Heard: September 5, 2019.
Complaint received and sworn to in the Cambridge Division of
the District Court Department on September 30, 2011. The case
was tried before Roanne Sragow-Licht, J.
Lance for the defendant.
Chi Lee, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
Present: Blake, Ditkoff, & McDonough, JJ.
a jury trial in the District Court, the defendant, Michael J.
Tiernan, was convicted of violating an abuse prevention order
pursuant to G. L. c. 209A, § 7 (209A order). On appeal,
he claims that the evidence was insufficient to show that he
had knowledge of the 209A order and that he violated it. He
also claims the judge improperly admitted hearsay evidence.
Concluding that the Commonwealth did not put forth sufficient
evidence to prove that the defendant was served with the 209A
order, or that he otherwise had knowledge of it, we reverse.
jury could have found the following facts. The victim and the
defendant began dating in late 2007. The victim ended the
relationship in November 2008. On June 18, 2009, the victim
applied for and obtained an ex parte 209A order against the
defendant. Among other things, the 209A order prohibited the
defendant from contacting the victim and ordered him to stay
at least one hundred yards away from her. It also ordered the
defendant to stay away from the victim's residence but
did not specify the distance that the defendant was ordered
to remain from the victim's residence.
hearing on June 29, 2009, at which both parties appeared, the
209A order was extended until July 13, 2009.  The defendant was
served with this order in hand the following day. On July 13,
2009, both parties appeared at the hearing and the 209A order
was extended for one year to July 13, 2010. The defendant was
served with the extended order at that hearing. The following
year, on July 13, 2010, only the victim appeared at the
hearing; the 209A order was extended until July 13, 2011. The
Commonwealth presented no evidence that the defendant was
served with that order.
August 21, 2010, the victim was returning home when she
noticed a black Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle (SUV)
that she recognized as belonging to the defendant in the
driveway of a home on Mystic Valley Parkway, which was
parallel to the street on which she lives. She went directly
home and called the police. Officers Chris Gallagher and
Brett Blanciforti of the Arlington Police Department
responded to the victim's home.
victim informed Officer Gallagher that she had a 209A order
against the defendant and that she had seen his SUV on a
nearby street while on her way home. She also provided a copy
of the 209A order to the police.
Blanciforti went to the Mystic Valley Parkway address and saw
a black Cadillac Escalade SUV parked in the driveway. A check
of the license plate confirmed that the SUV was registered to
the defendant. Officer Gallagher joined Officer Blanciforti
at the address and they then saw two people -- one of whom
was later identified as the defendant -- leave the home and
cross the street toward a park. The police followed the
defendant into the park, confirmed his identity, and arrested
him. The police told the defendant that he was in violation
of the 209A order because the victim "lived on [a
street] which was under 100 yards." The defendant
indicated that he understood. The victim did not have any
contact with the defendant on that day.