Harassment prevention orders, or 258E orders, are a new type of restraining order created in 2012 to deal with serious harassment between unrelated people.
To get a 258E order, the plaintiff has to convince a judge that the defendant is harassing them. Harassment has a complex legal definition that includes criminal harassment, certain sex crimes, or a pattern of 3 or more acts targeting the plaintiff, that causes the plaintiff to fear (or experience) physical harm or property damage. The order can’t infringe on the defendant’s free speech, so words can only count for the 3 acts if they are threatening words.
The law is worded very broadly, but judges don’t want to get drawn into any old interpersonal problem, or have the courts used as a weapon in interpersonal or neighbor disputes, so the acts have to be pretty serious to qualify.
At PiltserCowan Law, we’ve helped people obtain and defend against countless 258E orders. If you need help with one your 258E case, give us a call at 617-245-1976 to set up your free consultation today.