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What if I want to talk to the abusive person or get back together?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed April 2021

Will I be violating the 209A protective order if I let the abusive person back in the house, or call them or go to see them?

No. The person who is named as the "defendant" on your 209A protective order is the only person who can violate it. You can't violate the order that is against the other person. If you call or go to see them because you need to talk about the kids or something else, you are not violating the Order. But if the order says they can't contact you and they do so anyway, then they are violating the order.


If you do call the person you have the restraining order against or go see them or invite them over, the police and the court might think about this if you need their help in the future. If you contact them, the police might not be willing to arrest them or charge them with a crime in the future just for contacting you.

What should I do if we are getting back together?

If you want to get back together, or even just talk to the other person or see them, you can:

  • ask the court to change the order. The court can drop the "no contact" part of the order but keep the "no abuse" part of the order. You can still have an order saying that they can't abuse you, but they won't get in trouble just for contacting you or being with you. You can also ask the court to drop other parts of the order. Make sure that you read the order and think about the parts you want to keep and the parts you want to let go. Then go to the court and tell the clerk that you want to make a motion to change your order. Use the Plaintiff's Motion to Modify or Terminate Abuse Prevention Order form. Check the box on the form saying that you want the 209A order to be modified. Write on it how you want the order to change. Make sure you say which parts of the order you want to drop and which parts you want to keep, and why. Or
  • Get the 209A protective order "terminated." This will end the order completely.

How do I get the 209A protective order ended?

If you want to end your 209A protective order, you can ask the court to end it. This is called getting the order "terminated." You might want to do this if you have gotten back together with the other person. Sometimes people get orders terminated because they feel the order has put them in more danger.

You can get the order terminated any day during the court's regular business hours. Go to the court that gave you the order. Tell the clerk that you want to ask the judge to terminate the 209A protective order. Use the Plaintiff's Motion to Modify or Terminate Abuse Prevention Order form. Check the box on the form saying that you want the 209A order to be terminated. Write the reasons you want terminate the order.

You may want to keep the order but ask that certain parts of it be dropped. You can ask that the “stay away” and “no contact” parts of the order be dropped, but still keep the parts of the order that say the other person can't abuse you. This way, even if you get back together or you want to be able to talk to the other person, they will still know that they can be arrested and go to jail if they hurt or threaten you.

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