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Legal Information: Massachusetts

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of December 14, 2023

Step 2: Fill out the necessary forms.

The clerk will provide you with the forms that you need to fill out or you can find links to the forms you will need at our MA Download Court Forms page. On the complaint, you will be the “plaintiff” and the abuser will be the “defendant.” Write about the most recent incidents of violence, using descriptive language - words like “slapping,” hitting,” “grabbing,” threatening,” “choking,” etc. - that fits your situation. Include details and dates, if possible. Be specific.

Remember to bring some form of identification, such as a driver’s license or other identification that includes your picture, in case the clerk needs it in order to notarize your signature.

If the locations of your home, work, or school are confidential, you can ask the court clerk to keep the address confidential (“impound” your address)1 by filling out a Plaintiff Confidential Information Form. You can also check off various boxes on the complaint to request that the judge order that your home, work, and school addresses not appear anywhere on the abuse prevention order itself.2

If you need assistance filling out the form, ask the clerk for help. Some courts may have an advocate that can assist you. Another option is to find help through one of the domestic violence agencies listed on our MA Advocates and Shelters page.

1 M.G.L.A. 209A § 3(g)
2 See complaint for protection from abuse, page 1