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Legal Information: Massachusetts

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of December 14, 2023

What if I don’t register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced, if your order is not entered into the state registry or the NCIC database, and you do not have a copy of your order with you when the police officer arrives, it may be more difficult for a law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real. Meaning, it could take longer to get your order enforced.

However, if you have a certified copy of your protection order with you, and if it is listed in the NCIC, then it may not matter if your protection order is registered in Massachusetts or not.

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Massachusetts. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in Massachusetts, go to our MA Advocates and Shelters page.