Articles Posted in Violation of Abuse Prevention Order

In March of 2019, JF, a 47 year old single father of two disabled children living in AZ contacted Attorney Robert Lewin of Andover, MA. JF had eight warrants outstanding – all in Malden District Court. The warrants dated back to 2008 and 2009. As a result of the warrants JF’s right to drive had been suspended by the Massachusetts RMV. That suspension had been entered into the National Driver Register and as a result JF had not been able to renew his AZ license since 2010. JF asked Attorney Lewin to look into the warrants and advise him. Attorney Lewin went to Malden Court and was able to get all the papers from the eight cases. In four of the cases, JF had plead guilty back in 2008 and had 3 suspended sentences hanging over his head: there was a 1 year suspended sentence, a 6 month suspended sentence, and a 3 month suspended sentence. All of the cases were convictions for violating an abuse prevention order. In addition, JF had 4 additional cases – all for violation of an abuse prevention order – on which he had never been arraigned.  [JF’s former wife had obtained an abuse prevention order against JF and JF violated the order 8 times.].

JF was in trouble. He had left the state in violation of his probation; he had failed to report to probation; he did not enroll in or complete the batterers program as ordered; and he continued to violate the abuse prevention order after being placed on probation. His probation officer was still working as a probation officer in 2019; she remembered the case, and she wanted his probation to be revoked and the 1 year suspended sentence to be put into effect. She wanted him to do a year in jail.

The District Attorney’s Office wanted a piece of his skin as well; on the cases on which he had not yet been arraigned they wanted him to do an additional 9 months.

On October 24, 2019, IW, a 47 year old disabled married man from the Dominican Republic, was living in Lawrence with his wife and their 1 1/2 year old daughter. Previously his wife had taken out an abuse prevention order against him. The order was in effect on October 24, 2019 and the order ordered IW not to abuse his wife. The night before October 24, 2019 IW drank a great deal. On the morning of the 24th IW’s wife went to work leaving IW at home with their 1 1/2  year old baby. When IW awoke he was still drunk and he called his wife and told her she better come home from work to take care of the baby. In addition IW told his wife that he was going to throw all her clothes out in the street and that he wanted her out of the house. IW’s wife returned home from work and IW and his wife got into a heated argument. His wife then told IW that she was going to call the police and she did. She told the police that when she told IW she was going to call the police he told her “call the cops and you will see what happens”. After she called the police IW left the apartment. As he was leaving the building the police arrived and detained IW. The police talked to IW and he admitted that he was drunk. The police spoke with his wife and then the police arrested IW and charged him with violating the no abuse order and with witness intimidation (threatening her if she called the police).

On October 24, 2019 IW was brought to Lawrence District Court. He was appointed a lawyer and given a date to return to court. When IW could not reach his court appointed lawyer and when the court appointed lawyer did not return IW’s calls, IW contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin and IW met and IW subsequently retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin reviewed the police reports with IW and told IW that the Commonwealth would have a very difficult time proving either one of the charges against IW. Attorney Lewin told IW that the evidence was not there to prove either of the charges and that he absolutely should take the case to trial. Attorney Lewin explained to IW that the Commonwealth would not dismiss the case prior to the trial date. Clients have a difficult time accepting the fact that the District Attorney’s Office will NOT dismiss a domestic abuse case prior to the trial date.

On December 12, 2019 IW and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for IW’s pre-trial hearing. Attorney Lewin approached the Assistant District Attorney about dismissing the case but the Assistant DA said they will not dismiss a domestic abuse case prior to trial. The case was continued for a jury trial to February 3, 2020.

CX, a 29 year old male consultant, and his former girlfriend, BH, had an up and down relationship. Unfortunately CX had a very short fuse and a very long temper and was prone to very angry outbursts against BH. Unfortunately for CX, he would communicate his outbursts against BH via text messages. CX and BH had previously lived in NY State and BH had obtained an Abuse Prevention Order against CX in NY. They both then moved to Massachusetts. Neither CX nor BH believed that the NY Order was effective in Massachusetts. That was their first mistake. Massachusetts, as does most states, has a law that makes an out of state abuse prevention order enforceable in Massachusetts as if it were an order from a Massachusetts Court.

After they moved from NY to MA they broke up and CX began seeing some other women. On or about April 23, 2018 CX learned through a text message from BH that BH had spoken with another man. CX went ballistic and went on a text rant. CX texted to BH’s Mother: “If you care about your daughter, have her call me now. Right f___ing now.” CX then texted BH directly “F__you. F___you. F___you. F___you. F___you. F___you. F___you. You F___ing idiot. Why did you write me that text. Did you mean to do that or not. You know the consequence. You know I have learned over time and will not make the same mistake twice.”

BH and her Mother went to the police and showed the text messages to the police. The police filed an Application for a Criminal Complaint against CX for Violation of the NY Abuse Prevention Order in Haverhill District Court. The Application was set up for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing on May 31, 2018.

DB, a 46 year old repairman, went through a bitter divorce several years ago. His former wife has a history of making false accusations about DB. On Friday, March 23, 2018 DB received a Notice from the Newburyport District Court that the Rowley Police had filed an application for a criminal complaint against DB alleging that DB had violated a 209A Abuse Prevention Order. The Notice told DB that a hearing would be held at the Newburyport District Court on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 to determine whether a criminal complaint would be issued against DB. Late in the afternoon on Monday, March 26, DB found and hired Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Attorney Lewin obtained a copy of the police report and spent the better part of the day and  night preparing the case. The police report alleged that the Abuse Prevention Order required – among other things – that DB not go into the Market Basket store in Rowley. The police report indicated that a witness who knew DB for 25 years saw DB in the store on March 5, 2018 and reported it to the police the next day on March 6, 2018. DB was able to secure his cell phone records which showed that on March 5, 2018 DB’s cell phone pinged on towers in Douglas, MA before and after the time he was allegedly in the Market Basket store in Rowley. It is over 80 miles from Douglas to Rowley. In addition, DB and his current wife had a post office receipt showing that they were in the Post Office in Douglas, MA shortly before he was allegedly in Rowley. In one day and evening Attorney Lewin and DB put together all the documentary evidence. On March 28, 2018 Attorney Lewin met DB and his current wife at the Courthouse 1 hour before the hearing. Attorney Lewin sat with DB and his wife and went over their testimony in detail. Attorney Lewin gave them strict instructions about how to behave in the hearing room and he instructed them on how to be a good convincing witness. It was clear to Attorney Lewin that DB was innocent.

Finally – after waiting 1 1/2 hours DB’s case was called in. The Clerk-Magistrate explained that this was a show-cause hearing and the Clerk-Magistrate did not decide whether or not DB was guilty but merely whether there was “probable cause” to issue the complaint. The police prosecutor read the report. Attorney Lewin had DB and his wife testify and the phone records were put into evidence.

Attorney Lewin then advocated to the Magistrate that DB’s testimony and his current wife’s testimony was very believable particularly given the phone records and the receipt from the Post Office. In addition Attorney Lewin presented to the Judge a google maps printout showing where Douglas, MA is and how far it is from Rowley.

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.

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