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Keep your address and information safe

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed February 2021

If you ask the court for a 209A Restraining Order, or a 258E Harassment Prevention Order, the application for these orders includes forms to keep your address safe.

  • As part of the application, you file a Plaintiff Confidential Information Form. The court keeps the form separate from the rest of your case file and it is not available to the defendant and the public.

  • If you need more protection, you can file a 209A/258E Motion to Impound.

If you are not asking the court for a 209A Restraining Order or a 258E Harassment Order, but you are going to court, you can file a Motion to Impound. In your motion, you can ask the court to keep your address and other information in your case safe.

See:

If you need to use a completely different address to stay safe. You may be able to use the Address Confidentiality Program.

Address Confidentiality Program

The Address Confidentiality Program tells government agencies to keep your address secret. It sets up another mailing address for you. All of your mail should be sent to this address. You must use this address on any form that asks for your home, work, or school address. The Address Confidentiality Program staff will forward mail to your real address. This way nobody knows your real address except the Address Confidentiality Program and the Post Office.

To use this program, you must:

  • Live at a new address that the abusive person does not know and
  • Show that your life or your child's life will be in danger if the abusive person learns your address.

If you use this program, you must never tell the abusive person or any government agency what your real address is. If you want to apply for this program, your local domestic violence agency may be able to help you. You can also apply by calling them at 1-866-SAFE-ADD.

Who to call for help

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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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