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How do I change or end my 209A restraining order?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed June 2020

During the COVID-19 emergency when court houses are closed, email your form to the clerk of the court that ordered the 209A you have now.

Call them to:

1. Make sure they got your forms.

2. Get the date, time and instructions for your hearing. and

3. Tell you how the other person in your case will be notified.

Use the Court Locator to get the clerk's email addressand phone number.

File a Plaintiff’s Motion to Modify or Terminate Abuse Prevention Order if you already have a restraining order and you need to:

  • change an order that is in effect now, or
  • end an order that is in effect now.

If your pets need protection and you did not ask for the 209A order before, you can ask for them to include them now. File:

If you need more protection right away

Use the Plaintiff's Emergency Ex Parte Motion to Modify Abuse Prevention Order

In the motion:

  1. Copy the part of your 209A order you need the judge to change.
  2. Give the reasons why you need the judge to change that part right away so it gives you more protection. On the motion form write in the box after "In support of this request, the Plaintiff states:" 
    • What happened that shows you need more protection right away, and
    • How it would put you in danger if defendant was given notice before you get a hearing on this motion to change the order.

To keep information confidential

If it is important to keep any information confidential, you can ask the court to impound the information. Use a  Motion for Impoundment

  • If there is anything in your 209A papers that you need to keep from people who are allowed to see it. 
  • Or if you need to keep other information in your court papers confidential.

Your reasons to keep information confidential must be more than simply to protect your privacy. The reasons must show that you need the court to keep the information confidential so nobody can use it to harm you.

You will need identification to change or end the order

The court should be sure the person who wants to change or end a current 209A restraining order is actually the person who filed the complaint in the first place.

It is important to verify the identity of anybody who wants to change or end a restraining order. To stop someone from trying to impersonate you, the court clerk should ask for identification from anyone who asks to modify or terminate a 209A order.

If you ask the court to change or end your 209A order, they should compare the signature on your motion with the the signature on your original complaint. They should make sure the 2 signatures match.

Who to call for help

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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