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NISSENBAUM’S STANDARD SET OF
SUMMARIES OF LAW
209A Soup to Nuts
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15.0 What Has NOT Met the Test of "Abuse"
Cobble v. Commissioner of the Dept. of Social Serv., 430 Mass. 385, 391-393 (1999).
In complaint of "abuse" under G. L. c. 119, � 51A:
Intemperate parenting does not equal violence or abuse. No evidence of "soft-tissue swelling or skin bruising," except for the child's own statements to her mother.
Commonwealth v. Raymond, 54 Mass. App. Ct.448 (2002).
It was for the jury to be properly instructed and to then be permitted to decide if - when defendant when to mother’s home (a permitted place for him to be) where he had confrontation with his two sons who then held him down, would not let him go and called out to their mother, a protected person under a prior c. 209A order - the contact was a mistake or incidental to a permitted activity and, that once the contact occurred, whether defendant was not permitted to leave by his sons.
Uttaro v. Uttaro, 54 Mass. App. Ct. 871 (2002).
Cannot get a mutual 209A order because you are afraid of an existing 209A order being enforced against you for your own violations. Such a claim is not "abuse" as that terms is used in � 3, even if you may be lulled into thinking the other party will not seek enforcement of the order issued against you.
Dollan v. Dollan, 59 Mass. App. Ct. 905 (2002).
Accepting as true that the 29-year old daughter was physically and emotionally abused as a child and teenager, her mother’s telephone call, after four years of no contact, to the local police asking them to relay a message that mother is concerned, does not amount to abuse as defined in c. 209A, � 3.
Szymkowski, ppa v. Szymkowski, 57 Mass. App. Ct. 284 (2003)
Testimony by mother that child told her dad pinched her down her arm and made a line. While this claim literally come within the "causing physical harm" category of "abuse" as defined in G. L. c. 209A, � 1, that alone is not enough. See, Cobble v. Commissioner of the Dept. of Social Serv., 430 Mass. 385, 391-392 (1999) (in complaint of "abuse" under G. L. c. 119, � 51A, absence of affirmative evidence of "soft-tissue swelling or skin bruising," except for the child's own statements.)
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