Is there a statewide system that keeps track of restraining orders?

The "Statewide Domestic Violence Record Keeping System" has records of new and old restraining orders and civil and criminal records involving domestic or other violence from all over Massachusetts.

How does the statewide system help keep me safe?

When a restraining order is issued by the court, the probation department records the order in the Domestic Violence Record Keeping System on the same day.

Every time someone asks the court for a restraining order, the probation department checks the Domestic Violence Record Keeping System.

The probation department tells the judge if the abusive person has had other orders against him. The probation department also tells the judge if there is a warrant against the abusive person. If there is a warrant, the police are looking for him.

When you ask for your restraining order, you will probably be giving the court information about where the police can find the abusive person. If there is a warrant, the judge will order that the police be notified and given any information about the abusive person's most recent whereabouts.    If the judge thinks that you or anyone else is in danger, the judge will tell the police to act on the warrant right away.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created February 2009