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Home | Blogs | mccabepatrick's blog

Update 209a Hearings

On September 27, 2013 I attended a restraining order session at Quincy Court.

This session made it clear that our judiciary still has a problem with respect to the issuance and renewal of 209a restraining orders.

The session was methodically run.

First up were single party petitions for extensions or termination of a restraining order.  In most cases the restraining order was continued or terminated based upon which individual appeared the defendant or the plaintiff.

Next up were the cases where both parties appeared.

In these cases one might expect to hear contradicting stories.

However that was seldom the case.  What was common was a plaintiff seeking a restraining order without a legal basis for obtaining one.

It was not uncommon to hear the presiding judge acknowledge that there was no allegation of violence, there was no allegation of a threat of violence, but the restraining order was issued anyway.

Restraining orders are very harmful to the individual who has it taken out against them.  When there is no legal basis for the order then the court is not only not doing their job, they are doing harm to the people involved.

At this time there can be little question that the biggest problem with regard to domestic violence is the issuance of baseless restraining orders.  Unfortunately until the courts start showing respect for the institution that they serve, it is unlikely that anything will change.