In Massachusetts, thousands of 209A restraining orders and 258E protective orders are issued each year based entirely on hearsay and “he said, she said” scenarios. It is important to note these are civil orders and do not become criminal until such time the order is violated. Often times the alleged perpetrator is the victim of intentional falsehoods to effectuate a divorce settlement, custody or simply because someone wants someone out of the house. There is a place for these orders however as they do provide protection to those truly in abusive relationships and the courts usually err on the side of caution when deciding whether to issue them.
So what if your a victim of these falsehoods and find your self temporarily homeless? First hire an attorney ! Second, file a counterclaim 209A or 258E if you feel your in danger of physical abuse, victim of stalking or harassment. Often times this does not mean you need to be physically harmed first, but if the other person is acting in such a way that threatens you then this may be enough to have mutual orders issued. It is important to note that any issuance of any 209A or 258E order may have an impact on your ability to obtain a professional license or job., so make sure it is based on true facts and that the person represents a true threat to you.
I believe the court system should be wary of issuance of these requests and require hard evidence of abuse or threats before issuing an order. Too many folks are wrongly accused for the wrong reasons. If a person files an application for an order, and it turns out not to reach the level of evidence required for issuance then they should be responsible financially to the other person for any and all expenses incurred as a result of being forced from their home.