WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Massachusetts

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 11, 2019

How much does it cost to get an abuse prevention order? Do I need a lawyer?

There is no filing fee to get an abuse prevention order. In addition, you cannot be charged for:

  • certified copies of the order;
  • any copies of the file that you may need for future court action or as a result of the loss or destruction of your copies.1

You do not need a lawyer to file for a protection order but it is often helpful to have one, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. Even if the abuser does not have a lawyer, it is recommended that you contact a lawyer who is knowledgeable about abuse prevention orders to make sure that your legal rights are protected. Go to our MA Places that Help page for legal referrals and for contact information for local domestic violence agencies in your area that may be able to help you fill out the necessary court forms.

1 M.G.L.A. 209A § 3

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.