Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How much notice do you need to "know" about a restraining order?

Apparently, very little notice is required to serve legal notice of a restraining order. In the recent case of COMMONWEALTH v. MELTON, 08-P-2143 (Mass.App.Ct. 9-2-2010) the woman who got a domestic abuse restraining order told her former boyfriend in a telephone call that a restraining order had issued against him. He was never served with a copy of the order nor told by the police that an order had issued. The only way he had any notice of the order was from his former girlfriend. Because he called her after she told him about the order, he was convicted of the crime of violating a restraining order. The problem is that she could have lied about the restraining order. This would have given her an unfair ability to torment him by telling him that a restraining order had issued when it had not.

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