New Restraining Order Guidance Issued by the SJC

In a recent SJC position, in Moreno v. Naranjo, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that it was improper for a district court judge to makes inquires related to family visitation in considering a 209A Abuse Prevention Order. The purpose of a prevention order is to protect the plaintiff. I often will advise clients that this is a protection statute for their safety. The probate and family court is the appropriate arena to consider visitation. The court went on to say, “As the Appeals Court recognized, nothing in the statute authorizes the judge to limit the duration of an abuse prevention order out of concern for the defendant’s visitation rights. The well-established purpose of the statute is to protect victims of domestic violence.”

For more information on abuse prevention orders, more commonly known as restraining orders, you may visit

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