Case Results » Harassment Prevention Orders (G.L.C. 258E)

  • M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order Vacated

    The defendant and the plaintiff owned units in a condominium. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was abusing her by attempting to collect fees, waving at a camera pointed in a common area and other similar actions.  During an ex-parte hearing the judge issued a M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order.

    During the two party hearing our office vehemently argued that the actions described by the plaintiff are not the types of behavior that the statute is aimed to prevent. The judge agreed and the order was terminated.

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  • Non-Citizen Client Avoids Charge Of Violation Of A Harassment Prevention Order Following A Clerk-Magistrates Hearing

    After receiving notification that an unhappy ex-girlfriend secured a M.G.L. ch.258E Harassment Prevention Order against him, the dejected ex-boyfriend believed he was on his best behavior. Much to his surprise, he received notification that his ex claimed that he violated the order by contacting her mother through Facebook.

    The defendant promptly contacted our office and the investigation began. During the Clerk-Magistrate's hearing Attorney McCarthy successfully argued that any alleged contact was not a violation as there was NO intent to contact the plaintiff. Additionally, she emphasized the client's impressive educational, professional and philanthropic background. The clerk did NOT issue the complaint and provided there are no further incidents the defendant will NEVER appear before a judge. The client left the courthouse relieved with the fact that the does not have to be concerned about any collateral immigration consequences.

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  • Attorney McCarthy Successful Argues For An Initial Issuance of a 258E Harassment Prevention Order And For A One Year Extension Of The Order

    A friendly relationship between neighbors turned sour when one neighbor repeatedly threatened the other's dog, kicked in a fence a boundary fence a number of times, intimidated the family with the car and threw the carcass of a dead animal on their property. Fed up and afraid for their family's safety, the plaintiffs applied for a 258E Harassment Prevention Order. A District Court Judge allowed the initial ex-part order.

    Approximately one week later, both sides appeared in court. The plaintiffs wanted the judge to extend the order and the defendant wanted the judge to vacate the order.

    During the hearing our office emphasized the fact that the defendant's improper actions were clearly directed at them, that there were three or more acts of harassment with the intent to intimidate the neighbors and the neighbors were in fact intimidated. Following a lengthy hearing, the judge agreed with the plaintiffs and extended the order for one year. The plaintiffs left the courthouse feeling relieved and safer.

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  • Attorney McCarthy Successfully Vacates 258E Harassment Prevention Order In The Massachusetts Appeals Court

    A plaintiff went to the local district court criticizing his neighbor's treatment of his adult son and the fact the neighbor complained about the plaintiff's dog and aggressive behavior of the son. A district court judge improperly allowed the M.G.L. ch. 258E harassment prevention order that negatively effected the defendant's enjoyment of his home as the parties lived right next door to one another.

    The defendant retained Attorney McCarthy to appeal the initial issuance of the order and the one-year extension. Attorney McCarthy drafted a persuasive appellate brief and vigorously argued on the defendant's behalf during oral argument. She stressed that the plaintiff failed to allege three separate acts of harassment specifically directed at the plaintiff. Furthermore, even if three acts were identified, they were not acts of harassment as there were legitimate reasons behind any action taken by the defendant. The Court agreed and vacated the order. Accordingly, any evidence of the order must be destroyed in the District Court and by law enforcement.

    Read More in Criminal Appeals

  • Judge Denies Extension Of 258E Criminal Harassment Prevention Order Following Lengthy Evidentiary Hearing

    Defendant contacted Attorney McCarthy after a judge entered a M.G.L. Chapter 258E Harassment Prevention Order against him. The plaintiff alleged many circumstances in which she believed that the defendant "harassed" her. Our office reviewed the event that occurred at the prior hearing, the history of the parties and related electronic communications.

    During the hearing, the plaintiff was cross-examined at length to demonstrate that the defendant could not be connected to many of the actions that the plaintiff alleged were harassing. Following the hearing, our office zealously represented that the plaintiff failed to allege three acts of harassment as required by the law. The judge agreed and the order was not continued.

    Read More in Restraining Orders

  • Civil Harassment Prevention Order [M.G.L. ch 258E] Dismissed Against Client

    A disgruntled roommate filed for and was granted a Civil Harassment Prevention Order [M.G.L. ch. 258E] in a local district court. Because of the order the defendant could not live in her apartment and risked violating the order if she attended the local university. In the event the order was continued, the defendant would have to abide by the order for one year.

    Attorney McCarthy represented the defendant at the extension hearing and the order was dismissed after a few minor conditions were satisfied. The client could attend school and move on with her life without having to worry about violating the order and ending up in a criminal courtroom.

    Read More in Restraining Orders

  • M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order Terminated

    A year earlier, a persnickety neighbor filed a M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order against an abutting neighbor. A local judge allowed the initial ex-parte order and extended the order for one year following an evidentiary hearing. Following that hearing the client contacted our office.

    Attorney McCarthy went to work immediately and appealed the initial order and the one- year extension to the Massachusetts Appeals Court. McCarthy appropriately argued that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the defendant engaged in three acts of "harassment" directed at the plaintiff. Indeed, many of the plaintiff's complaints related to other family members, not the plaintiff.

    During the pendency of the appeal the extension hearing was scheduled. With the appeal pending and the arguments strongly presented in the higher court the plaintiff failed to appear and the order expired. The relieved client can enjoy the comforts of his home again without concern relative to the troublesome neighbor.

    Read More in Criminal Appeals

  • Massachusetts Appeals Court Vacates Initial Issuance And Extension Of M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order

    A District Court judge improperly issued and extended a M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order at the request of a town selectman against a local townsperson. After the orders were issued, the aggrieved defendant contacted Attorney McCarthy to have the orders vacated. Attorney McCarthy ensured that a timely notice of appeal was filed to ensure that orders could be appealed. After confirming that all of the procedural steps were appropriately taken, Attorney McCarthy went right to work and submitted a brief to the Massachusetts Appeals Court. She argued that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that there were three or more acts of willful and malicious conduct aimed at the plaintiff committed with the intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property and that did cause fear, abuse or damage to property. The Massachusetts Appeals Court agreed and ordered that the case be remanded and that the improperly issued orders be vacated.

    Read More in Criminal Appeals

  • Client Facing Two Criminal Counts Of Violating Harassment Prevention Order [M.G.L. ch. 258E section 9] Avoids Conviction/Case To Be Dismissed

    Following a contentious divorce, a disgruntled spouse secured a Harassment Prevention Order against her estranged husband. Following the issuance of the order the plaintiff [wife] alleged that her husband violated the order on two occasions. Following substantial review of relevant documents and extensive interviews, Attorney McCarthy negotiated a disposition whereby the client would avoid conviction provided certain minimal conditions are satisfied. The client walked out of the courthouse WITHOUT any criminal conviction despite the Commonwealth's case.

    Read More in Restraining Orders

  • Attorney McCarthy Successfully Prevents The Extension Of A Harassment Prevention Order [M.G.L. ch. 258E]

    A father, unhappy with his daughter's choice of a boyfriend, applied for an ex-parte M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order on behalf of his minor daughter. The defendant was not present or notified of the initial hearing. Upon receiving notice of the extension date, the defendant retained Attorney McCarthy to represent him.

    Attorney McCarthy thoroughly reviewed the affidavit filed by the father in support of the order and related documents and text messages. On the day of the hearing the "father" testified and argued that the defendant was a bad influence on his daughter and claimed that the defendant had threatened the family in the past. The "daughter" did not testify.

    Attorney McCarthy prepared a lengthy memorandum and strongly advocated that the father failed to meet the standard of three instances of harassment in order for the order to be continued. The judge agreed with her and terminated the order. The defendant walked out of the courtroom with the order vacated.

  • Attorney McCarthy Successfully Litigates Motion To Vacate 258E Harassment Prevention Order

    The plaintiff and the defendant were neighbors that shared access to common property. The plaintiff requested a 258E Harassment Prevention Order citing a number of alleged incidents between the parties. The judge issued the initial order and extended the order for one year at the extension hearing. The defendant was not represented by a lawyer at this hearing.

    The order was the source of a significant amount of stress on the defendant because the parties were neighbors and contact was obviously, inevitable. The plaintiff alleged violations of the order that resulted in clerk's hearings for potential violations of the 258E Harassment Prevention Order. In the event that a complaint issued, the defendant would have landed in criminal court.

    After conducting numerous interviews and a lengthy investigation of the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the order a motion to vacate the 258E order was filed. Counsel argued that the alleged contact between the parties did not constitute "harassment" under the statute and that the plaintiff was actually harassing the defendant. The judge vacated the order and the defendant could return to enjoying his property without the threat of facing a criminal charge.

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  • Client Avoids Being Charged With Violating A M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order

    The plaintiff and defendant were neighbors. The local police were called to the residences numerous times for complaints by both parties. The plaintiff secured a M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order that required the defendant to stay away from his neighbor. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated the order when he was walking on a public trail by his property.  Attorney McCarthy represented the defendant during the clerk's hearing and a criminal complaint did NOT issue against the defendant.

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  • Judge Allows Defendant's Motion To Dismiss Charge Of Violation Of A M.G.L. Ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order Prior To Arraignment

    Following a clerk's hearing a clerk issued a criminal complaint against a hearing impaired defendant for violating a restraining order. Client retained Attorney McCarthy who reviewed the circumstances of the hearing and filed a motion to dismiss the criminal complaint because the defendant was denied due process because he could not hear what transpired at the clerk's hearing. The judge allowed the motion which allowed the defendant to keep any entry off a board of probation record. Despite facing a criminal charge, the defendant walked out of the courthouse without a criminal record.

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  • Attorney McCarthy Successfully Represents Harassment Prevention Order Client [M.G.L. 258E]

    A defendant on a M.G.L. 258E Harassment Prevention Order moved to have the order vacated based on an alleged "fraud" perpetrated on the Court. The plaintiff secured Attorney McCarthy to represent her at the hearing to ensure that this did not happen. The defendant simply claimed that the order should be vacated because a judge did not extend the order and its presence interfered with the defendant's ability to secure employment. Attorney McCarthy vigorously argued against having the judge vacate the order citing that the defendant's inability to secure work was not a reason to conclude that a fraud was perpetrated on the court. Following oral argument the judge agreed with McCarthy and the order was not vacated.

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  • Attorney McCarthy Successfully Vacates Harassment Prevention Order [M.G.L. c. 258E] In The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

    The Supreme Judicial Court [SJC] recently reversed an Appeals Court decision and agreed with Attorney McCarthy that the expiration of a Harassment Prevention Order while the case was pending does NOT render the appeal moot. See, Smith v. Mastalerz SJC-11039. Furthermore, Attorney McCarthy successfully convinced the Court that there was not enough evidence presented to the District Court judge to issue and extend the order. The case was "remanded" to the county court for proceedings "consistent with the opinion."

  • The Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms The Extension Of A Harassment Prevention Order [M.G.L. 258E] For Clients

    The plaintiffs successfully secured a restraining order in the Lawrence District Court. Following a lengthy evidentiary hearing the Judge extended the order for three years. The defendant appealed the order and the plaintiffs retained Attorney McCarthy to litigate the appeal in the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

    The defendant claimed that the series of events described by the plaintiffs did not satisfy the statute [M.G.L. 258E] relative to demonstrating "harassment." Attorney McCarthy submitted a detailed brief and presented persuasive oral argument that the conduct of the defendant was "harassment." The Appeals Court agreed and the order of the District Court extending the order for three years was affirmed.

  • Criminal Case Of Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Following Property Damage To Be Dismissed

    A bystander claimed that he witnessed a car strike a curb and knock over a sign and a utility pole. The witness claimed to follow the errant car for a distance then call the police supplying the license plate number of the vehicle. The police ultimately connected the car to the defendant. Following the issuance of a criminal complaint, the defendant retained Attorney McCarthy. Despite the fact that the defendant had other criminal entries on record, our office convinced the judge to continue the case for a period of time. In the event that the defendant does not get rearrested the case will be dismissed.

  • Attorney McCarthy Successfully Prevents The Extension Of A Harassment Prevention Order

    The plaintiff claimed that the defendant "harassed" her by unexpectedly showing up at her place of work, sending her gifts and leaving her messages. The plaintiff/complainant secured an ex-parte temporary 258E Harassment Prevention Order. During the evidentiary hearing a few days later, through cross examination and witness testimony, Attorney McCarthy was able to demonstrate that the plaintiff had exaggerated her claims and that no reasonable person in her position would be afraid of the defendant. Following the hearing the judge denied the plaintiff's request to continue the 258E order for one year.

  • Following An Evidentiary Hearing Judge Vacates A M.G.L. 258E Harassment Prevention Order

    The complainant was issued an ex-parte harassment prevention order by a district court judge. After reviewing the affidavit filed in support of the order, Attorney McCarthy believed that the order never should have issued. Attorney McCarthy conducted in-depth witness and client interviews and prepared for the evidentiary hearing. On the day of the hearing the judge listened to Attorney McCarthy's legal arguments indicating that the complainant NEVER met the standard for the Harassment Prevention Order to issue. The judge vacated the order.

  • Court Vacates Harassment Prevention Order And Enters Dismissal For Alleged Violation Of A M.G.L. ch. 258E Harassment Prevention Order

    An out of state client was served with a Harassment Prevention Order following a verbal disagreement with and acquaintance. After the issuance and service of the order the police arrested the defendant as he was allegedly in the presence of the complaining witness. The client faces the misdemeanor charge of violating a criminal harassment prevention order. Over the long weekend the office conducted lengthy witness interviews and prepared for court.

    Attorney McCarthy appeared in court and explained the situation to the prosecutor and the judge. After evaluating her claims and a brief hearing, the criminal charge and the harassment prevention order were dismissed. The client returned to his home state without having to return to Massachusetts for a hearing.

  • Attorney McCarthy Represents Plaintiff And Successfully Argues For Issuance And Extension Of A Harassment Prevention Order

    The plaintiff had been receiving offensive, disturbing and harassing messages from the defendant through a variety of electronic devices and outlets for a number of years. She retained Attorney McCarthy to assist her in applying for and presenting her case for a Harassment Prevention Order. Attorney McCarthy reviewed the information from the plaintiff and engaged in lengthy pre-hearing discussions. During the Harassment Prevention Order hearing the plaintiff was able to demonstrate that the defendant committed three or more acts that were willful and malicious, were aimed at her, were intended to intimidate her and did in fact intimidate her. The judge issued the Harassment Prevention Order which was extended for one year at the extension hearing.

  • Successful Local Businesswoman Receives Pre-Trial Probation On Charges That She Violated A Harassment Prevention Order

    A successful Businesswoman was charged with several counts of violating a Harassment Prevention Order. Attorney McCarthy did significant pre-trial investigation and became familiar with the defendant's impressive background. Following months of negotiation, the Court placed the defendant on pre-trial probation for one year and ordered that the defendant follow the terms of the existing Harassment Prevention Order. This disposition avoided the defendant having to admit to any facts and minimized any negative consequences that any type of conviction or admission could have on her career.

  • Harassment Prevention Order Not Extended In The District Court

    The plaintiff and the defendant lived in the same apartment building for approximately three years. The plaintiff repeatedly complained to the landlord relative to the defendant regarding "things" dropping on the floor, the limited parking situation and coincidental contact between the parties. Citing these examples of "harassment," the defendant applied for and ex-parte Harassment Prevention Order pursuant to M.G.L. c. 258E.

    The client, defendant, contacted Attorney McCarthy prior to the extension hearing to prepare for the extension hearing. In short order, our office interviewed witnesses and conducted an investigation into the plaintiff's claims. With the defendant prepared with four witnesses, the plaintiff did not go forward with the hearing and the harassment prevention order was terminated.