Like many other states, Massachusetts has enacted legislation to allow people who allege they are, or will be, at risk for domestic violence or harassment to obtain court orders of protection.
There are two distinct types of available orders:
- Chapter 209A Abuse Prevention Order
- Chapter 258E Harassment Prevention Order
Each has specific purposes, procedures, and proof requirements. These orders are granted in civil rather than criminal proceedings. The case is filed by one person against another instead of by the district attorney.