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Harassment Prevention Orders

Harassment Prevention Orders

You were likely recently served with notice of a harassment prevention order hearing that is scheduled at a local court in the very near future.  We are here to help.

Understand that harassment prevention orders are very serious legal proceedings and merit very swift action.  If you are reading this in contemplation of engaging counsel, do not delay.  There are certain tasks you likely should take that need to be completed before the upcoming hearing that you may not be aware of.  And this next hearing is required by law to be set within ten (10) days of the first one, so there is not much time.

The legal reality is that a person can walk into most courts in Massachusetts, fill out a simple two page application, and be in front of a judge asking for an order making it a crime for you to take various acts, such as contacting them, being near them or visiting certain places.  This is dangerous to your liberty; as you can end up in jail for inadvertently violating the order at a later date.  You do not want to end up in jail for forgetfulness or unexpected circumstances, which could happen if you allow this next order to issue against you.

There are other ramifications to an order issuing: you are placed on a database that is reviewed in future HPO proceedings that can only make it more likely future orders will be issued against you.  Also, these orders can be renewed over and over again from the initial time period entailing more hearings in the future.  Finally, an HPO can affect your employment, if not your current job, but the next.

The bottom line is that you do not want an extension order issued.  It is usually best to prepare and fight hard at the upcoming hearing.  If you agree, feel free to contact this office.