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Is a Dis-Invite appropriate to keep substance abuser out of my home?

Wrentham, MA |
Filed under: Family law

I have been in a relationship with my former fiance for about 3 years. He has a history of substance abuse (alcohol and prescription pain killers) and there is a documented case of domestic violence from 2 years ago when he became intoxicated and violent.

Last May he suffered a critical illness, but returned to his bad behavior upon his 2 month hospital stay and I told him that he could stay until he could get on his feet. He has been contributing financially until recently and is in the process of getting disability and the plan was for him to move once self sufficient. This weekend he went on a bender and was removed by EMT's due to his condition. I am done and have a 16 yo to consider - I do not want him in the home. It is my family property and there is no lease.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Yes.



    henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- attorneylebensbaum@verizon.net (978) 749-3606.
    Criminal Law (all courts), Drunk Driving, Drugs, Violence, Sex Offenses, theft, SORB, Divorce Child Custody Alimony Child Support & Modification, Contempts & Paternity Juveniles Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury, Guardianship, Conservatorship & Estate Administration & Legal Malpractice. For these & other areas, contact me. Email sent may be copied intercepted or held by computers.

    Criminal Law (all misdemeanor & felonies in District and Superior Courts), Drunk Driving and Drug arrests, Sex Offenses, SORB, Crimes involving Violence or Theft, Domestic (Divorce, Child Custody, Alimony and Child Support) and Family Law (Modification, Contempts & Paternity), Juvenile Law, Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury claims, Probate Law (Guardianships, Conservatorships & Estate Administration) and Legal Malpractice. For these and other areas, contact me. NOTE: This preceding message DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship. It is not a protected or confidential communication. The statements made herein are not to be interpreted as representations or warranties of any kind. No reliance should be placed on the statements made herein. It is recommended that the recipient(s) should undertake their own research to reach their own opinion. The writer does not accept professional responsibility on this matter. TO CREATE an attorney-client relationship REQUIRES a signed retainer/fee agreement along with a retainer fee that must be received by my office.


  2. The criminal trespass statute is Massachusetts General Laws ch. 266 § 120. Under the law, as a resident with lawful control of the premises, you need to notify the person you wish to prohibit from entering. Oral notice may be allowed, but it is probably safer to provide notice in writing (letter of disinvitation). Once notice is given, this law applies. The police can arrest the prohibited person without the issuance of a warrant. The penalties upon conviction are: 1) up to $100.00; 2) up to 30 days in jail; or 3) both. This law also covers the situation when someone is asked to leave the property, and the person refuses.

    One caveat is that this law does not apply to tenants or occupants of residential premises who, having rightfully entered the premises at the commencement of the tenancy or occupancy, remain therein after such tenancy or occupancy has been or is alleged to have been terminated. You may recover possession only through appropriate civil eviction proceedings. Given the circumstances, I do not believe you are subject to this caveat.

    An alternative is to file a 209A restraining order, but only if you or your child are in imminent danger of bodily harm by your ex-boyfriend. Good luck!

    Gary S. Sinclair is an attorney licensed to practice in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law or a simple reading of the law in your jurisdiction. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to your question. The information provided should NOT be relied upon for making legal decisions. You will be best served by hiring an attorney in your area who specializes in the field of law pertinent to your question.

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