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The Clerk’s Office will tell you the time and courtroom location for your hearing.
At your hearing, the judge will ask why you need a protective order and will review your complaint or application forms and affidavit.
Domestic violence is not caused by or provoked by the actions or inaction’s of the victim.
Domestic violence is not directly caused by alcohol or drug abuse, depression, lack of money, lack of a job, mental illness or abuse as a child.
The judge may grant or deny the 209A Order after speaking with you.
If the judge grants the Order, you will receive a Temporary Order for up to ten days.
You may request the judge to order that the abuser: stop or refrain from abusing you have no contact with you or a child in your custody vacate or move out of the house or apartment where you live.
You may also request the judge to order that you receive support and temporary custody of your children, if the abuser has a legal duty to support or shares custody.
Domestic violence includes physical and sexual attacks and threats.
Should you decide to go to a District Court for a 209A Order, you may go to the District Court in the area where you live or, if you have fled to another area to avoid abuse, you may go to the District Court in the area where you now live (Dukes County Courthouse, Main Street, Edgartown).
Go to the Clerk’s Office in the court and ask for a “protective order” or a “209A Order,” You will receive a packet of forms to complete as an application for a protective order.
In some courts, there may be a Court Advocate from a local battered women’s service agency to help you with the form.
A Victim/Witness Advocate from the District Attorney’s Office is also usually available for assistance and to discuss the option of filing criminal charges against your abuser.