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

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed September 2019

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.

The State has 2 systems that track domestic violence orders and crimes.

The Statewide Domestic Violence Record Keeping System has records of new and old restraining orders.

These orders include:

  • Abuse prevention orders (209A), and
  • Harassment prevention orders (258E). 

The state also has a computerized system that has all criminal records. These records include violations of restraining orders and other domestic violence crimes. This is the court criminal record keeping system. See CORI

How does the statewide system help keep me safe?

When the court issues a restraining order, 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 both the Domestic Violence Record Keeping System and the court criminal record system.

The Probation Department tells the judge if the abusive person has had other orders against them and if they have a criminal record. 

The Probation Department also tells the judge if there is a warrant against the abusive person.  A warrant means the police are looking for this person and have reason to arrest.

When you ask for your restraining order, you will probably give the court information about where the police can find the abusive person. If there is a warrant, the judge will order the Probation Department to notify the police and give them  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.