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Legal Information: Massachusetts

Restraining Orders

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December 14, 2023

What happens if an abuser violates a harassment prevention order?

You can call 911 to report a violation to the police if the harasser violates the harassment prevention order. Each harassment prevention order issued must contain the following statement “VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.” Any violation of a harassment prevention order can be punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, by imprisonment for up to 2 ½ years, or both.

You can also file a contempt petition in the civil court that issued the order. The judge can hold the harasser in “civil contempt” and punish the harasser.1

1 M.G.L.A. 258E § 9