25e Harassment Protection Order
In Massachusetts, harassment protection orders are referred to as a 258e protective order. The Massachusetts Legislature created the order on February 9, 2010 in order to permit victims of harassment to obtain a harassment prevention order from the Boston Municipal Court, District Courts, Superior Courts, and Juvenile Courts (if both parties are under the age of 17).
The definition of Harassment under M.G.L. Ch. 258E is: "(i) 3 or more acts of willful and malicious conduct aimed at a specific person committed with the intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse, or damage to property and that does in fact cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property and that does in fact cause fear, intimidation, abuse or damage to property; or (ii) an act that by force, threat or duress causes another to involuntarily engage in sexual relations.”
The court can order the defendant under Chapter 258E to: "(i) refrain from abusing or harassing the plaintiff, whether the defendant is an adult or minor; (ii) refrain from contacting the plaintiff, unless authorized by the court, whether the defendant is an adult or minor; (iii) remain away from the plaintiff's household or workplace, whether the defendant is an adult or minor; and (iv) pay the plaintiff monetary compensation for the losses suffered as a direct result of the harassment; provided, however, that compensatory damages shall include, but shall not be limited to, loss of earnings, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained or property damaged, cost of replacement of locks, medical expenses, cost for obtaining an unlisted phone number and reasonable legal fees."
When a person violates the order it is considered to be a criminal offense and the person could face up to 2 1/2 years in jail or be fined up to $5,000, or both, if convicted.
If you fear for your imminent safety caused by another person do not hesitate to contact your local police department and ask for help.