Violation of a Restraining Order Charge Deemed Improper
Ted had a difficult relationship with his former girlfriend Jen, who is the mother of his child. One day, Jen went to court and made a claim that she was afraid that Ted was going to physically hurt her and the court issued a restraining order but it was never formally delivered to Ted. Several days later, Ted was driving to Jen’s house to pick up his son as he had told her he would do in a telephone voice mail. When he arrived at her house, he was arrested and charged with several offenses including the violation of a restraining order. Attorney FitzGerald filed a motion to dismiss the charges in the superior court claiming that because Ted had not received formal notice of the restraining order, he could not legally have violated it. After hearing arguments from both attorney FitzGerald and the state prosecutor, the Superior Court judge, issued a ruling dismissing the charge of violating a restraining order. Subsequently, the Massachusetts State legislature, amended the restraining order statute to clarify what constitutes lawful service of a restraining order. This case was published in the Massachusetts Legal publication.