisionally certified batterer’s treatment program. To the extent permitted by professional requirements of confidentiality, said program shall communicate with local battered women’s programs for the purpose of protecting the victim’s safety. Additionally, it shall specify the defendant’s attendance requirements and keep the probation department informed of whether the defendant is in compliance.

In addition to, but not in lieu of, such orders for treatment, if the defendant has a substance abuse problem, the court may order appropriate treatment for such problem. All ordered treatment shall last until the end of the probationary period or until the treatment program decides to discharge the defendant, whichever comes first. When the defendant is not in compliance with the terms of probation, the court shall hold a revocation of probation hearing. To the extent possible, the defendant shall be responsible for paying all costs for court ordered treatment.

Where a defendant has been found in violation of an abuse prevention order under this chapter or a protection order issued by another jurisdiction, the court may, in addition to the penalties provided for in this section after conviction, as an alternative to incarceration and, as a condition of probation, prohibit contact with the victim through the establishment of court defined geographic exclusion zones including, but not limited to, the areas in and around the complainant’s residence, place of employment, and the complainant’s child’s school, and order that the defendant to wear a global positioning satellite tracking device designed to transmit and record the defendant’s location data. If the defendant enters a court defined exclusion zone, the defendant’s location data shall be immediately transmitted to the complainant, and to the police, through an appropriate means including, but not limited to, the telephone, an electronic beeper or a paging device. The global positioning satellite device and its tracking shall be administered by the department of probation. If a court finds that the defendant has entered a geographic exclusion zone, it shall revoke his probation and the defendant shall be fined, imprisoned or both as provided in this section. Based on the defendant’s ability to pay, the court may also order him to pay the monthly costs or portion thereof for monitoring through the global positioning satellite tracking system.

In each instance where there is a violation of an abuse prevention order or a protection order issued by another jurisdiction, the court may order the defendant to pay the plaintiff for all damages including, but not limited to, cost for shelter or emergency housing, loss of earnings or support, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained or property damaged, medical expenses, moving expenses, cost for obtaining an unlisted telephone number, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Any such violation may be enforced in the superior, the district or Boston municipal court departments. Criminal remedies provided herein are not exclusive and do not preclude any other available civil or criminal remedies. The superior, probate and family, district and Boston municipal court departments may each enforce by civil contempt procedure a violation of its own court order.

The provisions of section eight of chapter one hundred and thirty-six shall not apply to any order, complaint or summons issued pursuant to this section.

§ 8. Address of plaintiff; exclusion from court documents; confidentiality of records.

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

The records of cases arising out of an action brought under the provisions of this chapter where the plaintiff or defendant is a minor shall be withheld from public inspection except by order of the court; provided, that such records shall be open, at all reasonable times, to the inspection of the minor, said minor’s parent, guardian, attorney, and to the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney, or any of them.

The plaintiff’s residential address, residential telephone number and workplace name, address and telephone number, contained within the court records of cases arising out of an action brought by a plaintiff under the provisions of this chapter, shall be confidential and withheld from public inspection, except by order of the court, except that the plaintiff’s residential address and workplace address shall appear on the court order and accessible to the defendant and the defendant’s attorney unless the plaintiff specifically requests that this information be withheld from the order. All confidential portions of the records shall be accessible at all reasonable times to the plaintiff and plaintiff’s attorney, to others specifically authorized by the plaintiff to obtain such information, and to prosecutors, victim-witness advocates as defined in section 1 of chapter 258B, domestic violence victim’s counselors as defined in section 20K of chapter 233, sexual assault counselors as defined in section 20J of chapter 233, and law enforcement officers, if such access is necessary in the performance of their duties. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to any protection order issued by another jurisdiction, as defined in section 1, that is filed with a court of the commonwealth pursuant to section 5A. Such confidential portions of the court records shall not be deemed to be public records under the provisions of clause twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4.

§ 9. Form of complaint; promulgation.

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

The administrative justices of the superior court, probate and family court, district court, and the Boston municipal court departments shall jointly promulgate a form of complaint for use under this chapter which shall be in such form and language to permit a plaintiff to prepare and file such complaint pro se.

§ 10. Assessments against persons referred to certified batterers' treatment program as condition of probation.

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

The court shall impose an assessment of three hundred and fifty dollars against any person who has been referred to a certified batterers’ treatment program as a condition of probation. Said assessment shall be in addition to the cost of the treatment program. In the discretion of the court, said assessment may be reduced or waived when the court finds that the person is indigent or that payment of the assessment would cause substantial financial hardship to the person or the person’s immediate family or the person’s dependents. Assessments made pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any other fines, assessments, or restitution imposed in any disposition. All funds collected by the court pursuant to this section shall be transmitted monthly to the state treasurer, who shall deposit said funds in the General Fund.

§ 11. Possession, care and control of domesticated animal owned by persons involved in certain protective orders; notice to law enforcement upon finding of imminent threat to household member or animal

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Whenever the court issues a temporary or permanent vacate, stay away, restraining or no contact order or a judgment under section 18, 34B or 34C of chapter 208, or under section 32 of chapter 209, or under section 3, 4 or 5 of this chapter, or under section 15 or 20 of chapter 209C, or under section 3 to 7, inclusive, of chapter 258E or a temporary restraining order or preliminary or permanent injunction relative to a domestic relations, child custody, domestic abuse or abuse prevention proceeding, the court may order the possession, care and control of any domesticated animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household to the plaintiff or petitioner. The court may order the defendant to refrain from abusing, threatening, taking, interfering with, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming or otherwise disposing of such animal.

(b) A party to any proceeding listed in subsection (a) may petition the court for an order authorized by said subsection (a).

(c) Whenever the court issues a warrant for a violation of a temporary or permanent vacate, stay away, restraining or no contact order or a judgment issued under section 18, 34B or 34C of chapter 208, or under section 32 of chapter 209, or under section 3, 4 or 5 of this chapter, or under section 15 or 20 of chapter 209C, or section 3 to 7, inclusive, of chapter 258E or otherwise becomes aware that an outstanding warrant for such a violation has been issued against a person before the court, the judge may make a finding, based upon the totality of the circumstances, as to whether there exists an imminent threat of bodily injury to any party to such judgment or the petitioner of any such protective order, a member of the petitioner’s family or household or to a domesticated animal belonging to the petitioner or to a member of the petitioner’s family or household. If the court makes a finding that such an imminent threat of bodily injury to a person or domesticated animal exists, the court shall notify the appropriate law enforcement officials of such finding and the law enforcement officials shall take all necessary actions to execute any such outstanding warrant as soon as is practicable.

Chapter 209B. Massachusetts Child Custody Jurisdiction Act

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 1. Definitions

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

As used in this chapter the following words, unless the context requires otherwise, shall have the following meanings:–

“Contestant”, a person who claims a legal right to custody or visitation with respect to a child;

“Custody determination”, any court order, instruction or judgment, whether temporary or final, providing for the custody of or visitation rights with a child; it shall not be deemed to include any order or judgment concerning other child-related matters except to the extent such order of judgment contains a custody determination as above-stated;

“Custody proceeding”, includes proceedings in which a custody determination is one of several issues presented for resolution, such as an action for divorce or separation, guardianship, and care and protection;

“Judgment” or “Custody judgment”, a custody determination made in a custody proceeding, and includes an initial judgment and a modification judgment;

“Home state”, the state in which the child immediately preceding the date of commencement of the custody proceeding resided with his parents, a parent, or a person acting as parent, for at least 6 consecutive months, and in the case of a child less than 6 months old the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. Periods of temporary absence of any of the named persons are counted as part of the 6-month or other period;

“Initial judgment”, the first custody determination concerning a particular child;

“Modification judgment”, a custody determination which modifies or replaces a prior custody determination, whether made by the court which rendered the prior determination or by another court;

“Physical custody”, actual possession and control of a child;

“Person acting as parent”, a person other than a parent who has physical custody of a child and who has either been awarded custody of a child or claims a legal right to custody and includes an authorized social service agency exercising legal or physical custody of a child; and

“Parent”, a biological, foster, or adoptive parent whose parental rights have not previously been terminated;

“State”, any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

§ 2. Jurisdiction

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Any court which is competent to decide child custody matters has jurisdiction to make a custody determination by initial or modification judgment if:

(1) the commonwealth (i) is the home state of the child on the commencement of the custody proceeding, or (ii) had been the child’s home state within six months before the date of the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from the commonwealth because of his or her removal or retention by a person claiming his or her custody or for other reasons, and a parent or person acting as parent continues to reside in the commonwealth; or

(2) it appears that no other state would have jurisdiction under paragraph (1) and it is in the best interest of the child that a court of the commonwealth assume jurisdiction because (i) the child and his or her parents, or the child and at least one contestant, have a significant connection with the commonwealth, and (ii) there is available in the commonwealth substantial evidence concerning the child’s present or future care, protection, training, and personal relationships; or

(3) the child is physically present in the commonwealth and (i) the child has been abandoned or (ii) it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child from abuse or neglect or for other good cause shown, provided that in the event that jurisdictional prerequisites are not established pursuant to any other paragraph of this subsection and a court of another state shall be entitled to assert jurisdiction under any other subparagraph of this paragraph then a court exercising jurisdiction pursuant to this clause of paragraph (3) may do so only by entering such temporary order or orders as it deems necessary unless the court of the other state has declined to exercise jurisdiction, has stayed its proceedings or has otherwise deferred to the jurisdiction of a court of the commonwealth; or

(4) (i) it appears that no other state would have jurisdiction under prerequisites substantially in accordance with paragraph (1), (2) or (3), or another state has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that the commonwealth is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child, and (ii) it is in the best interest of the child that a court of the commonwealth assume jurisdiction.

(b) Except under subparagraphs (3) and (4) of paragraph (a), physical presence in the commonwealth of the child or of the child and one of the contestants, is not alone sufficient to confer jurisdiction on a court of the commonwealth to make a custody determination.

(c) Physical presence of the child, while desirable, is not a prerequisite for jurisdiction to make a custody determination.

(d) A court of the commonwealth shall not exercise jurisdiction in any custody proceeding commenced during the pendency of a proceeding in a court of another state where such court of that state is exercising jurisdiction consistently with the provisions of this section for the purpose of making a custody determination, except in accordance with paragraph (3) of subsection (a), unless the court of the other state shall decline jurisdiction pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection (a) or shall stay its proceedings or otherwise defer to the jurisdiction of a court of the commonwealth.

(e) If a court of another state has made a custody determination in substantial conformity with this chapter, a court of the commonwealth shall not modify that determination unless (1) it appears to the court of the commonwealth that the court which made the custody determination does not now have jurisdiction under jurisdictional prerequisites substantially in accordance with this chapter or that such court has declined to assume jurisdiction to modify its determination and (2) a court of the commonwealth now has jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter.

Chapter 209C. Children Born Out of Wedlock

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 1. Declaration of purpose; definition; responsibility for support

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Children born to parents who are not married to each other shall be entitled to the same rights and protections of the law as all other children. It is the purpose of this chapter to establish a means for such children either to be acknowledged by their parents voluntarily or, on complaint by one or the other of their parents or such other person or agency as is authorized to file a complaint by section five, to have an acknowledgment or adjudication of their paternity, to have an order for their support and to have a declaration relative to their custody or visitation rights ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. For the purpose of this chapter, the term “child born out of wedlock” shall refer to any child born to a man and woman who are not married to each other and shall include a child who was conceived and born to parents who are not married to each other but who subsequently intermarry and whose paternity has not been acknowledged by word or deed or whose paternity has not been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction; and a child born to parents who are not married to each other whose paternity has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction, including an adjudication in a proceeding pursuant to this chapter or prior law. Every person is responsible for the support of his child born out of wedlock from its birth up to the age of eighteen, or, where such child is domiciled in the home of a parent and principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance, to age twenty-one. Each person charged with support under this section shall be required to furnish support according to his financial ability and earning capacity pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 2. Paternity; acknowledgment or adjudication; statistical information of parties; transmission to registrar

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Paternity may be established by filing with the court, the clerk of the city or town where the child was born or the registrar of vital records and statistics an acknowledgment of parentage executed by both parents pursuant to section 11 or pursuant to an action to establish paternity filed pursuant to this chapter; provided, however, that if a judgment or finding of paternity has been issued by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction under the law of another state or foreign country or if both parents executed a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage in accordance with the law of another state or foreign country, such judgment, finding or voluntary acknowledgment shall be accorded full faith and credit and paternity shall not be relitigated. Upon receipt of an acknowledgment of paternity, the clerk of such city or town shall forward the original acknowledgment to said registrar as provided in chapter 46. Upon receipt of an acknowledgment of parentage or upon an adjudication of paternity under this chapter, the court shall transmit to the registrar of vital records and statistics a certified copy of the acknowledgment or order establishing paternity, together with such statistical information as said registrar may require, upon such form and in such format as designated by said registrar, which shall include the name, residence, date of birth, place of birth and social security number of each of the parties and the child, the sex of the child, and such additional information as the commissioner of public health deems useful for statistical and research purposes. Actions to establish support obligations or for custody or visitation rights may also be filed pursuant to this chapter.

§ 9. Judgment or order for support; health insurance; financial statement; determination of amount; notice

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) If the court finds that a parent is chargeable with the support of a child, the court shall make an order in accordance with subsection (c) requiring a parent to pay weekly or at other fixed periods a sum for and toward the current support and maintenance of such child. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education for any child who has attained age eighteen but who has not attained age twenty-one, who is domiciled in the home of a parent and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education for any child who has attained age twenty-one but who has not attained age twenty-three if such child is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance due to the enrollment of such child in an educational program, excluding educational costs beyond an undergraduate degree. Upon the petition of a party, the court shall also order past support for the period from the birth of the child to the entry of the order, taking into consideration the parent’s ability to pay under subsection (c) and any support provided by the parent during such period. An order or judgment of support pursuant to this chapter shall be entered notwithstanding the default of the defendant or his failure to appear personally upon a showing that notice was served in accordance with the applicable rules of court. For good cause shown, the court may set aside an entry of default and, if a judgment has been entered, may likewise set it aside in accordance with rule 60(b) of the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure. An order may be entered requiring a parent chargeable with support to reimburse the mother or the department of transitional assistance or the office of Medicaid or the executive office of health and human services for medical expenses attributable to the child or associated with childbirth or resulting from the pregnancy.

If the court makes an order or judgment for maintenance or support of a child, the court shall require either parent to provide health care coverage for the child if such coverage is available at reasonable cost and accessible to the child. The court may require the obligor to pay an amount toward the obligee’s cost of health care coverage or toward uninsured medical expenses on behalf of the child. If the court determines that an order for health care coverage is not in the best interest of the child or creates an undue hardship for either parent, the court shall enter written findings.

If the child is enrolled in MassHealth, an equivalent program in another state pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1397aa et seq. or 42 U.S.C. 1396a et seq. or an equivalent program in another state that is substantially similar to the program established in chapter 118E, the court shall order the obligee to maintain coverage as long as the child remains eligible; provided, however, that the court may also order the obligor to enroll the child in private health insurance if: (i) private health insurance is available to the obligor at reasonable cost and accessible to the child; (ii) enrollment in the insurance is in the best interest of the child; and (iii) enrollment in the insurance will not create an undue hardship for the obligor or the obligee.

If the IV-D agency under chapter 119A is responsible for enforcing the order, the court shall order the parents to notify the IV-D agency of any changes in the availability and terms of health care coverage. For the purposes of this section: (i) health care coverage shall be deemed reasonable in cost if the cost to the party ordered to provide health care coverage does not exceed 5 per cent of the gross income of the party; (ii) health care coverage shall be deemed accessible to the child if covered services are available within 15 miles of the child’s primary residence; (iii) health care coverage includes private health insurance available through employment, union affiliation or otherwise, and public health coverage administered by the Title XIX agency; and (iv) private health insurance shall be deemed not available at reasonable cost to an obligor or obligee whose gross income does not exceed 150 per cent of the federal poverty guidelines for the family size or who receives MassHealth on behalf of the obligor, the obligee or the child.

(b) Upon demand by either party, including the IV-D agency, the other party shall be compelled to provide a financial statement, except that the IV-D agency shall not be compelled to provide a financial statement for a recipient of public assistance, and, provided further, if no party makes such a demand, the court may require a financial statement of each party.

(c) In determining the amount of the child support obligation or in approving the agreement of the parties, the court shall apply the child support guidelines promulgated by the chief justice of the trial court. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount resulting from application of the guidelines is the appropriate amount of child support to be ordered. If, after taking into consideration the best interests of the child, the court determines that a party has overcome such presumption, the court shall make specific written findings indicating the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines; that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances; the specific facts of the case which justify departure from the guidelines; and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child. In the event that no child support guidelines are in effect, the court shall make such order as is in the best interests of the child, taking into consideration the financial ability and earning capacity of the parents of the child.

(d) It shall not be a defense that the parent from whom support is sought has ceased to have custody or the right to custody of a minor child for whom support is sought, or that the custodial parent is interfering with the other parent’s right of visitation.

(e) If the child on whose behalf an order of support is sought is a recipient of benefits pursuant to chapter 117, 118 or 119 and the department of transitional assistance, the department of children and families, the division of medical assistance or any other public assistance program has not been made a party as required by section 5, the court shall notify the IV-D agency of the order or judgment of support.

(f) In determining the amount to be paid, the court, in addition to applying the standards established by the chief justice of the trial court, shall determine whether the obligor is responsible for the maintenance or support of any other children of the obligor even if a court order for such maintenance or support does not exist. If the court determines that such responsibility does, in fact, exist and that such obligor is fulfilling such responsibility, such court shall take into consideration such responsibility in setting the amount to be paid under the current order for maintenance or support.

§ 10. Award of custody; criteria

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Upon or after an adjudication or voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, the court may award custody to the mother or the father or to them jointly or to another suitable person as hereafter further specified as may be appropriate in the best interests of the child.

In awarding custody to one of the parents, the court shall, to the extent possible, preserve the relationship between the child and the primary caretaker parent. The court shall also consider where and with whom the child has resided within the six months immediately preceding proceedings pursuant to this chapter and whether one or both of the parents has established a personal and parental relationship with the child or has exercised parental responsibility in the best interests of the child.

In awarding the parents joint custody, the court shall do so only if the parents have entered into an agreement pursuant to section eleven or the court finds that the parents have successfully exercised joint responsibility for the child prior to the commencement of proceedings pursuant to this chapter and have the ability to communicate and plan with each other concerning the child’s best interests.

(b) Prior to or in the absence of an adjudication or voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, the mother shall have custody of a child born out of wedlock. In the absence of an order or judgment of a probate and family court relative to custody, the mother shall continue to have custody of a child after an adjudication of paternity or voluntary acknowledgment of parentage.

(c) If either parent is dead, unfit or unavailable or relinquishes care of the child or abandons the child and the other parent is fit to have custody, that parent shall be entitled to custody.

(d) If a person who is not a parent of the child requests custody, the court may order custody to that person if it is in the best interests of the child and if the written consent of both parents or the surviving parent is filed with the court. Such custody may also be ordered if it is in the best interests of the child and if both parents or the surviving parent are unfit to have custody or if one is unfit and the other files his written consent in court.

(e) In issuing any temporary or permanent custody order, the probate and family court shall consider evidence of past or present abuse toward a parent or child as a factor contrary to the best interest of the child. For the purposes of this section, “abuse” shall mean the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between a parent and the other parent or between a parent and child: (a) attempting to cause or causing bodily injury; or (b) placing another in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury. “Serious incident of abuse” shall mean the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between a parent and the other parent or between a parent and child: (a) attempting to cause or causing serious bodily injury; (b) placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or (c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress. For purposes of this section, “bodily injury” and “serious bodily injury” shall have the same meanings as provided in section 13K of chapter 265. For the purposes of this section, if the child was conceived during the commission of a rape and the parent was convicted of said rape, under sections 22 to 23B, inclusive, of chapter 265 or section 2, 3, 4 or 17 of chapter 272, said conviction shall be conclusive evidence of a serious incident of abuse by the convicted parent.

A probate and family court’s finding by a preponderance of the evidence, that a pattern or serious incident of abuse has occurred shall create a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interests of the child to be placed in sole custody, shared legal custody, or shared physical custody with the abusive parent. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that such custody award is in the best interests of the child. For the purposes of this section, an “abusive parent” shall mean a parent who has committed a pattern of abuse or a serious incident of abuse.

For the purposes of this section, the issuance of an order or orders under chapter 209A shall not in and of itself constitute a pattern or serious incident of abuse; nor shall an order or orders entered ex parte under said chapter 209A be admissible to show whether a pattern or serious incident of abuse has in fact occurred; provided, however, that an order or orders entered ex parte under said chapter 209A may be admissible for other purposes as the court may determine, other than showing whether a pattern or serious incident of abuse has in fact occurred; provided further, that the underlying facts upon which an order or orders under said chapter 209A was based may also form the basis for a finding by the probate and family court that a pattern or serious incident of abuse has occurred.

If the court finds that a pattern or serious incident of abuse has occurred and issues a temporary or permanent custody order, the court shall within 90 days enter written findings of fact as to the effects of the abuse on the child, which findings demonstrate that such order is in the furtherance of the child’s best interests and provides for the safety and well-being of the child.

If ordering visitation to the abusive parent the court shall provide for the safety and well-being of the child, and the safety of the abused parent. The court may consider:

(a) ordering an exchange of the child to occur in a protected setting or in the presence of an appropriate third party;

(b) ordering visitation supervised by an appropriate third party, visitation center or agency;

(c) ordering the abusive parent to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the court, a certified batterer’s treatment program as a condition of visitation;

(d) ordering the abusive parent to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances during the visitation and for 24 hours preceding visitation;

(e) ordering the abusive parent to pay the costs of supervised visitation;

(f) prohibiting overnight visitation;

(g) requiring a bond from the abusive parent for the return and safety of the child;

(h) ordering an investigation or appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney for the child; and

(i) imposing any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety and well-being of the child and the safety of the abused parent.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the right of the parties to a hearing under the rules of domestic relations procedure or to affect the discretion of the probate and family court in the conduct of such hearing.

§ 11. Acknowledgment of parentage; approval; parental agreements regarding custody, support and visitation

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) If the court finds that a parent is chargeable with the support of a child, the court shall make an order in accordance with subsection (c) requiring a parent to pay weekly or at other fixed periods a sum for and toward the current support and maintenance of such child. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education for any child who has attained age eighteen but who has not attained age twenty-one, who is domiciled in the home of a parent and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education for any child who has attained age twenty-one but who has not attained age twenty-three if such child is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance due to the enrollment of such child in an educational program, excluding educational costs beyond an undergraduate degree. Upon the petition of a party, the court shall also order past support for the period from the birth of the child to the entry of the order, taking into consideration the parent’s ability to pay under subsection (c) and any support provided by the parent during such period. An order or judgment of support pursuant to this chapter shall be entered notwithstanding the default of the defendant or his failure to appear personally upon a showing that notice was served in accordance with the applicable rules of court. For good cause shown, the court may set aside an entry of default and, if a judgment has been entered, may likewise set it aside in accordance with rule 60(b) of the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure. When the court makes an order or judgment for maintenance or support of a child, said court shall determine whether the obligor under such order or judgment has health insurance or other health coverage available to him through an employer or organization or has health insurance or other health coverage available to him at reasonable cost that may be extended to cover the child for whom support is ordered. When said court has determined that the obligor has such insurance or coverage available to him, said court shall include in the support judgment or order a requirement that the obligor exercise the option of additional coverage in favor of the child or obtain coverage for the child. An order may be entered requiring a parent chargeable with support to reimburse the mother or the department of transitional assistance or the office of Medicaid or the executive office of health and human services for medical expenses attributable to the child or associated with childbirth or resulting from the pregnancy.

(b) Upon demand by either party, including the IV-D agency, the other party shall be compelled to provide a financial statement, except that the IV-D agency shall not be compelled to provide a financial statement for a recipient of public assistance, and, provided further, if no party makes such a demand, the court may require a financial statement of each party.

(c) In determining the amount of the child support obligation or in approving the agreement of the parties, the court shall apply the child support guidelines promulgated by the chief justice of the trial court. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount resulting from application of the guidelines is the appropriate amount of child support to be ordered. If, after taking into consideration the best interests of the child, the court determines that a party has overcome such presumption, the court shall make specific written findings indicating the amount of the order that would result from application of the guidelines; that the guidelines amount would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances; the specific facts of the case which justify departure from the guidelines; and that such departure is consistent with the best interests of the child. In the event that no child support guidelines are in effect, the court shall make such order as is in the best interests of the child, taking into consideration the financial ability and earning capacity of the parents of the child.

(d) It shall not be a defense that the parent from whom support is sought has ceased to have custody or the right to custody of a minor child for whom support is sought, or that the custodial parent is interfering with the other parent’s right of visitation.

(e) If the child on whose behalf an order of support is sought is a recipient of benefits pursuant to chapter 117, 118 or 119 and the department of transitional assistance, the department of children and families, the division of medical assistance or any other public assistance program has not been made a party as required by section 5, the court shall notify the IV-D agency of the order or judgment of support.

(f) In determining the amount to be paid, the court, in addition to applying the standards established by the chief justice of the trial court, shall determine whether the obligor is responsible for the maintenance or support of any other children of the obligor even if a court order for such maintenance or support does not exist. If the court determines that such responsibility does, in fact, exist and that such obligor is fulfilling such responsibility, such court shall take into consideration such responsibility in setting the amount to be paid under the current order for maintenance or support.

Part III. Courts, Judicial Officers and Proceedings in Civil Cases

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Title IV. Certain Writs and Proceedings in Special Cases (Ch. 246-258E)

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Chapter 258E. Harassment Prevention Orders

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 1. Definitions

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

As used in this chapter the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

“Abuse”, attempting to cause or causing physical harm to another or placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm.

“Harassment”, (i) 3 or more acts of willful and malicious conduct aimed at a specific person committed with the intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property and that does in fact cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property; or (ii) an act that: (A) by force, threat or duress causes another to involuntarily engage in sexual relations; or (B) constitutes a violation of section 13B, 13F, 13H, 22, 22A, 23, 24, 24B, 26C, 43 or 43A of chapter 265 or section 3 of chapter 272.

“Court”, the district or Boston municipal court, the superior court or the juvenile court departments of the trial court.

“Law officer”, any officer authorized to serve criminal process.

“Malicious”, characterized by cruelty, hostility or revenge.

“Protection order issued by another jurisdiction”, an injunction or other order issued by a court of another state, territory or possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia, or a tribal court that is issued for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts, abuse or harassment against, or contact or communication with or physical proximity to another person, including temporary and final orders issued by civil and criminal courts filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection.

§ 3. Filing of complaint; impounding of case record information; filing fee; expiration of order; modification of order; time for filing; nonexclusivity of remedy

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) A person suffering from harassment may file a complaint in the appropriate court requesting protection from such harassment. A person may petition the court under this chapter for an order that the defendant:

(i) refrain from abusing or harassing the plaintiff, whether the defendant is an adult or minor;

(ii) refrain from contacting the plaintiff, unless authorized by the court, whether the defendant is an adult or minor;

(iii) remain away from the plaintiff’s household or workplace, whether the defendant is an adult or minor; and

(iv) pay the plaintiff monetary compensation for the losses suffered as a direct result of the harassment; provided, however, that compensatory damages shall include, but shall not be limited to, loss of earnings, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained or property damaged, cost of replacement of locks, medical expenses, cost for obtaining an unlisted phone number and reasonable attorney’s fees.

(b) The court may order that information in the case record be impounded in accordance with court rule.

(c) No filing fee shall be charged for the filing of the complaint. The plaintiff shall not be charged for certified copies of any orders entered by the court, or any copies of the file reasonably required for future court action or as a result of the loss or destruction of plaintiff’s copies.

(d) Any relief granted by the court shall not extend for a period exceeding 1 year. Every order shall, on its face, state the time and date the order is to expire and shall include the date and time that the matter will again be heard. If the plaintiff appears at the court at the date and time the order is to expire, the court shall determine whether or not to extend the order for any additional time reasonably necessary to protect the plaintiff or to enter a permanent order. When the expiration date stated on the order is on a date when the court is closed to business, the order shall not expire until the next date that the court is open to business. The plaintiff may appear on such next court business day at the time designated by the order to request that the order be extended. The court may also extend the order upon motion of the plaintiff, for such additional time as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from harassment. The fact that harassment has not occurred during the pendency of an order shall not, in itself, constitute sufficient ground for denying or failing to extend the order, or allowing an order to expire or be vacated or for refusing to issue a new order.

(e) The court may modify its order at any subsequent time upon motion by either party; provided, however, that the non-moving party shall receive sufficient notice and opportunity to be heard on said modification. When the plaintiff’s address is inaccessible to the defendant as provided in section 10 and the defendant has filed a motion to modify the court’s order, the court shall be responsible for notifying the plaintiff. In no event shall the court disclose any such inaccessible address.

(f) The court shall not deny any complaint filed under this chapter solely because it was not filed within a particular time period after the last alleged incident of harassment.

(g) An action commenced under this chapter shall not preclude any other civil or criminal remedies. A party filing a complaint under this chapter shall be required to disclose any prior or pending actions involving the parties; including, but not limited to, court actions, administrative proceedings and disciplinary proceedings.

§ 4. Notice of nature of proceedings and availability of other criminal proceedings

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon the filing of a complaint under this chapter, a complainant shall be informed that the proceedings hereunder are civil in nature and that violations of orders issued hereunder are criminal in nature. Further, a complainant shall be given information prepared by the appropriate district attorney’s office that other criminal proceedings may be available and such complainant shall be instructed by such district attorney’s office relative to the procedures required to initiate criminal proceedings including, but not limited to, a complaint for a violation of section 13B, 13F, 13H, 22, 22A, 23, 24, 24B, 26C, 43 and 43A of chapter 265 or section 3 of chapter 272. Whenever possible, a complainant shall be provided with such information in the complainant’s native language.

§ 5. Temporary orders

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon the filing of a complaint under this chapter, the court may enter such temporary orders as it deems necessary to protect a plaintiff from harassment, including relief as provided in section 3.

If the plaintiff demonstrates a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of harassment, the court may enter such temporary relief orders without notice as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from harassment and shall immediately thereafter notify the defendant that the temporary orders have been issued. The court shall give the defendant an opportunity to be heard on the question of continuing the temporary order and of granting other relief as requested by the plaintiff not later than 10 court business days after such orders are entered.

Notice shall be made by the appropriate law enforcement agency as provided in section 9.

If the defendant does not appear at such subsequent hearing, the temporary orders shall continue in effect without further order of the court.

§ 6. Granting of relief without the filing of a complaint

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

When the court is closed for business or the plaintiff is unable to appear in court because of severe hardship due to the plaintiff’s physical condition, the court may grant relief to the plaintiff as provided under section 5 if the plaintiff demonstrates a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of harassment. In the discretion of the justice, such relief may be granted and communicated by telephone to an officer or employee of an appropriate law enforcement agency, who shall record such order on a form of order promulgated for such use by the chief justice of the trial court and shall deliver a copy of such order on the next court day to the clerk or clerk-magistrate of the court having venue and jurisdiction over the matter. If relief has been granted without the filing of a complaint pursuant to this section, the plaintiff shall appear in court on the next available business day to file a complaint. If the plaintiff in such a case is unable to appear in court without severe hardship due to the plaintiff’s physical condition, a representative may appear in court, on the plaintiff’s behalf and file the requisite complaint with an affidavit setting forth the circumstances preventing the plaintiff from appearing personally. Notice to the plaintiff and defendant and an opportunity for the defendant to be heard shall be given as provided in said section 5.

Any order issued under this section and any documentation in support thereof shall be certified on the next court day by the clerk or clerk-magistrate of the court issuing such order to the court having venue and jurisdiction over the matter. Such certification to the court shall have the effect of commencing proceedings under this chapter and invoking the other provisions of this chapter but shall not be deemed necessary for an emergency order issued under this section to take effect.

§ 9. Review and filing of records within court activity record information system and statewide domestic violence recordkeeping system; execution of outstanding warrants; service upon defendant; order for payment of damages

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

When considering a complaint filed under this chapter, the court shall order a review of the records contained within the court activity record information system and the statewide domestic violence recordkeeping system, as provided in chapter 188 of the acts of 1992 and maintained by the commissioner of probation, and shall review the resulting data to determine whether the named defendant has a civil or criminal record involving violent crimes or abuse. Upon receipt of information that an outstanding warrant exists against the named defendant, a judge shall order that the appropriate law enforcement officials be notified and shall order that any information regarding the defendant’s most recent whereabouts shall be forwarded to such officials. In all instances in which an outstanding warrant exists, the court shall make a finding, based upon all of the circumstances, as to whether an imminent threat of bodily injury exists to the petitioner. In all instances in which such an imminent threat of bodily injury is found to exist, the judge shall notify the appropriate law enforcement officials of such finding and such officials shall take all necessary actions to execute any such outstanding warrant as soon as is practicable.

Whenever the court orders that the defendant refrain from harassing the plaintiff or have no contact with the plaintiff under section 3, 5 or 6, the clerk or clerk-magistrate shall transmit: (i) to the office of the commissioner of probation information for filing in the court activity record information system or the statewide domestic violence recordkeeping system as provided in said chapter 188 of the acts of 1992 or in a recordkeeping system created by the commissioner of probation to record the issuance of, or violation of, prevention orders issued pursuant to this chapter; and (ii) 2 certified copies of each such order and 1 copy of the complaint and summons forthwith to the appropriate law enforcement agency which, unless otherwise ordered by the court, shall serve 1 copy of each order upon the defendant, together with a copy of the complaint and order and summons. The law enforcement agency shall promptly make its return of service to the court. The commissioner of probation may develop and implement a statewide harassment prevention order recordkeeping system.

Law officers shall use every reasonable means to enforce such harassment prevention orders. Law enforcement agencies shall establish procedures adequate to ensure that an officer on the scene of an alleged violation of such order may be informed of the existence and terms of such order. The court shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency in writing whenever any such order is vacated and shall direct the agency to destroy all record of such vacated order and such agency shall comply with that directive.

Each harassment prevention order issued shall contain the following statement:

VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

Any violation of such order or a protection order issued by another jurisdiction shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 ½ years in a house of correction, or both. In addition to, but not in lieu of, the foregoing penalties and any other sentence, fee or assessment, including the victim witness assessment in section 8 of chapter 258B, the court shall order persons convicted of a violation of such an order to pay a fine of $25 that shall be transmitted to the treasurer for deposit into the General Fund. For any violation of such order, the court may order the defendant to complete an appropriate treatment program based on the offense.

In each instance in which there is a violation of a harassment prevention order or a protection order issued by another jurisdiction, the court may order the defendant to pay the plaintiff for all damages including, but not limited to, loss of earnings, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained or property damaged, cost of replacement locks, medical expenses, cost for obtaining an unlisted telephone number and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Any such violation may be enforced by the court. Criminal remedies provided herein are not exclusive and do not preclude any other available civil or criminal remedies. The court may enforce by civil contempt procedure a violation of its own court order.

Section 8 of chapter 136 shall not apply to any order, complaint or summons issued pursuant to this section.

§ 10. Confidentiality of records

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

The records of cases arising out of an action brought under this chapter in which the plaintiff or defendant is a minor shall be withheld from public inspection except by order of the court; provided, however, that such records shall be open, at all reasonable times, to the inspection of the minor, such minor’s parent, guardian and attorney and to the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney.

The plaintiff’s residential address, residential telephone number and workplace name, address and telephone number, contained within the court records of cases arising out of an action brought by a plaintiff under this chapter, shall be confidential and withheld from public inspection, except by order of the court; provided, however, that the plaintiff’s residential address and workplace address shall appear on the court order and be accessible to the defendant and the defendant’s attorney unless the plaintiff specifically requests that this information be withheld from the order. All confidential portions of the records shall be accessible at all reasonable times to the plaintiff and plaintiff’s attorney, to others specifically authorized by the plaintiff to obtain such information and to prosecutors, victim-witness advocates as defined in section 1 of chapter 258B, sexual assault counselors as defined in section 20J of chapter 233 and law officers, if such access is necessary in the performance of their duties. This paragraph shall apply to any protection order issued by another jurisdiction filed with a court of the commonwealth pursuant to section 7. Such confidential portions of the court records shall not be deemed to be public records under clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4.

Title VI. Costs and Fees

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Chapter 261. Costs in Civil Actions

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 27B. Affidavit of indigency; waiver, substitution or state payment of fees or costs; supplementary affidavits

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Upon or after commencing or answering to any civil, criminal or juvenile proceeding or appeal in any court, including but not limited to civil actions, proceedings for divorce or separate support, summary and supplementary processes, and proceedings upon petitions to vacate, for review or, upon appeal in a criminal case, any party may file with the clerk an affidavit of indigency and request for waiver, substitution or payment by the commonwealth of fees and costs upon a form prescribed by the chief justice of the supreme judicial court and in accordance with the standards set forth in sections twenty-seven C to twenty-seven F, inclusive, and sworn to under oath by the affiant.

An indigent party may subsequently file one or more supplementary affidavits requesting the waiver, substitution or payment by the commonwealth of fees and costs not previously granted at any time while the case is still pending in the original court or elsewhere.

Part IV. Crimes, Punishments and Proceedings in Criminal Cases

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Title I. Crimes and Punishments

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Chapter 265. Crimes Against the Person

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 13B. Indecent assault and battery on child under age of 14

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever commits an indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years. A prosecution commenced under this section shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file.

In a prosecution under this section, a child under the age of 14 years shall be deemed incapable of consenting to any conduct of the defendant for which such defendant is being prosecuted.

§ 13F. Indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability; assault and battery

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever commits an indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability knowing such person to have an intellectual disability shall for the first offense be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years or not more than ten years; and for a second or subsequent offense, by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years. Except in the case of a conviction for the first offense for violation of this section, the imposition or execution of the sentence shall not be suspended, and no probation or parole shall be granted until the minimum imprisonment herein provided for the offense shall have been served. This section shall not apply to the commission of an indecent assault and battery by a person with an intellectual disability upon another person with an intellectual disability. Whoever commits an assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability knowing such person to have an intellectual disability shall for the first offense be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years; and, for a second or subsequent offense, by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years. This section shall not apply to the commission of an assault and battery by a mentally retarded person upon another mentally retarded person.

§ 13H. Indecent assault and battery on person fourteen or older; penalties

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever commits an indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained age fourteen shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction.

Whoever commits an indecent assault and battery on an elder or person with a disability, as defined in section 13K, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, and whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years. A prosecution commenced under this paragraph shall not be placed on file nor continued without a finding.

§ 22. Rape, generally; weapons; punishment; eligibility for furlough, education, training or employment programs

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a person, and compels such person to submit by force and against his will, or compels such person to submit by threat of bodily injury and if either such sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse results in or is committed with acts resulting in serious bodily injury, or is committed by a joint enterprise, or is committed during the commission or attempted commission of an offense defined in section fifteen A, fifteen B, seventeen, nineteen or twenty-six of this chapter, section fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen or eighteen of chapter two hundred and sixty-six or section ten of chapter two hundred and sixty-nine shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years.

No person serving a sentence for a second or subsequent such offense shall be eligible for furlough, temporary release, or education, training or employment programs established outside a correctional facility until such person shall have served two-thirds of such minimum sentence or if such person has two or more sentences to be served otherwise than concurrently, two-thirds of the aggregate of the minimum terms of such several sentences.

(b) Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a person and compels such person to submit by force and against his will, or compels such person to submit by threat of bodily injury, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years; and whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term or years.

Whoever commits any offense described in this section while being armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine-gun or assault weapon, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years. Whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 15 years.

No person serving a sentence for a second or subsequent such offense shall be eligible for furlough, temporary release, or education, training or employment programs established outside a correctional facility until such person shall have served two-thirds of such minimum sentence or if such person has two or more sentences to be served otherwise than concurrently, two-thirds of the aggregate of the minimum terms of such several sentences.

For the purposes of prosecution, the offense described in subsection (b) shall be a lesser included offense to that described in subsection (a).

§ 22A. Rape of child; punishment

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under 16, and compels such child to submit by force and against his will or compels such child to submit by threat of bodily injury, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years. A prosecution commenced under this section shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file.

§ 23. Rape and abuse of child

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under 16 years of age, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years or, except as otherwise provided, for any term in a jail or house of correction. A prosecution commenced under this section shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file.

§ 24. Assault with intent to commit rape; weapons; punishment; eligibility for furloughs, education, training or employment programs

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever assaults a person with intent to commit a rape shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years; and whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years. Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years. Whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 20 years.

No person serving a sentence for a second or subsequent such offense shall be eligible for furlough, temporary release, or education, training or employment programs established outside a correctional facility until such person shall have served two-thirds of such minimum sentence or if such person has two or more sentences to be served otherwise than concurrently, two-thirds of the aggregate of the minimum terms of such several sentences.

§ 24B. Assault of child; intent to commit rape; weapons; punishment

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever assaults a child under sixteen with intent to commit a rape, as defined in section thirty-nine of chapter two hundred and seventy-seven, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years; and whoever over the age of eighteen commits a subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years but not less than five years.

Whoever commits any offense described in this section while being armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than ten years. Whoever over the age of 18 commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than 15 years.

§ 26A. Kidnapping of minor or incompetent by relative; punishment

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever, being a relative of a child less than eighteen years old, without lawful authority, holds or intends to hold such a child permanently or for a protracted period, or takes or entices such a child from his lawful custodian, or takes or entices from lawful custody any incompetent person or other person entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or institution shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than one year or by a fine of up to one thousand dollars, or both. Whoever commits any offense described in this section by taking or holding said child outside the commonwealth or under circumstances which expose the person taken or enticed from lawful custody to a risk which endangers his safety shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

§ 26C. Kidnapping; weapons; child under age 16; punishment

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) As used in this section, the term “entice” shall mean to lure, induce, persuade, tempt, incite, solicit, coax or invite.

(b) Any one who entices a child under the age of 16, or someone he believes to be a child under the age of 16, to enter, exit or remain within any vehicle, dwelling, building, or other outdoor space with the intent that he or another person will violate section 13B, 13B 1/2 , 13B 3/4 , 13F, 13H, 22, 22A, 22B, 22C, 23, 23A, 23B, 24 or 24B of chapter 265, section 4A, 16, 28, 29, 29A, 29B, 29C, 35A, 53 or 53A of chapter 272, or any offense that has as an element the use or attempted use of force, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years, or in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, or by both imprisonment and a fine of not more than $5,000.

§ 43. Stalking; punishment

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Whoever (1) willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and (2) makes a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury, shall be guilty of the crime of stalking and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by both such fine and imprisonment. The conduct, acts or threats described in this subsection shall include, but not be limited to, conduct, acts or threats conducted by mail or by use of a telephonic or telecommunication device or electronic communication device including, but not limited to, any device that transfers signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.

(b) Whoever commits the crime of stalking in violation of a temporary or permanent vacate, restraining, or no-contact order or judgment issued pursuant to sections eighteen, thirty-four B, or thirty-four C of chapter two hundred and eight; or section thirty-two of chapter two hundred and nine; or sections three, four, or five of chapter two hundred and nine A; or sections fifteen or twenty of chapter two hundred and nine C or a protection order issued by another jurisdiction; or a temporary restraining order or preliminary or permanent injunction issued by the superior court, shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or the state prison for not less than one year and not more than five years. No sentence imposed under the provisions of this subsection shall be less than a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year.

A prosecution commenced hereunder shall not be placed on file or continued without a finding, and the sentence imposed upon a person convicted of violating any provision of this subsection shall not be reduced to less than the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment as established herein, nor shall said sentence of imprisonment imposed upon any person be suspended or reduced until such person shall have served said mandatory term of imprisonment.

A person convicted of violating any provision of this subsection shall not, until he shall have served the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment established herein, be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct under sections one hundred and twenty-nine, one hundred and twenty-nine C and one hundred and twenty-nine D of chapter one hundred and twenty-seven; provided, however, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of a correctional institution, grant to said offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of next of kin or spouse; to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at said institution. The provisions of section eighty-seven of chapter two hundred and seventy-six relating to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 18 years of age or over charged with a violation of this subsection. The provisions of section thirty-one of chapter two hundred and seventy-nine shall not apply to any person convicted of violating any provision of this subsection.

(c) Whoever, after having been convicted of the crime of stalking, commits a second or subsequent such crime shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or the state prison for not less than two years and not more than ten years. No sentence imposed under the provisions of this subsection shall be less than a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years.

A prosecution commenced hereunder shall not be placed on file or continued without a finding, and the sentence imposed upon a person convicted of violating any provision of this subsection shall not be reduced to less than the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment as established herein, nor shall said sentence of imprisonment imposed upon any person be suspended or reduced until such person shall have served said mandatory term of imprisonment.

A person convicted of violating any provision of this subsection shall not, until he shall have served the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment established herein, be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct under sections one hundred and twenty-nine, one hundred and twenty-nine C and one hundred and twenty-nine D of chapter one hundred and twenty-seven; provided, however, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of a correctional institution, grant to said offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of next of kin or spouse; to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at said institution. The provisions of section eighty-seven of chapter two hundred and seventy-six relating to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 18 years of age or over charged with a violation of this subsection. The provisions of section thirty-one of chapter two hundred and seventy-nine shall not apply to any person convicted of violating any provision of this section.

§ 43A. Criminal harassment; punishment

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Whoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, shall be guilty of the crime of criminal harassment and shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2½ years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The conduct or acts described in this paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, conduct or acts conducted by mail or by use of a telephonic or telecommunication device or electronic communication device including, but not limited to, any device that transfers signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.

(b) Whoever, after having been convicted of the crime of criminal harassment, commits a second or subsequent such crime, or whoever commits the crime of criminal harassment having previously been convicted of a violation of section 43, shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years.

Chapter 266. Crimes Against Property

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 37E. Use of personal identification of another; identity fraud; penalty; restitution

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) For purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:–

“Harass”, willfully and maliciously engage in an act directed at a specific person or persons, which act seriously alarms or annoys such person or persons and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.

“Personal identifying information”, any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to assume the identity of an individual, including any name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, social security number, place of employment, employee identification number, mother’s maiden name, demand deposit account number, savings account number, credit card number or computer password identification.

“Pose”, to falsely represent oneself, directly or indirectly, as another person or persons.

“Victim”, any person who has suffered financial loss or any entity that provided money, credit, goods, services or anything of value and has suffered financial loss as a direct result of the commission or attempted commission of a violation of this section.

(b) Whoever, with intent to defraud, poses as another person without the express authorization of that person and uses such person’s personal identifying information to obtain or to attempt to obtain money, credit, goods, services, anything of value, any identification card or other evidence of such person’s identity, or to harass another shall be guilty of identity fraud and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) Whoever, with intent to defraud, obtains personal identifying information about another person without the express authorization of such person, with the intent to pose as such person or who obtains personal identifying information about a person without the express authorization of such person in order to assist another to pose as such person in order to obtain money, credit, goods, services, anything of value, any identification card or other evidence of such person’s identity, or to harass another shall be guilty of the crime of identity fraud and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c ½ ) Whoever possesses a tool, instrument or other article adapted, designed or commonly used for accessing a person’s financial services account number or code, savings account number or code, checking account number or code, brokerage account number or code, credit card account number or code, debit card number or code, automated teller machine number or code, personal identification number, mother’s maiden name, computer system password, electronic signature or unique biometric data that is a fingerprint, voice print, retinal image or iris image of another person under circumstances evincing an intent to use or knowledge that some person intends to use the same in the commission of larceny shall be guilty of identity fraud and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000, or imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(d) A person found guilty of violating any provisions of this section shall, in addition to any other punishment, be ordered to make restitution for financial loss sustained by a victim as a result of such violation. Financial loss may include any costs incurred by such victim in correcting the credit history of such victim or any costs incurred in connection with any civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy any debt or other obligation of such victim, including lost wages and attorney’s fees.

(e) A law enforcement officer may arrest without warrant any person he has probable cause to believe has committed the offense of identity fraud as defined in this section.

(f) A law enforcement officer shall accept a police incident report from a victim and shall provide a copy to such victim, if requested, within 24 hours. Such police incident reports may be filed in any county where a victim resides, or in any county where the owner or license holder of personal information stores or maintains said personal information, the owner’s or license holder’s principal place of business or any county in which the breach of security occurred, in whole or in part.

Chapter 269. Crimes Against Public Peace

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 10. Carrying dangerous weapons; possession of machine gun or sawed-off shotguns; possession of large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device; punishment

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) Whoever, except as provided or exempted by statute, knowingly has in his possession; or knowingly has under his control in a vehicle; a firearm, loaded or unloaded, as defined in section one hundred and twenty-one of chapter one hundred and forty without either:
(1) being present in or on his residence or place of business; or
(2) having in effect a license to carry firearms issued under section one hundred and thirty-one of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(3) having in effect a license to carry firearms issued under section one hundred and thirty-one F of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(4) having complied with the provisions of sections one hundred and twenty-nine C and one hundred and thirty-one G of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(5) having complied as to possession of an air rifle or BB gun with the requirements imposed by section twelve B; and whoever knowingly has in his possession; or knowingly has under control in a vehicle; a rifle or shotgun, loaded or unloaded, without either:
(1) being present in or on his residence or place of business; or
(2) having in effect a license to carry firearms issued under section one hundred and thirty-one of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(3) having in effect a license to carry firearms issued under section one hundred and thirty-one F of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(4) having in effect a firearms identification card issued under section one hundred and twenty-nine B of chapter one hundred and forty; or
(5) having complied with the requirements imposed by section one hundred and twenty-nine C of chapter one hundred and forty upon ownership or possession of rifles and shotguns; or
(6) having complied as to possession of an air rifle or BB gun with the requirements imposed by section twelve B; shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years, or for not less than 18 months nor more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction. The sentence imposed on such person shall not be reduced to less than 18 months, nor suspended, nor shall any person convicted under this subsection be eligible for probation, parole, work release, or furlough or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served 18 months of such sentence; provided, however, that the commissioner of correction may on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of a correctional institution, grant to an offender committed under this subsection a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of a relative; to visit a critically ill relative; or to obtain emergency medical or psychiatric service unavailable at said institution. Prosecutions commenced under this subsection shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file.
No person having in effect a license to carry firearms for any purpose, issued under section one hundred and thirty-one or section one hundred and thirty-one F of chapter one hundred and fortyshall be deemed to be in violation of this section.
The provisions of section eighty-seven of chapter two hundred and seventy-six shall not apply to any person 18 years of age or older, charged with a violation of this subsection, or to any child between ages fourteen and 18 so charged, if the court is of the opinion that the interests of the public require that he should be tried as an adult for such offense instead of being dealt with as a child.
The provisions of this subsection shall not affect the licensing requirements of section one hundred and twenty-nine C of chapter one hundred and forty which require every person not otherwise duly licensed or exempted to have been issued a firearms identification card in order to possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun in his residence or place of business.
(b) Whoever, except as provided by law, carries on his person, or carries on his person or under his control in a vehicle, any stiletto, dagger or a device or case which enables a knife with a locking blade to be drawn at a locked position, any ballistic knife, or any knife with a detachable blade capable of being propelled by any mechanism, dirk knife, any knife having a double-edged blade, or a switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which the blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches, or a slung shot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles or knuckles of any substance which could be put to the same use with the same or similar effect as metallic knuckles, nunchaku, zoobow, also known as klackers or kung fu sticks, or any similar weapon consisting of two sticks of wood, plastic or metal connected at one end by a length of rope, chain, wire or leather, a shuriken or any similar pointed starlike object intended to injure a person when thrown, or any armband, made with leather which has metallic spikes, points or studs or any similar device made from any other substance or a cestus or similar material weighted with metal or other substance and worn on the hand, or a manrikigusari or similar length of chain having weighted ends; or whoever, when arrested upon a warrant for an alleged crime, or when arrested while committing a breach or disturbance of the public peace, is armed with or has on his person, or has on his person or under his control in a vehicle, a billy or other dangerous weapon other than those herein mentioned and those mentioned in paragraph (a), shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years in the state prison, or for not less than six months nor more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction, except that, if the court finds that the defendant has not been previously convicted of a felony, he may be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction.
(c) Whoever, except as provided by law, possesses a machine gun, as defined in section one hundred and twenty-one of chapter one hundred and forty, without permission under section one hundred and thirty-one of said chapter one hundred and forty; or whoever owns, possesses or carries on his person, or carries on his person or under his control in a vehicle, a sawed-off shotgun, as defined in said section one hundred and twenty-one of said chapter one hundred and forty, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life, or for any term of years provided that any sentence imposed under the provisions of this paragraph shall be subject to the minimum requirements of paragraph (a).
(d) Whoever, after having been convicted of any of the offenses set forth in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) commits a like offense or any other of the said offenses, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than five years nor more than seven years; for a third such offense, by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than seven years nor more than ten years; and for a fourth such offense, by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than ten years nor more than fifteen years. The sentence imposed upon a person, who after a conviction of an offense under paragraph (a), (b) or (c) commits the same or a like offense, shall not be suspended, nor shall any person so sentenced be eligible for probation or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct.
(e) Upon conviction of a violation of this section, the firearm or other article shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court, be confiscated by the commonwealth. The firearm or article so confiscated shall, by the authority of the written order of the court be forwarded by common carrier to the colonel of the state police, who, upon receipt of the same, shall notify said court or justice thereof. Said colonel may sell or destroy the same, except that any firearm which may not be lawfully sold in the commonwealth shall be destroyed, and in the case of a sale, after paying the cost of forwarding the article, shall pay over the net proceeds to the commonwealth.
(f) The court shall, if the firearm or other article was lost by or stolen from the person lawfully in possession of it, order its return to such person.
(g) Whoever, within this commonwealth, produces for sale, delivers or causes to be delivered, orders for delivery, sells or offers for sale, or fails to keep records regarding, any rifle or shotgun without complying with the requirement of a serial number, as provided in section one hundred and twenty-nine B of chapter one hundred and forty, shall for the first offense be punished by confinement in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
(h)(1) Whoever owns, possesses or transfers a firearm, rifle, shotgun or ammunition without complying with the provisions of section 129C of chapter 140 shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than $500. Whoever commits a second or subsequent violation of this paragraph shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. Any officer authorized to make arrests may arrest without a warrant any person whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated this paragraph.
(2) Any person who leaves a firearm, rifle, shotgun or ammunition unattended with the intent to transfer possession of such firearm, rifle, shotgun or ammunition to any person not licensed under section 129C of chapter 140 or section 131 of chapter 140 for the purpose of committing a crime or concealing a crime shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years or in state prison for not more than 5 years.
(i) Whoever knowingly fails to deliver or surrender a revoked or suspended license to carry or possess firearms or machine guns issued under the provisions of section one hundred and thirty-one or one hundred and thirty-one F of chapter one hundred and forty, or firearm identification card, or receipt for the fee for such card, or a firearm, rifle, shotgun or machine gun, as provided in section one hundred and twenty-nine D of chapter one hundred and forty, unless an appeal is pending, shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
(j) For the purposes of this paragraph, “firearm” shall mean any pistol, revolver, rifle or smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet or pellet can be discharged.
Whoever, not being a law enforcement officer and notwithstanding any license obtained by the person pursuant to chapter 140, carries on the person a firearm, loaded or unloaded, or other dangerous weapon in any building or on the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, college or university without the written authorization of the board or officer in charge of the elementary or secondary school, college or university shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or both. A law enforcement officer may arrest without a warrant and detain a person found carrying a firearm in violation of this paragraph.
Any officer in charge of an elementary or secondary school, college or university or any faculty member or administrative officer of an elementary or secondary school, college or university that fails to report a violation of this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not more than $500.
<[ There is no paragraph (k).]>
(l) The provisions of this section shall be fully applicable to any person proceeded against under section seventy-five of chapter one hundred and nineteen and convicted under section eighty-three of chapter one hundred and nineteen, provided, however, that nothing contained in this section shall impair, impede, or affect the power granted any court by chapter one hundred and nineteen to adjudicate a person a delinquent child, including the power so granted under section eighty-three of said chapter one hundred and nineteen.
(m) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) or (h), any person not exempted by statute who knowingly has in his possession, or knowingly has under his control in a vehicle, a large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device therefor who does not possess a valid Class A or Class B license to carry firearms issued under section 131 or 131F of chapter 140, except as permitted or otherwise provided under this section or chapter 140, shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than ten years. The possession of a valid firearm identification card issued under section 129B shall not be a defense for a violation of this subsection; provided, however, that any such person charged with violating this paragraph and holding a valid firearm identification card shall not be subject to any mandatory minimum sentence imposed by this paragraph. The sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than one year, nor suspended, nor shall any person convicted under this subsection be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, work release or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served such minimum term of such sentence; provided, however, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent or other person in charge of a correctional institution or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to such offender a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: (i) to attend the funeral of a spouse or next of kin; (ii) to visit a critically ill close relative or spouse; or (iii) to obtain emergency medical services unavailable at such institution. Prosecutions commenced under this subsection shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file. The provisions of section 87 of chapter 276 relative to the power of the court to place certain offenders on probation shall not apply to any person 18 years of age or over charged with a violation of this section.
The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to the possession of a large capacity weapon or large capacity feeding device by (i) any officer, agent or employee of the commonwealth or any other state or the United States, including any federal, state or local law enforcement personnel; (ii) any member of the military or other service of any state or the United States; (iii) any duly authorized law enforcement officer, agent or employee of any municipality of the commonwealth; (iv) any federal, state or local historical society, museum or institutional collection open to the public; provided, however, that any such person described in clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, is authorized by a competent authority to acquire, possess or carry a large capacity semiautomatic weapon and is acting within the scope of his duties; or (v) any gunsmith duly licensed under the applicable federal law.
(n) Whoever violates paragraph (a) or paragraph (c), by means of a loaded firearm, loaded sawed off shotgun or loaded machine gun shall be further punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years, which sentence shall begin from and after the expiration of the sentence for the violation of paragraph (a) or paragraph (c).
(o) For purposes of this section, “loaded” shall mean that ammunition is contained in the weapon or within a feeding device attached thereto.
For purposes of this section, “ammunition” shall mean cartridges or cartridge cases, primers (igniter), bullets or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm, rifle or shotgun.

Chapter 272. Crimes Against Chastity, Morality, Decency and Good Order

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 3. Drugging persons for sexual intercourse

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever applies, administers to or causes to be taken by a person any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower such person so as to thereby enable any person to have sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with such person shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years not less than ten years.

§ 29. Dissemination or possession of obscene matter; punishment; defense

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

Whoever disseminates any matter which is obscene, knowing it to be obscene, or whoever has in his possession any matter which is obscene, knowing it to be obscene, with the intent to disseminate the same, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars for the first offense, not less than five thousand nor more than twenty thousand dollars for the second offense, or not less than ten thousand nor more than thirty thousand dollars for the third and subsequent offenses, or by both such fine and imprisonment. A prosecution commenced under this section shall not be continued without a finding nor placed on file. It shall be a defense under this section if the evidence proves that the defendant was a bona fide school, museum or library, or was acting in the course of his employment as an employee of such organization or of a retail outlet affiliated with and serving the educational purpose of such organization.

§ 30. Injunctive relief against dissemination of obscene matter; jurisdiction; procedures; appeal

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

The superior court shall have jurisdiction to enjoin the dissemination of any matter which is obscene. The attorney general or a district attorney within his district may request an injunction against any person, firm, or corporation which disseminates or is about to disseminate any matter which is obscene.

The person, firm, or corporation sought to be enjoined shall be entitled to a trial on the merits within one day after filing of responsive pleadings and a decision shall be rendered by the court within two days of the conclusion of the trial.

A justice of the superior court may issue a preliminary injunction pending the trial on the merits against such person, firm, or corporation which disseminates or is about to disseminate any matter which is obscene.

No preliminary injunction shall be issued without notice to the adverse party.

In any action brought as herein provided the attorney general or a district attorney shall not be required to furnish security before the issuance of any injunction provided for in this section and neither the commonwealth nor any county, shall be liable for costs or for damages sustained by reason of the injunction in cases where judgment is rendered in favor of the person, firm, or corporation sought to be enjoined.

If the court finds that the person, firm, or corporation is disseminating or is about to disseminate any obscene matter, it shall issue a permanent injunction prohibiting the dissemination of that matter. The court’s order shall direct the person, firm or corporation to surrender to a sheriff or a police officer the matter found obscene and a sheriff or police officer shall be directed to seize and destroy the same.

Appeals shall be as otherwise provided by law in civil proceedings, but any party or intervenor shall have the right to an expedited appeal to the appeals court.

The procedures set forth in this section are in addition to criminal proceedings initiated under any provisions of the General Laws, and not a condition precedent thereto.

§ 105. Photographing, videotaping or electronically surveilling partially nude or nude person or the sexual or other intimate parts of a person around the person’s clothing; exceptions; punishment

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

(a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

“Electronically surveils” or “electronically surveilled”, to view, obtain or record a person’s visual image by the use or aid of a camera, cellular or other wireless communication device, computer, television or other electronic device.

“Partially nude”, the exposure of the human genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.

“Sexual or other intimate parts”, human genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female breast below a point immediately above the tip of the areola, whether naked or covered by clothing or undergarments.

(b) Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another person who is nude or partially nude, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, when the other person in such place and circumstance would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being so photographed, videotaped or electronically surveilled, and without that person’s knowledge and consent, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, the sexual or other intimate parts of a person under or around the person’s clothing to view or attempt to view the person’s sexual or other intimate parts when a reasonable person would believe that the person’s sexual or other intimate parts would not be visible to the public and without the person’s knowledge and consent, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.

Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, the sexual or other intimate parts of a child under the age of 18 under or around the child’s clothing to view or attempt to view the child’s sexual or other intimate parts when a reasonable person would believe that the person’s sexual or other intimate parts would not be visible to the public shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) Whoever willfully disseminates the visual image of another person, with knowledge that such visual image was unlawfully obtained in violation of the first and second paragraphs of subsection (b) and without consent of the person so depicted, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Whoever willfully disseminates the visual image of the sexual or other intimate parts of a child under the age of 18, with knowledge that such visual image was unlawfully obtained in violation of the third paragraph of subsection (b) shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or in the state prison for not more than 10 years or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(d) This section shall not apply to a merchant that electronically surveils a customer changing room, provided that signage warning customers of the merchant’s surveillance activity is conspicuously posted at all entrances and in the interior of any changing room electronically surveilled.

(e) This section shall not apply to a law enforcement officer acting within the scope of the officer’s authority under applicable law, or by an order or warrant issued by a court.

(f) A sheriff, deputy sheriff or police officer may arrest without a warrant, a person whom he has probable cause to believe has violated this section.

(g) A photograph, videotape or other recorded visual image, depicting a person who is nude or partially nude or which depicts a person’s sexual or other intimate parts that is part of any court record arising from a prosecution under this section, shall not be open to public inspection and shall only be made available by court personnel to a law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, defendant’s attorney, defendant, or victim connected to such prosecution for inspection, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

(h) In a prosecution under this section, a justice of the superior court or district court may issue appropriate orders to restrain or prevent the unlawful dissemination of a person’s visual image in violation of this section.

Chapter 274. Felonies, Accessories and Attempts to Commit Crimes

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

§ 1. Felonies and misdemeanors

Actualizada: 
11 de diciembre de 2019

A crime punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison is a felony. All other crimes are misdemeanors.