I. The Notice and Issuance of the Order.
If you have been served with a notice that a restraining order or such an action is being brought against you, as controversial as is may be, the odds of defeating such claims can be slight. Because of the harsh reality of restraining orders, a defendant should certainly have a lawyer represent them.
Read the notice and try to ascertain from the civil clerk’s office a document that specifies the claims of grievance that has been made against you. The clerk will likely refer to this document as the petitioner’s affidavit.
Do not grow angry or impassioned. While some emotions should be understandable, the harsh reality is those reactions will not help you in this case.
If you are able you prove that you were not at the place, of the date of the alleged incident, then certainly collect that evidence. For example, customer receipts that have dates and times on them, from when you made purchases at the store can show the place and time of your whereabouts. Other examples include photographs with verified dates on them. Other records and credible witnesses that ‘you’ can bring to court may be helpful as well to disprove the alleged misconduct.
A Restraining Order is a Civil Matter, without any criminal Penalties, but any following violations of a restraining order may result in a criminal charge that will be placed on your criminal record, and can potentially result criminal sentencing.
There is the possibility of modifying a restraining order after it has been implemented. These attempts will be difficult to do but can be achieved. A modification does not vacate the restraining order, but can reduce the distance or such items or other aspects of the order.
Another available option that you have, will be to appeal the decision within the proper time to appeal. After filing an appeal, this process takes usually some time, though it may be worth it. An appeal will be preferable if you are insistent on keeping a clean civil record or seek to preempt potential accusations that you violated the restraining order. In such a case, if the decision to issue the restraining order is overturned by the appellate court, that accusation of violating the restraining order may be exculpated and dropped. That is why in dealing with these cases, you should consult with an attorney from the moment you receive the notice of the order.
The Law Office of Attorney Ciaffoni has served the Plymouth, Barnstable, and Bristol Counties of Massachusetts for over 20+ years, and has a team of qualified individuals who are willing to assist you in these matters.
Please click here to schedule a consultation with Attorney Ciaffoni if you are dealing with an issue involving a restraining order.