From the frontlines… Mutual 209A’s dismissed

A Somerville District Court judge refused to dismiss a criminal charge of assault and battery even though the complaining witness stated on record that she would not cooperate and wanted the charges dropped. The judge’s refusal stemmed from the fact that mutual 209A restraining orders were outstanding, and both parties sought evidentiary hearings to extend their 209A’s and oppose the extension of the one against them.

There appeared to have been two options. One was to leave both 209A orders in place and await the resolution of the criminal matter before filing motions to modify or vacate the 209A’s. The other was for both parties to agree to drop their 209A’s, in which case the judge would dismiss the criminal charge.

The judge’s approach seemed a bit counterintuitive. The obvious favored resolution for the criminal defendant (dropping both 209A’s and dismissal of the criminal charge) left both parties unprotected from one another. The other option would have carried the risk of a guilty finding for the criminal defendant while still leaving uncertain the fate of the 209A orders: even if the judge allowed the evidentiary hearings to proceed, the outcome may not have been favorable.

The parties, via counsel, agreed to proceed with the first option: they agreed to drop their mutual 209A orders, and the judge dismissed the criminal charge against the defendant. The parties walked out of the courthouse with no further legal proceedings pending. Happy ending? That remains to be seen.

Attorney Dmitry Lev assists persons accused of committing crimes in Massachusetts. In addition, Attorney Lev counsels and represents defendants in domestic abuse (209A Restraining Order) matters and violations of these orders.  Law Offices of D. Lev may be reached at (617) 556-9990 for a free consultation regarding a specific matter.