MGL Ch.208 Sec.34D: Request for restraining order or order to vacate

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Massachusetts General Laws: Chapter 208 - Divorce

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Section 34D. Request for restraining order or order to vacate marital home; information provided to petitioner upon filing; domestic violence record search; outstanding warrants

Section 34D. Upon the filing of a request for a restraining order pursuant to section eighteen or for an order for a spouse to vacate the marital home pursuant to section thirty-four B, a petitioner shall be informed that the proceedings hereunder are civil in nature and that violations of orders issued hereunder are criminal in nature. Further, a petitioner shall be given information prepared by the appropriate district attorney's office that other criminal proceedings may be available and such petitioner shall be instructed by such district attorney's office relative to the procedures required to initiate such criminal proceedings including, but not limited to, the filing of a complaint for a violation of section forty-three of chapter two hundred and sixty-five. Whenever possible, a petitioner shall be provided with such information in the petitioner's native language.

When considering a request for a restraining order pursuant to section eighteen or for an order for a spouse to vacate the marital home pursuant to section thirty-four B, a judge shall cause a search to be made of the records contained within the statewide domestic violence record keeping system maintained by the office of the commissioner of probation and shall review the resulting data to determine whether the named defendant has a civil or criminal record involving domestic or other violence. Upon receipt of information that an outstanding warrant exists against the named defendant, a judge shall order that the appropriate law enforcement officials be notified and shall order that any information regarding the defendant's most recent whereabouts shall be forwarded to such officials. In all instances where an outstanding warrant exists, a judge shall make a finding, based upon all of the circumstances, as to whether an imminent threat of bodily injury exists to the petitioner. In all instances where such an imminent threat of bodily injury is found to exist, the judge shall notify the appropriate law enforcement officials of such finding and such officials shall take all necessary actions to execute any such outstanding warrant as soon as is practicable.