Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Permanent Restraining Order Hearings

Whether you have been the victim of domestic assault, or fear for the safety of yourself or children or whether you feel your spouse or significant other is wrongly attempting to obtain an abuse prevention order for some ulterior motive, Riddle & Associates provides compassionate support and the urgent legal representation you need.

Temporary Restraining Orders

If you or your child has been physically abused or threatened with domestic violence, our attorneys can help file for a temporary restraining order (TRO). The order is granted by a judge, often ex parte (without a formal hearing), within 24 hours of the request. Typically, the order requires the alleged abuser to move out of the home, and to have no contact with the spouse or partner.  The TRO is usually valid for 10 days.

Permanent Restraining Orders

Usually within 10 days after a TRO is granted, a hearing is held to determine whether to continue the restraining order, also referred to as a 209A order or abuse prevention order. A permanent domestic violence protection order may be granted for several months or for lifetime. The order may bar all communication and contact, or it may provide for supervised visitation with children.

While TROs are granted almost automatically, judges are more cautious in granting a permanent restraining order. Such an order has enormous ramifications for custody, visitation, divorce proceedings, and potential other collateral consequences such as revocation of your license to carry firearms, affect your employment or trigger a violation of probation or parole.  Therefore, the court will require proof that abuse has occurred and that the petitioner has demonstrated an imminent fear of serious bodily harm.

Get the help and protection you need.

Our skilled attorneys have successfully represented many parties on both sides of restraining order hearings all across the Commonwealth. Do not go into one of these hearings without experienced counsel to represent you. Please call our office to speak with an experienced attorney.

We represent clients throughout the Worcester County region including the areas of Lunenburg, Leominster, Fitchburg, Worcester, Gardner, Clinton, Bolton, Lancaster, Berlin, Acton, Concord, Greenfield, West Boylston, Marlborough, Northborough, Westborough, Groton, Shirley, Pepperell, Townsend, Ashby, Winchendon, Ashburnham, Templeton, Princeton, Ayer, Harvard, Worcester County, Middlesex County, Franklin County and surrounding communities in Massachusetts.