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Protective Orders from Another State

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed April 2021

If I have a protective order from another state, is it good in Massachusetts?

Yes. Protective orders from other states will be enforced as if it were issued in Massachusetts for as long as the order is in effect in the state where it was issued.

Does the out-of-state protective order need to be the same kind of order as a Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Order in order to be enforced in Massachusetts?

No.The out-of-state protection order does not need to follow the same rules that you would have to follow if you filed for a protective order in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts enforces any current court order that protects you from violence harassment, or contact, or communication.

What do I do to have my out-of-state protective order enforced in Massachusetts?

Show a copy of our order to the police.  If your order is entered into the Statewide Domestic Violence Record Keeping System, tell the police that you have a current order in the system.

How do I enter my out-of-state protective order into the Massachusetts Statewide Registry of Civil Restraining Orders?

  1. File a certified copy of the protective order in a District Court, Boston Municipal Court, Probate and Family Court or Superior Court. Ask the court that issued the order to send you a certified copy. You may have to pay a fee. And
  2. File your sworn statement that says to the best of your knowledge, the order is currently in effect. Use the form Affidavit for Filing of Out-of-State Protective Order.

Why would I enter my out-of-state order in Massachusetts?

When you file your out-of-state order, the court must enter the order into the Massachusetts Statewide Domestic Violence Record Keeping Systemon the same day.

Once your order is in the record system, if you need a police officer to enforce it you can tell the officer you have a protective order that is still in effect. The officer can look up your order in the system. If your order is not in the system, you must give the officer a copy of your order.

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