Abuse Prevention Orders
Domestic Abuse Assistance
A statewide system of court based advocacy for victims of domestic abuse petitioning for civil 209A protective orders (restraining order). SAFEPLAN Advocates offer victims information about the court process, help in
developing safety plans, and referral to community support services.
Important Telephone Numbers:
- To reach a Hampshire Probate Court SAFEPLAN Advocate, call 413-585-8343
- Safe Passage Hotline: 413-586-5066
- Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-800-922-2275
- National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
What is an Abuse Prevention Order and where do I apply for one?
Abuse Prevention Orders, also known as "restraining orders" or
"209A orders" can be obtained by filing a Complaint for Protection from
Abuse at the court.
Who can apply for a 209A order?
If you feel that you have been physically harmed, placed in fear of imminent serious physical harm or have been forced to engage in sexual relations (even if it is your spouse or former spouse) you may petition the court for a 209A
(restraining order). The abuser must be your spouse, former spouse, or any family member, whether or not you live with them or any household member, whether or not you are related to them. It may also be someone with
whom you are or have been in a serious dating or engagement relationship or someone with whom you have a child in common. There is a SAFEPLAN advocate available in Hampshire Probate Court to assist you with the paperwork required.
How do I file for an Abuse Prevention Order?
There are forms to complete when filing a Complaint for Protection from Abuse. A SAFEPLAN advocate is available to assist you in filing the complaint. Due to the time it may take to file the complaint, the Probate Court
cannot usually accommodate litigants after 2:30 p.m. It is necessary to allow adequate time to complete all forms, to appear before the judge, and to wait for any paperwork to be prepared.
How do I get an emergency Abuse Prevention Order when the courts are closed?
Your local police department can help you file a complaint for Protection from Abuse when the Probate or District Court is not open or it is after 2:30 p.m. There is always a judge on-call after court hours for
emergencies. If the on-call judge issues an Abuse Prevention Order, the police will prepare the necessary paperwork for you. If you obtain an order from the police you will appear at court the next business day to request that
the order continue. If you do not appear, the order will expire. The local police department order will tell you which court to appear at.