Legal Information: Massachusetts

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 28, 2016

What is the legal definition of harassment?

For the purpose of getting a harassment prevention order, the law defines harassment as:

1. Three or more acts malicious (cruel) behavior against a specific person with the intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property and that those acts actually do cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property OR

2. An act that:

a. By force, threat or coercion causes another person to have sexual relations against his/her will; or
b. Comes under one of the following crimes (you can click on the crime to read the exact definition):

Even if you file for a civil harassment prevention order, you still have the right to go to the police to ask that the person be arrested for harassing you, stalking you, or committing any of the above crimes against you.**

* M.G.L.A. 258E § 1
** M.G.L.A. 258E §§ 3(g) & 4