If you hear about a 209A order, you may not be aware of what it means. Mass.gov explains it is the official name for a restraining order.
If you wish to file for a protective order, then it is helpful to know the proper terminology. Although, most people would know what you meant if you said a restraining order instead of a 209A order.
How it works
Once you get an order, you have a court ruling that legally binds the parties involved to honor the order. Typically, you will get an order against another person who you are in a relationship with or were in a relationship with, but it could also be someone who has been stalking you or otherwise harassing you who is a member of your family.
In the order, the judge may tell the other person they cannot have any contact with you, must maintain a specific distance from you and your home or leave the home. The judge can also make the person surrender any firearms in his or her possession. As part of the order, the judge may also award custody and child support on a temporary basis.
If the other person does not honor the terms of the order, he or she could face criminal charges. Officers must make an arrest of a subject who is known to violate such an order.
How to get
To get a 209A order, you can apply with the court or at a police department if it is outside court hours and you need an emergency order. You will have to provide sworn testimony about why you want the order and how your life is at risk due to the other person.
If you get a 209A order, you should carry the paperwork with you at all times in case you need to show it to officers.