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CIVIL RESTRAINING ORDER BRIEFINGS

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					RESTRAINING ORDER INFORMATION SHEET The restraining order is a judge’s order, a court order, NOT an order between the people involved in this restraining order. That means that only a judge can change the order. The person who requested the order CANNOT say that the order is terminated or that the other person can have contact with her/him. Please read the order carefully. If it says no contact… NO CONTACT includes:
1. You cannot live with the person listed in the order. 2. No physical contact – You must stay so many feet/yards away from the person and any children included in the order. 3. No phone calls or text messages 4. No letters, no e-mails, no faxes 5. No flowers 6. No boxes of candy 7. No presents of any kind 8. No messages through friends, relatives, neighbors, clergy/religious leaders, or acquaintances 9. No contacting the person in any other way

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW:
 A restraining order is a civil order but a violation of the order is a criminal offense. It is punishable by up to two and a half years in the house of correction. If someone is arrested and found guilty for this crime, he/she can be placed on probation or incarcerated. It is a mandatory arrest for the Boston Police Department if they arrive and a person is present in violation of a no contact restraining order. Criminal charges will be taken out by the Boston Police Department or the District Attorney’s Office if there are any violations reported including phone calls in a no contact order. A criminal conviction (even a continuation without a finding) on a domestic violence case, can affect your ability to get: a job in human services, public housing, or citizenship. It can result in a person being deported! If the person that requested the order wants to change or vacate the order, she/he can come to court Mon.- Fri: 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. and ask the judge to make the changes or terminate the order. The order can only be changed or terminated by a JUDGE!

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WHAT YOU CAN DO TO AVOID PROBLEMS:
       Avoid places where you know the person goes. Leave a building, restaurant, store, or place if you realize that the person is there. Hang up the phone immediately if the person calls you. Do not send letters, e-mails, or faxes to the person or respond to letters, e-mails, or faxes from the person. Avoid contact with the person’s family, friends, and neighbors. Do not get into arguments or confrontations with the person’s family or friends. Walk away! If the person comes to your house, DO NOT let her/him in (Don’t open the door until you know who is there.)

EXAMPLES OF WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE IS A NO CONTACT RESTRAINING ORDER:
1. If you see the person walking towards you on the street, cross the street and go in a different direction. 2. You are eating dinner in a restaurant and the person walks in. YOU need to avoid any contact with her/him. Get up, pay the bill, and leave. 3. You are in the cinema waiting to see a movie and the person walks in. Get up and leave the cinema. 4. The person calls and says to come over for dinner for Valentine’s Day or just to work things out. Do NOT go. First you should have hung up before all that information was given to you. But, if not, do not make the situation worse. Do not violate the order by talking to the person. 5. If the person calls you and you can tell me what she/he said, YOU have violated the order. You should have hung up as soon as you heard the person’s voice. 6. If you receive an e-mail from the person and respond to it, YOU have violated the order. You should not send or respond to faxes or e-mails from the person. 7. If you are told that the restraining order has been changed or vacated and you can have contact, check with the court that issued the order first. If that was Dorchester Court, call (617) 288-9500, x232. Unless court personnel confirm that, or you see a court paper with that information on it, do not have any contact with the person.


				
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