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If someone has a 209a order against them and they have contact with the plaintiff what could legally happen?

Boston, MA |

The defendant and plaintiff have had contact via phone, text and in person. This was agreed upon by both parties. Could there be any legal issues that could arise from this meeting? They met to "work" things out, I just want to make sure that the plaintiff isnt trying to trap the defendant and use it against her at a later date. It is in the 10 day period before the hearing date.

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Attorney answers 3


Some orders are for "no abuse" only and do not prohibit contact; if contact is allowed by the order in your matter, then there is no problem with the plaintiff and the defendant meeting.

I will assume that there is a no contact condition in your order. The fact that the contact occurred in the initial 10 days is irrelevant on the issue of whether there is a violation of the roder, as is the fact that the plaintiff and the defendant agreed to have contact to "work things out". A plaintiff cannot unilaterally waive the prohibitions in the restraining order. A restraining order is an order from the court, and only the court can modify or remove conditions of the order. So, for example, a defendant is in violation of a restraining order even if the plaintiff invites her over to meet and she goes over and meets him.

The defendant should not let it be known that there was contact in violation of the order, even if the contact was agreed to or initiated by the plaintiff, as the defendant could be charged criminally with violating the order.

The agreement made by the plaintiff and the defendant to have contact is relevant to the issue of whether the order should be extended, however, the argument against extension of the order being that the plaintiff is not in fear of the defendant.

Good luck,

This reply is intended for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. Attorney Dominic L. Pang is a Massachusetts licensed attorney and the information in this response is meant to apply to Massachusetts law only. The answer to this question should not be used as a substitute for personalized legal advice.


The parties cannot agree to supersede the Court's authority. Regardless of what the plaintiff may invite the defendant to do, it is still a violation IF the 209A prohibits the contact, communication, proximity, etc. You must read the order carefully. Many people do not see that they must surrender keys to the premises if they are ordered to stay away. If the order prohibits an action that the plaintiff would like to have with the defendant, he/she must go back to the court of origin or in some cases, the probate court, which can overrule the district court's orders, and have the order modified or vacated. The defendant should not be lulled into a false sense of security by an invitation by the plaintiff. If something goes wrong, the plaintiff can call the police and violate the defendant, regardless of the initial invitation. It may not bode well with the court that there was an initial invitation, but the court will not allow disregard of its orders at the plaintiff's urging.

Despite and wording or implication, the information provided herein should not be considered legal advice and in no way creates an attorney client relationship. For specific advice about your case consult with an attorney.


The terms of the 209A control, whether it was granted for no contact, no abuse, or stay away. Any violation of the terms is an arrestable offense.

The information you obtain from this Answer is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This Answer is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice regarding your own situation, please consult an attorney.

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