Articles Posted in Restraining Orders

On October 16, 2016, NU, a 31 year old technician from Lowell was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on his ex girlfriend. He was held overnight and on October 17, 2016 he was brought to Lowell District Court to be arraigned. He was arraigned on the Assault & Battery charge. His ex girlfriend was present and had applied for an Abuse Prevention Order (Restraining Order). The Court conducted a hearing and granted the Abuse Prevention Order. The order, among other things, ordered NU to have no contact, directly or indirectly, “in person, by telephone, in writing, electronically or otherwise” with his former girl friend. NU and his former girl friend had been fighting over custody of a dog.

On October 20, 2016 NU and his attorney (not Attorney Lewin) were having a telephone conversation. The attorney asked NU for NU’s former girlfriend’s telephone number. NU went to his iPhone, went into his text messages, got the last text message from his ex-girlfriend, hit the detail button, then hit the i (information) button on the screen to get her phone number. NU then read the phone number to his attorney. NU then put the phone up to his cheek and continued his phone conversation with his lawyer. When NU finished the phone conversation the screen on his iPhone reverted to the text message screen and NU saw that a location ping had been sent to his ex-girlfriend. This apparently happened when NU put the phone up to his cheek. This was a “cheek” call, similar to a butt call. Within ten minutes the police were at NU’s house and he was arrested for violating the abuse prevention order.

NU and his family retained the same lawyer. NU and his family became dissatisfied with the work that the lawyer was doing on the two cases (the original Assault & Battery charge and now the Violation of the Abuse Prevention Order charge) and sought out another lawyer. NU met with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover for a free 2 hour initial consultation. NU and his family retained Attorney Lewin to handle both cases.

On September 19, 2013 JP, a 64 year old retired electrician from Revere was at the Essex County Probate Court in Salem for a hearing in a divorce case with his wife. There was an outstanding abuse prevention order that was in effect that she had taken out against him. The order prevented JP from having any contact with his wife. JP was in the hallway of the courthouse waiting for his divorce lawyer. JP’s wife and three friends of hers were also in the hallway. At one point JP’s wife walked down the hallway to the lady’s room. When she returned she walked past JP and she claimed that he began to swear at her and make rude comments to her. JP’ wife returned to her friends and JP saw one of the friends take out her cell phone. JP walked out of the hallway and left the building. The courthouse security and the Salem Police responded to the courthouse; a warrant was issued for JP’s arrest for violation of an abuse prevention order. Subsequently JP turned himself in to the Court and was arraigned and released. JP then retained Attorney Robert Lewin. One of the people with JP’s wife had been videotaping JP while they were all sitting in the hallway. Attorney Lewin filed a detailed motion for a copy of the video. Attorney Lewin pressed the DA’s Office for a copy of the video and ultimately the DA’s Office responded that the video “no longer existed”. JP was terrified of going to trial; and insisted that he would not go to trial. Attorney Lewin explained to JP that in this case he should not fear going to trial that they had a great shot at winning the case. Attorney Lewin prepared JP at length for the trial. There were trial rehearsal sessions in the office. Attorney Lewin taught JP how to look at the Jury and how to give answers to questions to the Jury. Attorney Lewin summonsed 4 witnesses (2 police officers and 2 civilians) to establish that JP’s wife had made two prior false allegations of violations of the abuse prevention order. The jury trial took place in Salem District Court on January 13, 2014.Through cross examination Attorney Lewin was able to destroy JP’s wife and her witness with the video camera on the witness stand. JP took the witness stand and was ready and unshakeable. He came across as sincere and honest. The jury went out to deliberate and twenty minutes later they were back with a verdict of not guilty. JP was thrilled.

In 2006 RG and KM began a dating relationship. They moved in together and then bought a home together. Eventually the relationship soured and one night in February 2010 they had a huge argument. The next day KM went to Lowell District Court and obtained an abuse prevention order against RG. At the full court hearing two weeks later the order was extended for one year. In February 2011 the order was extended for an additional year. In February 2012 RG decided he wanted to challenge the extension of the order. RG retained Attorney Robert Lewin. On the one year hearing date all the parties appeared in Court. At that time RG and KM were still involved in a civil lawsuit over the proceeds from the sale of the house. The Judge at the hearing expressed concern that the civil lawsuit could provide a flahpoint and a point of contact between the parties. It was anticipated that the civil lawsuit would be finished by June 2012. The Judge extended the abuse prevention order to a date in June 2012. On that date all the parties appeared again in court. The civil lawsuit was still not finished. The Judge again extended the order until December 4, 2012. On December 4, 2012 all the parties again appeared in Court. The civil lawsuit between the parties was completely finished. Attorney Lewin had prepared a lengthy memorandum of the facts and the law in the abuse prevention order case. He pointed out that the relationship had ended in February 2010 – 2 years and 10 months earlier and that there had been no contact between the parties since that time and no violations of the order. When a party seeks to extend an abuse prevention order the burden of proof is on that party to prove that at the time of extension hearing the party still has a reasonable fear of imminent serious physical harm. It is not enough to prove that at the time the order was originally granted the party had a reasonable fear of imminent serious physical harm. The party must prove that there is a continuing need for the order. There is no presumption in the law in favor of extending these orders. Attorney Lewin’s Memorandum of Law cited all the appropriate cases for the Judge. On December 4, 2012 all the parties appeared before the Judge in Lowell District Court. The Judge reviewed the Court papers and read Attorney Lewin’s Memorandum. The Judge turned to KM and asked her if she was seeking to extend the order for another year. To everyone’s surprise KM said “No, your honor.” Even KM had come to the realization that after 2 years and 10 months of absolutely no contact with RG that any fear she had would not be deemed reasonable. The order was vacated. Had RG not persisted in fighting the extensions of the order and had he not been willing to return to court on two additional occasions the order probably would have been made permanent. To win you have to be persistent and you have to be willing to fight for what is right.