You can ask for a 209A Restraining Order even if no judge is on duty

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed April 2021

If you go to a court and there is no judge on duty, the court clerk should help you get a hearing with a judge at another court, over the telephone.

You fill out the papers and the clerk faxes them to the other judge.  Then the other judge holds the hearing by telephone. The hearing should be recorded.

If the judge grants the order, the next hearing should be scheduled for a date when a judge will be present.

If you are in the "right" court, based on where you live or lived, you should not be sent to a different court. The clerk should not tell you to wait until the emergency Judicial Response System goes into operation at 4:30 p.m.

See Section 1:10 of the 2011 Guidelines, page 31.

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