Legal Information: Massachusetts

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
October 24, 2018

Do I need anything special to get my abuse prevention order enforced?

In some states, you will need a certified copy of your abuse prevention order. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp.

In Massachusetts, a certified copy has a raised seal and the signature of one of the court clerks. If your copy is not a certified copy, call or go to the court that gave you the order and ask for a certified copy. You can find contact information for courthouses in Massachusetts on our MA Courthouse Locations page.

Note: It is important to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.