Recently a man in Pennsylvania was arrested and charged with violating a restraining order for liking the Facebook posts that the person with the restraining order posted online. In that case, a woman sought an received a no-contact restraining order against the man. After the court issued the order forbidding him to have any contact with her, he then liked 22 posts the woman put on Facebook. He was arrested and held on a $5000 bond.
In Massachusetts a restraining order is also called a 209a. A restraining order is a civil order with criminal penalties. Judge’s may issue orders keeping people away from others. Typical restraining orders include sections for requiring the person to stay a certain distance away, not to abuse or to contact only on the phone. Restraining orders in Massachusetts can be temporary or they can be made permanent.
Most restraining orders include a section forbidding third party contact. Third party is where the defendant in the restraining order has someone contact the other person on his or her behalf. Liking a post, sending a tweet and making a LinkedIn request can all be considered third party contact if not first party contact.
Patrick Donovan is a Massachusetts Criminal Attorney who has represented people both seeking and defending against restraining orders. Attorney Donovan is a former prosecutor who has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts. Restraining orders are serious business with serious penalties. If you or someone you know needs any advice on a restraining order call today for a free consultation.