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Allen v. Allen

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk

May 19, 2016

Julia Allen
v.
Barbara Allen

         Argued February 24, 2016.

          Complaint for protection from abuse filed in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on April 3, 2015.

         A hearing to extend an abuse prevention order was had before Robert J. McKenna, Jr., J.

          Kathleen M. McCarthy for the defendant.

         Present: Green, Wolohojian, & Henry, JJ.

          OPINION

          Green, J.

          [50 N.E.3d 837] Does an appeal lie from an ex parte abuse prevention order issued pursuant to G. L. c. 209A, in circumstances where the order was terminated ten days later at a hearing after notice pursuant to c. 209A, § 4? We conclude that termination of the ex parte order at the hearing after notice, accompanied by an order directing law enforcement agencies " to destroy all record of such vacated order," renders the defendant's appeal moot. G. L. c. 209A, § 7, as appearing in St. 1990, c. 403, § 8. We accordingly dismiss the appeal.

          Background.

          On April 3, 2015, the plaintiff filed a complaint for protection from abuse pursuant to G. L. c. 209A, seeking a restraining order against the defendant (her mother). In the affidavit filed with her complaint, the plaintiff averred that:

" Back in 2008, I cut ties w/ her and asked her to no longer contact me. Since then, I had to change my phone number,

Page 404

I've moved multiple times, had to keep an external mailbox in order to keep my residential address private, but she keeps finding me & mailing me things. For years I've returned them to the sender. Once I moved to Boston there was no mail until 4/3/15 when she mailed a package to my work address -- I've never given her the address, but she somehow tracked it down."

         A judge of the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department held a hearing that day, at which the plaintiff was the only party present and the only witness. The colloquy at the hearing added little to the averments in the affidavit.[1] [50 N.E.3d 838] On the basis of the plaintiff's presentation, the judge issued an ex parte order, based on a determination " that there is a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse," which ordered the defendant (i) not to abuse the plaintiff; (ii) not to contact the plaintiff, and to stay at least 150 yards from her; (iii) to immediately leave and stay away from the plaintiff's residence, " wherever that may be" ; and (iv) to stay away from the ...


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