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NISSENBAUM’S STANDARD SET OF
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209A Soup to Nuts
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7.0 Renewal of c. 209A order
Section 3 explicitly provides that "[t]he fact that abuse has not occurred during the pendency of an order shall not, in itself, constitute sufficient ground for denying or failing to extend the order. . . ." G. L. c. 209A, � 3, as inserted by St. 1990, c. 403, � 3. Doe v. Keller, 57 Mass. App. Ct. 776 (2003).
There is no presumption that the order be continued; and no entitlement that the order be made permanent. Jones v. Gallagher, 54 Mass. App. Ct. 883 (2002).
The order expires unless extended after a judicial determination, essentially, a new finding, that the plaintiff continues to require protection from "abuse" as explicitly defined in c. 209A, 1 -- in this case, requiring a finding that a permanent order is, in fact, what is reasonably necessary to protect plaintiff from being placed "in fear of imminent serious physical harm" by defendant. See Commonwealth v. Molloy, 44 Mass. App. Ct. 306, 309 (1998) ("extension of an annual order pursuant to 3 . . . is . . . by no means automatic"); Pike v. Maguire, 47 Mass. App. Ct. at 929-930 cited with approval in Jones v. Gallagher, 54 Mass. App. Ct. 883 (2002).
"The only criterion for extending the original order is a showing of continued need for the order." Pike v. Maguire, 47 Mass. App. Ct. 929, 929 (1999). See Massachusetts Trial Court, Guidelines for Judicial Practice: Abuse Prevention Proceedings, Commentary to Guideline 6:08 (1997), both cited with approval in Doe v. Keller, 57 Mass. App. Ct. 776 (2003).